If you can't stand the heat: chefs' top five ways to keep cool

01 July 2015 by
If you can't stand the heat: chefs' top five ways to keep cool

With most of the country sweltering in temperatures of 30°C-plus today and this week (and some parts of the UK hitting 36°C) we asked chefs their best ways to keep cool when it's hot outside…even if the head chef's not feeling so chilled.

1. Sit in the cellar
Making good use of what they've got, the chefs at the AA Rosette Swan gastropub in Bampton ( ), Devon, tweeted us this photo of the barrels in their cellar as they sat in the space as a way to cool down. We reckon the actual cider would probably help a bit as well…


2. Chill in the freezer
We don't just mean temperature-wise: Oisin Rogers ( ) at the Canonbury pub in Islington, north London, let us know he'd found his entire brigade with a "boombox and homemade lemonade", "taking a break" in the walk-in freezer. Well, if life gives you lemons…! Sounds like a plan to us

Photos: Rex Shutterstock; punters enjoying the garden at the Canonbury pub, @TheCanonbury

3. Drink more and wear less - no, not like that

When it's hotter than a witch's cauldron and you've got nowhere to hide, getting enough liquid is key. Chef Kirt Hall, who works in a major bank's kitchen in London's Canary Wharf, wrote on Facebook that there "was no escaping the kitchen", and that short sleeves and drinking plenty of water were the only options. Stay hydrated, folks (and try to avoid your head chef slashing your whites, like Marco Pierre White infamously did to one of his sous chefs, Jason Everett, who moaned he "was too hot")

Photo: Rex Features4. Accessorise, accessorise If you're going to melt into a big, sweaty mess, you may as well look good. Mark Brown ( ), VIP chef at Glitzy Events and menu design consultancy LastSupper, sent us a dashing photo of himself in sunglasses, as he battled with another source of heat - actual fire. He accompanied it with the hashtag "#LikeAGangster". Gives new meaning to the phrase "throwing shade"…


" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">@Browny7879

5. Take a dip
We don't recommend having a swim mid-service, but if you're lucky you might get a chance to dip your toes in a nearby pool or fountain in between times, like Rebecca Farringdon ( ) founder of Indulgence Catering and the café Poolside Indulgence, in Penzance, next to the town's Jubilee Pool. Trouble is, the hotter it is, the busier she gets, so taking a break isn't easy. Better dive in as soon as you get a second, we think


All jokes aside, there are regulations controlling temperatures allowed in the workplace, including kitchens. Sadly, though, most professional ventilation plans are designed to avoid residue build-up and nasty fumes rather than give staff a cool breeze.

And yet, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK, the acceptable temperature in a professional kitchen is generally considered to be anywhere between 20 and 28 degrees, and employers have a legal responsibility to make sure that the temperature of the workplace is within these reasonable limits. See more advice and regulations on the HSE website.

Hottest day of the year: advice for employers >>

TagsChef and Careers
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking