When Ellen Bennett started out in the culinary industry, her intention was to work her way through the kitchen. Learning to tourne carrots and perfect sauces were part of her plan, but little did she know that she would soon be sitting atop a burgeoning business that counts chefs David Chang, Jonathan Waxman, Vinny Dotolo, April Bloomfield, Tyler Florence, and Marcus as some of her biggest fans. And that’s just a start of the names that adore the 25-year-old’s Hedley & Bennett Apron collection.
Named for her grandfather and herself, Ellen Bennett was tired of donning ugly and ill-fitting aprons that caused her more headache than getting perfectly crispy fish skin as a cook at Providence restaurant in Los Angeles. Tight neck straps, strings that dug into her side after hours on the line, and lack of pockets led Ellen to consider a side business–why not craft custom made aprons that could be personalized to the chef or cook? With little knowledge of sewing, Ellen took to fabric stores and trim shops to fashion her ideal apron–ones that were made from denim, linen, and chambray–and had fun with colorful ties and patterns. What was left were aprons that fitted well against the body, could be worn for hours on end, and had plenty of pockets for tools, pens, notepads, cell phones, you name it. No detail was left out and the industry has taken notice.
Armed with samples and a good roster of contacts, Ellen started making calls to chef and chef friends and sent aprons all over the country. Her attention to great fabrics and excellent construction was quickly noticed, and a glance on her blog shows she has made lifelong fans. Marcus included Hedley & Bennett aprons in his recent People Magazine gift guide for cooks and you’ll find it hard not to see her signature “&” logo in some of the best restaurant kitchens across the country. And you can’t miss her kid’s aprons…for the savviest culinary mini-me’s around.
To order Hedley & Bennett aprons or to learn more about Ellen, visit her web site hedleyandbennett.com