Should You Cook Your Food Wearing A Hat Or Bandanna?

From making or giving a good impression and suggesting responsibility to producing a sense of quality, uniforms are essential for a variety of reasons.

As with other aspects of “cheffing”, wearing proper clothing when cooking conveys professionalism and is more sanitary.

Although hygiene rules differ from one kitchen to another, the health code law requires chefs to have something to cover their heads.

In this regard, Should You Cook Your Food Wearing A Hat Or Bandanna?

Technically, you can wear a chef hat (toque blanche) or a bandana, as long as your head covering meets its primary function – safety and hygiene. As far as cooking is concerned, many chefs nowadays choose headwear that’s a little less extravagant, including smaller hats, skull caps, ball caps, and bandanas. Considering that you are only cooking your food, you can elect to wear whatever you are comfortable with as long as it keeps hair from falling into the food.

If you are a chef trying to decide what pieces of clothing you should wear when cooking your food, this article is for you.

Read on to learn how you can stay stylish and trendy in the kitchen while being safe and upholding hygiene.

A Chef Hat Or Bandana?

Cooking is becoming much cooler and hip than it used to be, and, for sure, not everyone is interested or satisfied with classic uniforms associated with classically trained chefs.

That said, it should be no surprise that modern chefs are trying to maintain their style without sacrificing the safety and hygienic standards required in and around the culinary environment.

While some chefs opt not to cover their heads, particularly when cooking for themselves, it is advisable that you cover your head when cooking.

Whether you are cooking your food or are preparing food in a high-end restaurant, headwear does an excellent job of preventing hair from getting into the food.

That said, the typical chef’s head covering is a hat, not a bandana. That’s why many seasoned private chefs will advise that you wear a hat or cap, not a bandana.

Although wearing a bandana can help, a chef’s hat performs two specific and very essential roles in the culinary environment:

  1. keeping your hair out of food
  2. and preventing longer hair from getting caught in equipment or, at worst, catching fire.

Currently, hats come in different sizes and shapes made from cooler materials, allowing you to choose whatever you are comfortable with.

Whether to wear a hat or bandana ultimately depends on personal interest.

Although a hat is preferred by many, a bandana will also do the job as long as it is worn carefully to serve the purpose. Whatever you wear, ensure it is safe and good for hygiene.

Why Should You Wear A Head Covering While Cooking?

Whether you are preparing food for yourself or cooking for crowds, it is your responsibility to ensure that the food you are preparing is safe.

Besides preparing food and storing it safely, this means that you need to understand the importance of wearing your chef’s uniform, including the standard chef’s hat, chef’s jacket, and apron.

Here are the top reasons why you should wear a head covering when cooking your food.

1. It Is More Hygienic

Food safety is paramount, and that’s why you need to cover your head.

Whether you are like a hat, cap, or bandana, they all serve the same purpose: to help prevent your hair from falling into the food.

Covering your head also keeps any bacteria that might be caught in your hair from falling into the food. Ultimately, this ensures your food is safer.

2. Professionalism

This is not just for public places.

Looking professional in the culinary environment gives you the confidence you need to prepare delicious meals.

That said, wearing a chef’s uniform, including decent headwear, when cooking your food will make you feel right in the kitchen area.

Should you have visitors while cooking, they will also see you as someone who upholds hygiene rules.

3. Personal Comfort And Safety

There are lots of heating equipment in your kitchen, and heat can become a major issue while cooking.

Wearing a toque blanche, beret, skull cap, head wrap, or bandana can help keep you cool.

While all these headgears do an excellent job keeping your hair out of your face, a hat is the best of all as it allows for airflow and breathability.

By keeping your hair in check, you also prevent possible accidents like your hair catching fire.

The last thing you want when cooking is to have your hair blinding you or falling into your food.

Considering that it is hard or nearly impossible to sterilize human hair, you can prevent all undesired hazards by wearing your chef’s hat or any other decent head covering.

Hygienic Habits That You Need To Observe When Cooking Or Handling Food

It is impossible to remove all bacteria from your hair, even after hours of washing your head. That’s why you need a hat or hair net when working with food. But is that all you need?

A lot can happen when handling food, necessitating a lot of care when handling food.

The good news is that you can avoid all possible risks by considering a number of prevention activities.

Besides wearing your hat and the right clothing, here are some other things you need to keep in mind when working in the culinary environment.

  • Wash your hands with running water before you start cooking.
  • Correctly wash your food with plenty of water, preferably clean running water. This is very important for foods that are consumed raw like fruits and some vegetables.
  • Do not leave food at room temperature for over two hours.
  • Before using your plates, reheat them to high temperatures to eliminate possible bacteria.
  • Always wash your cutting boards and knives before using them.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it gives you an idea of the things you need to observe to mitigate possible health risks when handling food.

In a nutshell, all you need is to uphold hygienic habits.

Other Pieces Of Clothing You Need To Wear When Cooking

While no one can question you for not wearing your chef’s uniform when cooking your own food, it is advisable that you always wear your uniform whenever you are preparing food. Here is the clothing you need when cooking your food.

1. Chef Jackets And Shirts

When preparing your food, it is advisable that you wear a chef’s jacket.

They are usually white and double-breasted to protect you from heat and hot splashes.

2. Chef pants

Chef pants do an essential yet simple duty of preventing contaminants from contaminating your food.

They are usually loose-fitting to allow for airflow and easy pulling from your skin to minimize the dangers of hot spills.

3. Shoes

Although you are less likely to spend hours on your feet when preparing your food, you also need well-fitted shoes with good shock absorption.

Your shoes should also be non-slip with reinforced toecaps to minimize effects should you hit your feet on kick space.


When handling food, it is your responsibility to ensure that the food is safe.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that the food you are cooking is safe is covering your head.

Although wearing a chef’s hat is strongly recommended, you can also wear a bandana as long as it keeps your hair from falling into your food.


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