The Gloved Ones

Should chefs really have to wear latex while they cook?

Last night, Slate food writer Sara Dickerman won a James Beard Journalism Award for “Down With Gloves,” her piece on the pros and cons of latex in the kitchen. In the piece she cops to having worked without: “Most cooks I know—including me—hate wearing gloves in the kitchen. That’s probably why you can find so many of us ignoring health-department regulations that prohibit touching food with bare hands.” She also explains the problem: “Gloves are no fun. They make your hands clammy; they make you clumsy; they don’t do well with heat. When you use a mandoline, little slivers of glove always seem to land in the food. And, yes, as with sex, the sensual pleasure of cooking is dulled when there’s latex in the way.”