Fashion, like food, is often used to push the boundaries of conventional taste. And while white double breasted jackets dominate the kitchen, many chefs throw on more stylish clothing outside of work. In honor of Fashion Week–which runs from today through September 12–we’ve gathered the city’s 10 best-dressed chefs, individuals who take their own presentation as seriously as their plating.
Simple, elegant, and natural, Vikas Khanna makes smart style choices. He plays it safe with color choices, and his fashion sense has gotten him voted man of the year for several publications. Oh, he’s also got a Michelin star to his name and is a respected author and host–things you have to dress really well for.
9. Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione
Sporting a mohawk and pulling it off in the haughty world of fine dining is reason enough to add Forgione to this list. Add in bad-ass selections like a leather jacket and aviators– okay even a sweater and scarf–and you have yourself a man who’s style says “I kick ass and can back it up…but I’d rather just cook an awesome meal for you.”
8. Michael Chernow, The Meatball Shop
Chernow could easily double as the front man for Fun. when he’s not helming a meatball empire. With jeans with the cuff rolled up and button-downs with the sleeves rolled up, Chernow’s smart casual outfits mirror his food: Just because it’s a meatball doesn’t mean it can’t look really good.
7. Eddie Huang, BaoHaus
With a wardrobe to match his colorful personality, Eddie Huang’s impeccable street style is just as exciting as the baos he dishes out. With humorous t-shirts, vintage sneakers, and an array of hats, Huang’s look shows he’s having fun. And isn’t that what cooking is supposed to be about?
6. Scott Conant, Scarpetta
Running a popular Italian restaurant on the cusp of the Meatpacking District requires poise, charisma, and a selection of crisp button-downs. Scott Conant’s affection for clothing and dining style can be summed up in four letters: F-I-N-E. He’s also one of a handful individuals allowed by the fashion police to unbutton his shirt as far down as he wants.
5. Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar
The creative force behind Momofuku Milk Bar shines wherever she goes, whether it’s to an appearance on a late show, at the James Beard awards, or next to David Chang–a snazzy dresser in his own right. Tosi’s fashion is fresh, relaxed, and works anytime of the year, kind of like her infamous crack pies.
While most scientists will do with a lab coat, Mason’s inventive nature suggests he’s not just all about keeping the status quo. Sporting a newsboy cap and rock n’ roll tees, Sam commands a presence much like his chorizo caramel ice cream.
3. Takashi Inoue, Takashi
Takashi’s dress is as sharp as the knives he uses to cut delicious beef. He’s appeared in magazine shoots showcasing dapper suits and was formerly a DJ (and you know how those guys dress).
The Godfather of stylish chefs could likely trade in his gig as a judge on Chopped for Project Runway without much resistance. We bet wrinkles are afraid to appear on his clothing. And does he need glasses? Maybe not, but he sure does look good in them, and they do make everything he says all the more sophisticated.
Whether he’s behind the scenes at Red Rooster or making appearances about town, one gains the sense Samuelsson could actually pull off wearing a vintage suit in the kitchen without getting splattered. With a penchant for accessories like scarves, bright colors, and outfits that stand the test of time (and trends), Samuelsson continues to set the bar as a model chef/chef that models.