Chefs Jon and Vinny on why the Restaurant Industry Needs New Sneakers

Event, Fashion, Food, Interview, Photography,

Chefs Jon and Vinny on why the Restaurant Industry Needs New Sneakers

Vans invited me to attend their event at Jon & Vinny’s restaurant to celebrate their collaborative line of shoes specifically designed for use in the kitchen/restaurant environment. I was excited to finally taste the restaurant’s menu that night as I tried to go a couple of times without a reservation and the wait was crazy. I went there early to interview chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, as well as the Vans VP Doug Palladini. I ended up learning a lot about the food service industry from these guys, I never realized how physically demanding the job was! During the interview process I managed to break the story about the Vans kitchen shoe program getting a wide release for public consumption ahead of its official announcement. I made sure to photograph the event and the shoes on display to accompany the interviews for a proper post on HYPEBEAST.

Can you talk about what chefs usually wear in the kitchen?
For functional reasons, they’re all wearing these rubber shoes, like Crocs. And they’re doing that because they want something they can just throw in the dishwasher at the end of the night and come back the next morning and their shoes are clean. Right next to them, you have the kids wearing Vans, and they’re wearing regular, straight-up, classic Vans with Canvas outsoles, and they look like they’ve been through a hurricane. So okay, they want to wear Vans all the time, we just have to do a couple functional things for them. We want to be able to hose all of the shit off at the end of the night. They have to stand in them all day so we want to reinforce the footbeds, and let’s think about the bottom units and what we can do there to provide more anti-slip, because you know there’s oil and water that gets in the floor there. That’s all they wanted.