A restaurant’s uniform, a cook’s armor, a symbol for culinary excellence—the apron is a representation of a cook’s journey, whether it be in a home or professional kitchen. The aprons of Hedley & Bennett withstand the physical hardships of a working kitchen but also exhibit a fashionable statement that highlights the craft, skill, and confidence required of a cook. Each apron is carefully designed by Hedley & Bennett’s founder, Ellen Bennett—who once worked as a line cook at LA’s prestigious Providence restaurant—and then handcrafted with extreme detail by her team of cutters, embroiderers, sewers, & managers in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.
Restaurants, chefs, & purveyors across the nation have looked to Ellen’s apron squad for custom-made uniforms that represent their style and brand. The list of proud owners of Ellen’s aprons runs long but includes Intelligentsia, Ludo Lefebvre, Thomas Keller, Nancy Silverton, David Chang, Mario Batali, and even non-food related brands such as SpaceX and Google. From sourcing the right material (whether it be European linen, American canvas, Italian chambray, or even Japanese selvage denim), embroidering logos, dying the straps of the apron to the restaurant’s colors, to finding the perfect location for pockets, each and every apron has been passed through countless hands of working-class Angelinos that value the art of American-made products.
Through Ellen’s fireball of a personality, work ethic, and passion for looking after cooks—professional and amateur—she has managed to capture the hearts of many who root for her success and growth, including myself, everyone at Life & Thyme, and our partner, FoodieTV, who made it possible for us to document her story.
My hat goes off to Ellen Bennett and her hardworking team as we present our homage—in the form of a short film—that chronicles life at Hedley & Bennett and the creation process of their aprons.
Read our interview with Ellen Bennett