Yesterday’s Front Burner column featured a photograph of two culinary students stuffing Roma tomatoes with mushroom duxelles.
An alert reader called me yesterday afternoon to ask me a question about that picture: Why aren’t those students wearing gloves?
It’s the second time I’ve heard that question since I started covering the food beat. The last time, I shot a video of a man making cheesesteaks without gloves.
Thinking back on Thursday’s event, I’m pretty sure that some of the chefs did wear gloves while they prepared food. But more than half, I’m sure, did not. And since I’ve been hanging out with a lot of chefs over the past year or so, I’ve noticed it is not a practice that is always followed.
This morning, I called up Robert Parker at the Virginia Department of Health to ask him whether chefs are supposed to wear gloves. My bet is that they aren’t required to — otherwise, why would so many of them choose to go without?
“I think we’re all starting to pay attention to that, and that’s a good thing,” Parker said.
I wanted to have an answer for you all right now, but Parker wanted to check with the proper folks at the health department for an accurate response. As soon as I hear back from him, I’ll be back with an update.
Meanwhile, what do you think? Should chefs be required to wear gloves?
I know there are a few chefs reading this blog, so I’d love for them to chime in and answer this question: What are the issues that need to be considered here, from your perspective?