chef's toque

Chef’s traditional headgear

A Toque – shortened from Toque Blanche – French for ‘white hat’, is a culinary tall, round, pleated, starched white hat worn by chefs. It has a narrow brim or no brim at all. They were popular from the 13th to the 16th century in Europe, especially France.

The toque is thought to have originated through the gradual evolution of head coverings worn by cooks throughout the centuries.

The casque à meche (stocking cap) worn by 18th-century French chefs is considered to be part of this evolution. Casque à meches were coloured to denote the rank of the wearer.

The toque used today is said to have originated with the French chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784–1833), who stiffened the casque à meche with cardboard.

Other names for Toque

  • Chef’s Hat
  • Toque Blanche

Famous Toque wearers

  • Swedish Chef
  • Eva Arguiñano (Spain)
  • Pillsbury Dough Boy

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