Note: This article originally appeared in our “Find the Fork” newsletter for the National Restaurant Association Show. Above, Chef Elizabeth Falkner is photographed by Chef Works in her Executive Roxby Chef Coat.
It should come as a surprise to no one that Chef Elizabeth Falkner is spending her days running around. That’s very much in the literal sense as much as the figurative sense.
She’s already logged 15 half-marathons and she wrapped up ChefsCycle last month, where she raised $8,500 for No Kid Hungry – part of a nearly $2 million effort. In between she’s spreading her time among any number of charitable organizations – including (RED), City Harvest and No Kid Hungry, to name a few.
Oh yeah, she’s also a brand ambassador for Emmi Cheese, on the Celebrity Chef Council for Envision for Compass Group, president of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs and she’s working on yet another book. This next one is a memoir.
“I’ve had so many different kinds of jobs and work with so many different people that it’s tough to keep track of it sometimes,” Falkner said with a chuckle. “But this past year I’ve really spent a lot of time focusing on food policy and food sustainability. That’s been a big issue for me.”
It’s why she was the emcee in San Diego last year at WASTED – a sustainable food competition put on by Chef Works.
And in between it all, the James Beard-nominated chef even found some time to cook! And the way she presents herself varies from job to job.
“I’ve always been a person crossing two generations,” Falkner said. “I’ve been cooking for almost three decades and I was brought up in kitchens where we wore polyester jackets and houndstooth polyester pants. Around the time I was in San Francisco, we started seeing some new apparel that broke away from those traditional looks.”
Chef Falkner can go professional in an Executive Chelsea Chef Coat and Uptown Cross-Back Bib Apron. But when she keeps it casual, she goes with a t-shirt and apron pairing.
And with those new looks came an added level of comfort and efficiency.
“Chef Works is the perfect clothing for me for a number of reasons,” Falkner said. “I come from a chef coat world. I still do events with French chefs or chefs from that generation and I’m usually wearing my Chef Works chef coat. At the same time, when I’m doing television, or cooking on the rooftop in Brooklyn in the summer, I’m going to go casual and I love all of the aprons from Chef Works with the different pockets and fits.”
Because she’s a hybrid chef from multiple generations, Falkner doesn’t like to pigeonhole herself into one style.
“I’m such a rebellious punk rocker kind of person that I don’t really focus on developing a brand,” she explained. “Even though I had a successful patisserie way back when with a great name (Citizen Cake), I hated being stereotyped. I don’t identify as one particular kind of chef or uphold one image.”
Diversity is the name of the game for Falkner – in her apparel and her life. She spreads herself across so many different types of jobs, charities and cooking opportunities that what she’s wearing needs to be functional and fit the job.
“Chef Works has options,” she said. “That’s why it’s the perfect clothing for me.”