Reporter's Notebook [1]

Beyond chef whites

Chef whites are giving way to an entire Crayola box of colors for restaurants' kitchen and front-of-house uniforms.

The whites and occasional blacks and grays are giving way to such colors as berry, blue, lime, orange and red, according to uniform vendors at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.

And one company was even entertained the show crowds with a hip runway fashion show had had such culinary notables as Russell Skall, corporate executive chef for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, walking the catwalk to a pulsing pop-music beat.

Whites, grays and blacks have been staples in kitchen clothing, but in the past three years color has made a splash, said Ursala Cohen, acting marketing director for Chef Works Inc. of Poway, Calif.

“Celebrity chefs really started it,” Cohen said. “Obviously they are their own brands and color helps with that. It’s not just black and white anymore.”

And for the male celebrity chefs, Cohen added: ““It takes a real man to wear pink.”

But for safety’s sake, let’s call it “berry.”