The chef’s neckerchief is a common sight in professional kitchens. Although it may seem odd to be adding an extra piece of fabric to a wardrobe worn in such a hot environment, the neckerchief can actually help the wearer to feel cooler by collecting perspiration which runs off the face and neck. Obviously, this is also important from a hygiene perspective as it ensures that no sweat drips into the dish being prepared. Sometimes referred to as a cravat, neckerchiefs come in a variety of colours which can have different meanings, usually denoting professional chefs from those still in training. If the kitchen doesn’t have a colour-system, the neckerchief is usually black or white and matches the rest of the chef’s uniform.
Tying the neckerchief can be tricky. Follow these steps and you’ll have it just right:
- Fold the neckerchief in half to make a triangle.
- Fold the wider edge of the neckerchief over toward the point of the triangle. The fold should be about 6cm. Fold over again repeatedly until the neckerchief is a 6cm-wide folded scarf.
- Find the centre of the folded scarf and place it at the centre of the back of your neck and pull the two ends over your shoulders toward the front of your neck.
- Grab each end and cross the left end over the right end.
- Insert the left end of the neckerchief up and through the neckerchief around your neck. Pull the tied ends of the neckerchief around your neck so that it feels comfortable.
- Cross the right end over the left end and insert it up and through the space just under the first half of the knot. Pull the tied ends tightly.
- Fix the knot to make it centred at the front of your neck. Pull the neckerchief ends gently to arrange them neatly on both sides of the centre knot.