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In Chef’s Footsteps

Delving into the bustling world of culinary artistry, we caught up with Marizen Smit, a dynamic chef from the JAN Innovation Studio, presently lending her expertise to the vibrant atmosphere of Restaurant JAN in Nice, France. In our quick-fire Q&A, she shed light on the ever-moving lifestyle of a chef and the crucial role that wardrobe choices play in navigating the energetic rhythms of a kitchen.

How important is comfort in footwear when working long hours in the kitchen?
When selecting the right footwear as a chef, you have to consider things like comfort, safety and support. Finding the right footwear to withstand the long hours in the kitchen is an absolute game-changer, and that’s exactly what Birkenstock have done. Those marathon hours on my feet have become way more manageable in my clogs!

How have your Birkenstocks held up in terms of longevity?
I’ve only had my Birks for just a few months, but in seeing the older pairs worn by fellow chefs, it’s clear they’ve stood the test of time! They’re an investment that pays off in reliability and durability.

With the constant use of liquids in the kitchen, how effective have your Birkenstocks been in terms of slip resistance?
My clogs seem to be set on cruise control! I’m able to work through spills and keep up the fast pace. They are really well designed to handle the unpredictability of the kitchen floor!

Kitchens can be hot and humid environments – how well do your Birkenstocks handle moisture and temperature?
Kitchen life can be tough on footwear with the extreme temperatures, constant exposure to liquids, and frequent deep cleaning. Amazingly, these clogs hold their own! They keep their shape and integrity, enduring the daily grind without showing wear and tear.

Standing on one’s feet for such extended periods of time must take a toll on your feet! How do the Birkenstock clogs provide comfort and support?
The arch support in Birkenstocks is a real game-changer. It’s definitely my secret weapon against foot fatigue, especially during our long shifts… they help my feet keep up with the pace without feeling the strain.

Kitchens can get messy… how do you keep your shoes clean?
Easy maintenance is a must in a busy kitchen, and thankfully the Birkenstock clogs are super easy to clean. Regular care keeps them looking sharp, so I try to clean mine every day. They also last longer if you polish them.

Have you used other types of footwear in the kitchen? If so, how do the Birkenstock clogs compare in terms of performance?
I’ve tried a few different shoe brands, but Birkenstocks stand out in how well they protect your feet in the kitchen – they’re like body armour in such a bustling environment! 

Birkenstocks mould to the wearer’s feet over time… how has the personalised fit affected your experience?
Breaking into a new pair of clogs can take a little time, but once they’ve moulded to your feet, it’s like they were made for you! The fit become so natural, you almost forget you’re wearing shoes!

While comfort is critical, aesthetics also matter. How do Birkenstock clogs fare are in terms of style and appearance in a kitchen setting?
They look really professional, especially when the whole kitchen crew is wearing them! It’s like a subtle badge of our culinary camaraderie.

What is the best thing your Birkenstocks have enabled you to do?
Wearing my Birks means I can keep up the pace in the kitchen without feeling beaten down. They’re truly my secret ingredient for staying agile and swift during service, allowing me to focus on the food, not my feet!