Comfort and practicality dictate each stitch of the chef pant. From their elastic waist to their tapered ankle to their baggy leg, these products of utilitarian chic can make or break the cooking experience of any nouveau chef. Traditionally made from swatches of dense checkered cloth or European hound's tooth, the pants' durable fabrics hide the tell-tale stains of sizzling sauces, sauteed entrees and crackling oil. Although such traditional patterns do add to the lifespan of any uniform, they also connote a certain type of old-school chef network that many younger chefs wish to move away from. In their quest to be recognized as hip, a number of new chefs on the block have recently shifted their fashion tastes to encompass trendier pant patterns. The red hot chili peppers, rainbow fish and scarlet lobsters dotting the legs of these fledglings add a certain air of panache to the chefs' images as well as their cuisine.
With numerous loops to hold tongs and sundry cooking instruments, chef pants have been popping up in unpredictable places---like on student backsides. Senior Brenna Haysom, who purchased her stylish slacks at a Gypsy flea market in Paris, now wears them when it rains because the synthetic material from which they're made (for obvious reasons) dries quickly.
"They have an awkward button fly that doesn't quite do the job, so people are always telling me that my fly is down," offers Haysom, describing the quirks of her recent purchase.
Senior Saadi Soudavar, who also found himself, "enamored [by] the dashing checks of the dining hall chef's trousers," decided one night to approach a young dining hall chef on green bean duty in Eliot House. After Soudavar bravely asked the young cook where he had bought the fabulous trousers he was wearing, the man grabbed Soudavar's hand and motioned for him to keep silent. The chef ushered Soudavar down to the kitchen's store room and handed him a pair of the coveted cooking wear.
Now that the pants have been appropriated, the only thing left to do is to abscond with the sparkling snow white jackets and transfer to the Cordon Bleu.
--A. B. Osceola