TV Fashion: Gordon Ramsay of 'Hell's Kitchen' (FOX)
Great taste in the 'Kitchen'
And just as we expect the entrees in a quality restaurant to have a pleasing appearance, so should the chefs preparing them. No one wants to order roast magret duck breasts with shaved black truffles prepared by someone who can't match his belt and shoes. Gordon Ramsay of "Hell's Kitchen" gets that. True, he may be the orneriest Scot to hit our shores since Sheena Easton sang "Morning Train," but when he's packing heat - 350 degrees for four to six minutes, then stir - the man simmers in stylish chef wear.
Neat and trim like a New York strip, Gordon's kitchen appearance conveys strength, power and self-assuredness wrapped in a pasty white shell that only the British Isles can produce. Clearly gas ranges produce no UVA or UVB rays. Nevertheless, a proper chef jacket goes a long way to implying you have a clue behind a set of Ginsu knives even if you burn water on a good day.
Traditionally double-breasted with cloth-covered buttons, the jackets are often constructed of midweight cotton and feature either rounded or squared French cuffs, a pair of front-faced pockets and what passes for a Nehru collar. They also come in a variety of sleeve lengths. If their very appearance didn't conjure up the smell of grease and day-old ketchup, this could conceivably be a very hot look outside the kitchen. They're cleanly Asian - a look we embrace.
For the lower half of the ensemble, Ramsay prefers to stick with slacks in basic black for a more regal appearance, though most kitchen workers sport pants that have more of a scrubs appeal to them: elastic and drawstring waistbands and a full to wide leg with a patterned fabric to help fool the eye when it comes to stains. But for you, in your home during your moments of culinary showboating, stick with black.
Another thing Ramsay doesn't cut corners on is his shoes. Chefs are on their feet virtually their entire shift, so they need comfort above all else. But kitchen-oriented footwear is some of the ugliest, chunkiest stuff imaginable. The fact that they often come with steel toes - hey, you might drop a cleaver or a 20-pound can of puree - doesn't help their style. But in this case, it is actually better to feel good rather than look good. And that, we promise, is the last time you will ever see us type that sentence.