No matter how you cut it, restaurant success hinges on outfitting the chef with the best tools of the trade.
2014 Buyer's Guide
Cook's Knife
The 10-inch Cook's Knife, known as the "Workhorse" and perfect for cutting large vegetables, is designed with an indentation for fingers to provide a safe grip. A drop handle and control bump lets the knife be used smoothly and efficiently no matter your height or which hand you cut with, while reducing forearm stress and offering increased stability. The arc of the blade creates a classic forward slicing motion, and helps increase edge life. $230
Cut to the Future
Knives in the Ken Onion Rain Series feature high-performance stainless steel blades that are treated with a proprietary process to create a signature pattern emulating water droplets. The process creates multiple air pockets, effectively reducing both surface tension and drag coefficient across the entire blade. This reduces the amount of surface area in contact with food being cut, resulting in a blade that slices effortlessly with an almost nonstick surface. Handles are constructed of G-10 Garolite, a military-grade inert material that is highly impervious to heat and moisture. Prices start at $125; sets priced $885 and $1,275.
Functional Fashion Statements
Work shirts in versatile fabrics like oxford, chambray, or Japanese denim come in fun polka dots or classic solids. Unisex, fitted styles priced from $55.
Contra Apron
Made from lightweight waxed cotton, the Contra Apron is waterproof and cool, with a handmade leather clasp across the shoulder and brown cotton straps. A D-ring closure at the neck enables perfect sizing and the cotton straps are a comfortable fit. Washable, durable, and fashion-forward—this is an apron for the ages. $75
Chef Anthology
A peer review of chefs, Best Chefs America, was compiled from more than 5,000 confidential interviews with chefs nominated by other chefs, culinary professionals, and food enthusiasts. The 386-page guide was released March 1 and includes photography of emerging trends and ingredients. $75
Made-to-Order Chef's Coat
The coolest chef fashion comes in 100 percent Super Organic Cotton Twill—soft, breathable, and environmentally friendly. Available in unisex styles, ranging from petite to plus cuts, the made-to-order coats come in assorted selections including a traditional design that sports matching hand-crafted buttons. Super Organic Cotton contains no harsh chemicals and comes in 12 rich colors, ranging from warm Chili Pepper and Sweet Potato to Cool River blue and Avocado green, plus classic black or white. Priced to order, starting at $76.40.
Chef Profiles, Feature