Fueled by their own love for grilling and outdoor cooking, Chuck Bates and John Cato worked with polymer scientists to develop a fabric technology that might revolutionize safety in the culinary world. The fire retardant MicroCool Apron is the ultimate protective chef’s apron, created with the first-ever fabric to repel thermal energy and provide a protective barrier from hot oil and scalding liquids.
“Grilling and cooking outdoors is one of the most popular summertime activities and something I love to do,” says Chuck Bates, co-developer of the MicroCool apron, “but the number of burn injuries from a flaming grill or deep fryer is pretty staggering.”
Burns are a leading cause of injuries in the restaurant industry. According to Ohio Casualty, a Liberty Mutual Company, scald burns are the most common cause of burns and scalds from hot oil are generally even more severe than injuries from hot water.
Standard chef aprons and tunics currently used for the culinary industry do not protect against hot oil spills (375+ degrees). It would take just three seconds for a burn to occur wearing industry-accepted chef clothing. However, the micro thermal fabric treatment used in the MicroCool Apron reaches a temperature no higher than that of a standard home shower even after 20 seconds of exposure to a hot oil spill.
The MicroCool Apron is designed for professional-grade or home use. In addition to its thermal properties, the fabric is soft, breathable, and comfortable, making it an ideal addition to commercial or personal kitchens.
“We know our technology can really make a difference in helping safeguard anyone cooking with hot oil and liquids,” says John Cato, MicroCool’s co-developer. “We also plan to eventually broaden our line of protective clothing to include chef tunics, gloves, leggings, and sleeves.”
After months of researching, designing, and testing their micro thermal technology, Chuck and John have taken their idea for The MicroCool Apron to Kickstarter in an effort to raise $25,000 in 30 days, sufficient funds for an initial run of the apron fabric. Reward levels range from MicroCool Aprons to an authentic Low Country Oyster Roast hosted by the founders.
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