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Chefs Trade Fancy Jackets for Carhartts to Cut Costs During Covid

At renowned Philadelphia restaurant Fork, owner Ellen Yin spent $17,500 in 2019 dry-cleaning the chefs’ jackets and uniforms. This year the chef whites are gone, and so are the cleaning bills.

It’s another way the pandemic has changed the profile of the restaurant business, possibly for the long haul. At Fork, the formality of a well-pressed chef’s jacket became irrelevant when the dining room closed in March. Fine dining gave way to pickup and takeout food, and the menu shifted from $40-plus tiger prawns to $21 chicken pot pies. And chef de cuisine George Madosky transitioned to shirts