How did the chef's hat originate? Does it serve a purpose?
But there are other theories regarding the hat's history. One source states the hat may have evolved from the stocking cap (casque a meche) worn by French chefs throughout the years. The color of the casque a meche indicated the chef's rank.
Sometime in the mid-1800s, chef Marie-Antoine Careme decided white was a more appropriate color for toques as it indicated cleanliness in the kitchen. Careme also believed the hats should be of different heights to indicate rank. Cooks wore shorter hats than chefs. Reportedly Careme's hat was 18 inches tall.
Interestingly, the number of pleats in a chef's hat is also a status symbol. Many toques have exactly 100 pleats, supposedly the number of ways a chef can prepare an egg.
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