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Paul Bocuse, Philippe Etchebest, Cyril Lignac and Norbert Tarayre, we often imagine the chefs standing in white outfits, a hat on their head and with their arms crossed. Particularly popular with cooks, there is nothing trivial about this pose.

In an article published on November 22, 2023, the American media Eater tried to explain the reasons that push chefs to pose in this way during official photos. Here’s what you need to remember!

If we find this pose a lot among politicians, entrepreneurs or simply in a professional setting on social networks like LinkedIn, the promo photo taken from the front with crossed arms is particularly common among great chefs. As journalist Tiffany Leigh who wrote the article explains: “It’s such a waste when you consider all the great options for things to do with your hands in a kitchen.”

But for American photographer Mélanie Dunea, this pose has above all a protective purpose. “It’s a self-protective reflex, it creates distance between you and the camera. When a big black camera lens is pointed at you, it’s intimidating.”explains the artist who has created numerous portraits of well-known chefs in the United States.

For Mark Bowden, an expert in behavior and body language, this position is not just a simple mark of protection. Interviewed by the newspaper, the specialist justifies this posture as a way of positioning himself – in strength – in relation to the kitchen staff, in an almost military relationship. As he explains to the American media, “this pose echoes the language of professional cuisine: aggressive and military. [il y a] orders, fire, brigades, leaders with metal and sharp objects in their hands”relate l’expert.

With this pose, the cooks show – without necessarily being aware of it – the type of power they must demonstrate to hold their kitchen, marking at the same time their confidence, their strength and their ability to resist pressure. But to gain originality, why not try another pose? There is no shortage of choice!


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