I’m Not Worthy

We’ve all seen the people who bow to someone and say “I’m not worthy”. I am sure most of us have said it at one time or another and I can guarantee that everyone has felt that way at some time I will be honest, there are days I feel like that.

Cindy Morrison wrote me recently telling me that some of the Yummy Arts members feel like they are not worthy of wearing a chef coat. She said she even worried about wearing one. I have noticed several comments on my coat giveaways where people think that they aren’t “legit” and don’t deserve to wear a coat. Cindy asked me if I would tackle the question of who DESERVES to wear a chef coat.

The first thing I need to tell you is that there is not a chef coat policeman out there who is going to write you a ticket for donning a coat. Today’s chef coats are not the same as those fancy chef hats that are awarded after you achieve a certain rank or level. The chef coats today are bright, colorful and often full of personality and anyone can buy one.

They do not mean that your are implying that you are a pastry chef! You all know that I went to law school, not culinary school. I am not a pastry chef. I have never held myself out as one. Yet I have been wearing chef coats for a decade. The only thing I am trying to convey with my coats is an air of professionalism. I put on my coat when I am at work. For me now, that means when I am at any cake related event. When I owned the bakery, I only wore it on deliveries or if I was being interviewed. The coat was simply the proper uniform for certain situations.

I know a LOT of home bakers who wear chef coats. Not having a store front does not mean that you are not worthy. If you make cakes for people, you have every right to wear a chef coat. You choose when it is the right time for you to wear it. If you want to wear it to a cake show or Day of Sharing or on a wedding delivery, then do it! I promise you that when you put on the coat, you will find that you walk a little taller, that you have a little more confidence and that you receive positive attention from others.

Why do people give respect to the coat? I think it is because we all like someone in uniform. It signifies an organized, responsible person to us. Wearing a chef coat may cause a venue to believe you are serious about cakes and place more orders. It might cause people to remember your name. It might help you get recognition you have long been deserving.

I think that if you ask folks who wear the coats, they will all tell you they were nervous the first time they put it on. But they put on that coat anyway! I promise you that if you wish you could wear one, then you deserve to wear one. You are worthy.


18 thoughts on “I’m Not Worthy

  1. Ruth, as always a well thought out commentary.
    A chef coat should shows our pride in our chosen proffession.
    Now days it is wonderful to see the personality being put in to the individual coats as an extention of our artistic endeavors.

  2. Well said! I work from my licensed home kitchen and wear my simple white chefs coat to all of my deliveries. I agree that it gives clients confidence that I am a legitimate business and a professional. When I bake though I prefer my apron. That may change when I am able to buy a Crooked Brook coat!

  3. I have been a Yummyarts member for a long time, and happy you did this blog. You are right, people sees the chef coat as a symbol of professionalism and respond differently. Glad to have met you at Chef Nick’ s in Atlanta

  4. Ruth Rickey, I am so proud to know you. Your talents, creativity and kindness are a gift to everyone you meet! Thank you for sharing, empowering and brightening so many lives with your bakery, your classes, your cakes, your sugar art and your willingness to lead by example!

    • I so agree with your comments Ruth about looking professional, and as a credentialed chef I have never had an issue with this because….only those of us who have actually attended culinary school can add the title “Chef” to our jackets. I personally feel that for too long many non- credentialed sugar artists have not had the respect that is due to them and their talents. Part of that was looking the part…patrons and customers look at the entire picture when hiring for an event , it is so important. This also holds true for instructors. Some of the most talented people in the industry have gotten up to teach in total non professional attire and hygiene. Trust me…people take it in and note it all! No matter what titles we hold in this industry…there are still standards. I say kudos to the ones smart enough to raise the bar…Respectfully, Chef Laure’l Silverberg

      • I couldn’t agree more. Before getting into sugar arts I was a business executive for 25 years. One of the first things I learned in business was to dress as a professional. Then it meant a business suit. Even “business casual” held the standard of khaki’s and a collared shirt. Don’t expect to be respected as a professional if you look like you just rolled out of bed. This also means we need to know our stuff. Culinary school is not an option for me at this point in my life, though I would die to go. Therefore, I take it upon myself to educate myself in the culinary arts as it applies to this profession. Never stop learning and improving. There is no excuse. I bought the textbooks for Le Cordon Bleu and CIA at Half Priced Books for next to nothing! Personal standards are free – degree optional. I encourage all to step up. You will be delighted you did.

  5. Ruth, I am one of those people Cindy wrote about. If others wear them, I am fine with it, but I have always felt that the coat denoted a degree of accomplishment and I have not felt that I have achieved that degree as yet so I haven’t worn one. I like what you have said and may reconsider. I have never really felt professional when delivering my cakes either. Perhaps if I wore one at that time it would make a difference. I will give it some thoughts thanks to your insight.

  6. Okay, stop harping on me. LOL I can’t wait to get my first one – pink.. I already know the color, just gotta find something I can afford for now.

  7. I love my chef’s coat – I wear it to deliveries and at Bridal Expos and such – it does give you a bit more confidence and makes it all “fit together!” Mine is custom from Crooked Brook and was a worthy investment!
    Thanks Ruth for spreading that confidence!

  8. I have been a Yummyarts member for a long time, and happy you did this blog. You are right, people sees the chef coat as a symbol of professionalism and respond differently. Glad to have met you at Chef Nick’ s in Atlanta. Would love to wear a chef’ s jacket, saving to get one

  9. Thank you, Ruth! This just came up in the Cake Tools group tonight and Scott Russell referred us to your blog! I am so glad to see your insight and now there is no question that I will feel comfortable ordering a chef coat! Thank you so much!

  10. Thanks Ruth, as always your words of wisdom are breath of fresh air. I am glad that you address things such as this. I don’t need a coat to be justified, but it does help to look professional. I appreciate the responses and transparency of everyone who shared. This has been encouraging and given me motivation to move on, this subject has been addressed….NEXT!

  11. Thank you Ruth, having read this article now makes me feel better. I’m a home baker and was always unsure whether I should wear a chef jacket for events and deliveries. I think it would look professional and now I’m sure of it ❤

  12. My husband and I have had this conversation, he is for me wearing the coat and I always say no because I am just bake by order only. Wow It sure is strange when he is right. lol. I have to admit I have wanted a pink coat for a long time now, guess I have to start saving.

  13. I love my chefs coat, it’s the best investment I’ve made! I like wearing it on deliveries and to cake club meetings… People just have more respect for you when you look professional. I can’t wait to see you gals in Austin next year so I can buy another one. =)

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