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Feb 1, 2009 08:00 AM

Does it bother you if the Chef comes into the dining room without a hairnet?

I never gave it a second thought, but ran into a woman who refuses to eat at this delightful Thai restaurant because the female chef comes out after you are served to make sure everything has been prepared to your liking. Funny thing is that she doesn't mind eating at another European restaurant, where the male chef does the same exact thing. Neither wears a hair net, both have short, well groomed hair, and both are hands on in preparing your meal. As a matter of fact I don't think I have ever seen an actual chef come into the dining area with a hairnet. What do you think about this?

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  1. I have never worked at any place that required hair nets. Honestly, I don't think I would work at a place that required hair nets. Keeping my hair pulled back and under a hat is enough.

    1. I have never seen a chef, male or female, who wears a hairnet. I think you were right in never giving it a second thought. I also think the woman you met who had a hairnet issue is likely missing out on lots of good dining options if this is a deal-breaker for her. Oh, well! More room in good restaurants for the rest of us, I guess!

      6 Replies
      1. re: kattyeyes

        That's the weird part - she doesn't mind if a male chef doesn't have one but for some reason this little Thai chef bothers her. I say it's her loss!

        To me hair nets belong in cafeteria lines, or fast food places where mass quantities of food are processed. Not in restaurants where there are chefs.

        1. re: danhole

          Agree 100 percent. The first image that came to mind when I read your OP was of a cafeteria lunch lady. Then, of course, followed by that Adam Sandler tune, which is now stuck in my head ("Sloppy joe, slop ah-sloppy joe..." a la Axl Rose). HA HA!

          1. re: danhole

            The only places I've worked or volunteered at which required hairnets were soup kitchens. Everywhere else, hair was pulled back, a bandana was tied on, and/or the heads were shaved or with very short hair.

            Has your friend had a problem with male chefs of other restaurants? I agree with the other posters that this may be a different issue.

            1. re: Caralien

              No problem with men, and to clarify - NOT my friend, just someone I know.

              1. re: danhole

                Apologies if offense was taken, as I too have friends (and family) with interesting behaviour.

                1. re: Caralien

                  Oh goodness, no offense taken at all! Just want to be sure you all don't think I hang around people that are that picky! LOL! Well, okay, when it come to food (as in not eating many foods) my DH is very picky, but not in the way this woman is.

        2. From the really limited information (which is not a criticism if your post, it's just the nature of this kind of information/story) it doesn't sound like your friend's issues have anything to do with hairnets. Unless there's some other sanitation problem that she noted about the Thai chef, it sounds like your friend's issues have to do with ethnicity and gender.

          3 Replies
            1. re: ccbweb

              That was my thought - it's a race or gender thing.

              1. re: BeaN

                It isn't sanitation for sure, because the place is spotless and so is the chef! She just has weird hang ups for no rhyme or reason.

            2. A chef approaching jfood's table in a hair net would cause a knee jerk reaction of, "I think I have lost my appetite." May need to pull a snagglepuss exit on that entrance

              3 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                I agree, that would be my reaction also. Rather than convincing me of the cleanliness of the kitchen, it would evoke associations with greasy spoons or sketchy cafeteria food, where the food is prepared by ladies with hairnets standing over huge pots of stew with a cigarrette butt hanging out of their mouths (though that's more a result of my watching the Simpsons than of ever having seen this).

                1. re: jfood

                  Agreed - hair nets are creepy. Exit stage left!

                  In HS, I worked as a server at a diner that required all employees to wear them, along with the awful brown polyester skirts & aprons, panty hose and slips. We had to polish our white nursing shoes before every shift too. Pure torture.

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Hair nets? How retro!! Perhaps a can of Aqua-net will keep all the hairs in concrete like attention. Today I think its all baseball caps even the toque has been largely replaced by the scull cap style. Some chefs keep a toque around to wear in the dinning room. It helps to justify steep prices:)

                2. Is it possible she takes it off before entering the dining room, or is that a dumb question? Often those involved in food preparation are required to wear some type "barier" between their hair and the food. My experience (most recent was about 3 years ago, so a bit dated) has been that baseball hats and the skull caps similar to what surgeons wear in the OR were the go-to "barrier of choice."

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: enbell

                    I was thinking that myself. I stumbled across a local blog that showed one of our respected chefs in his kitchen and he was wearing a baseball cap, but he he never comes into the dining area with that on, and his hair never looks like hat hair, I guess since it's pretty short.