The start of spring means a lot of things to the chefs of New York City — ramps at the greenmarket, backyard barbecues, anxiety over the James Beard Awards, etc. But for this city's more fashion-forward toques it also means it's time to ditch those whites, throw the overcoat in the closet, and bust out their fiercest warm weather styles. Here's a rundown of seven hot spring looks from the city's hottest cooks.
Tats 'n' Tees:
[Imperial No. 9's Sam Talbot, Tacombi's Aaron Sanchez, The Meatball Shop's Michael Chernow, Johnny Iuzzini of Jean Georges]
If you're a tattooed chef who want to dress to impress, there's no need to shell out a bunch of money on fancy new duds — you probably have everything you need for this hot look in the bottom of the hamper. Tank tops, undershirts, or even rolled up kitchen jackets all work just fine, but you might want to invest in a good bottle of bleach to keep those whites white, all summer long.
In the Red:
[Fatty Cue's Zak Pelaccio, Hotel Chantelle's Camille Becerra, Momofuku's David Chang, Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert]
If you're stepping out on the town to celebrate your freedom from the kitchen, a simple red t-shirt with white writing is a always a good idea — it's a way to power dress, without the stress. And if you're an accident prone chef, this color combo draws attention away from those bruises, burns and scrapes.
[Dale Talde, Jesus Nunez of Graffit, Sam Mason of Lady Jay's, FishTag's Michael Psilakis]
Everything old is new again, and right now we're seeing a lot of the city's top cooks rock this cool style, inspired by the boy bands of the mid-to-late 1990s. The great thing about this look is that you can mix and match as much as you want — patterns, hoodies, big belt buckles, tank tops — and it always looks fresh. The one must-have accessory is, of course, a bit of scruff and/or spikey hairdo.
[Eddie Huang of BaoHaus, Marc Forgione, The Meatball Shop's Daniel Holzman, Spot's Pichet Ong]
The city's hottest chefs know that flannel is all about fun. It's not just for lumberjacks and hipsters anymore — this versatile top is a great way to show the world that you're a tough cook with a soft side.
[Angelo Sosa of Social Eatz, Imperial No. 9's Sam Talbot, The Little Owl's Joey Campanaro, Hurricane Club's Craig Koketsu]
It's not beach season yet, but incorporating a few tropical accents into your wardrobe is always a good idea. It can be something as simple as a Hawaiian-style lei, a pair of board shorts, or a floral shirt. Or, if that's not your thing, just wear a nice light neon green polo for a bit of island flavor.
The Summer Scarf:
[Per Se's Thomas Keller, Hill Country's Elizabeth Karmel, Red Rooster's Marcus Samuelsson, Lidia Bastianich of Eataly.]
You don't really need to wear a scarf in the summer time, but a lot of hot chefs are rocking this simple accessory, and the result is c'est magnifique. Like many things in the culinary world, this trend was started by Thomas Keller who, rumor has it, loves summer scarves so much he might start giving them away to diners at the end of their meal instead of laundry pins.
A Note About Awards Attire:
[Corton's Paul Liebrandt, Donatella Arpaia, Daniel Boulud, Ivy Star of Dos Caminos.]
As we know, the James Beard Awards are just around the corner, and it's the one night of the year where chefs are treated like movie stars. If you're lucky enough to attend, it's best to keep it nice and neat with a simple black dress or suit/tie combo. This super soignee look works best without any accessories, because you may have a fancy new necklace by the end of the night!