Many years ago, Jeff told me at one time there were 100 pleats on a toque (That’s the name of a chef’s hat.). And that each pleat represented one way to cook an egg. I was pretty incredulous. I wondered how in the world anyone could cook an egg that many ways. Well, it turns out, he was right.
I discovered pleats, as well as toques, are immersed in rich history. Originally the idea was the more experience a chef had, the more pleats were on his toque. Each pleat signified a technique or recipe he had mastered. And, Jeff was right – at one time, a chef had 100 pleats in his toque to signify the 100 ways he could prepare an egg.
If a pleat holds that much history, I mused, what can we learn about the history of a toque? Where did it come from? And, when did it first appear on the scene?