With open kitchen floorplans becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s restaurants, chefs (and kitchen goings-on) have suddenly become part of the dining experience. Brooklyn-based workwear company Tilit has recognized and reacted to this trend with fully custom chef wear for the modern restaurant, elevating workwear standards for kitchen staff and servers.
Founded in 2012 by service industry veterans Alex McCrery and Jenny Goodman, Tilit was born out of personal frustrations with ill-fitting, outdated chef wear (think starched, double-breasted jackets). Today, Tilit boasts a roster of top-tier clients, from restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Union Square Cafe to hotels like New York’s Soho House. The company’s success is proof that McCrery’s frustrations were widely felt, and that offering a fully customized experience pays off. “We sit down with our customers and work with them to find the best solution for their business,” says McCrery, himself a former chef.
Tilit sources materials that are rooted in traditional workwear but new to kitchen utility — think waxed canvas, Japanese denims and Italian chambrays — and works with clients to select color schemes based on restaurant interiors, even going so far as to design new silhouettes from scratch. “We’re trying to bring back a greater sense of pride in putting a uniform on every day,” McCrery says.