I have always been fascinated by chefs. Whenever I attempt to follow one of my favorite recipes at home, I am reminded of how difficult and technically demanding cooking really is. Although the food at high-end restaurants is typically presented with pristine attention to detail, there is often a disconnect between the glamour put on the plate and the way the staff looks and feels. The classic chef’s uniform consists of a chef’s jacket and/or apron that is usually imported for the cheapest price possible, sacrificing quality, feel, and functionality. As an outsider to the food industry, I have always admired the classic, utilitarian outfits found in kitchens, but why should they be uncomfortable and frankly, poorly made?!
Thankfully, Ellen Bennett, chef and entrepreneur, set out to reinvent the traditional apron and chef’s jacket (among other culinary essentials) with quality and style, while preserving the integrity and aesthetic of the classic kitchen uniform. Handcrafted from “top grade American canvas, raw Japanese selvage denim, and European linens”, Hedley & Bennett pieces are meant to endure an intense and active kitchen environment as well as look and feel as high-quality as the food. Bennett’s revolutionary brand gained immediate attraction from renowned chefs like David Chang and Alton Brown, and soon made its way into 4,000 restaurants and coffee shops nationwide.
Ok ok, I know that most of you are not professional chefs or line cooks, but that doesn’t exclude you from the beautifully designed and colorful kitchen essentials at Hedley & Bennett! Not only are the aprons sold in your favorite culinary stores like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma, but Hedley & Bennett also has many collaborations with contemporary brands like The Hundreds and Vans. You know the saying, “dress the part”? Well, the next time you’re whipping up a recipe in your own kitchen, a Hedley & Bennett apron is sure to help you channel your inner Top Chef.
Written by Florence Finkelstein
Photo by Lisa Corson for The New York Times