It’s always heartwarming on Father’s Day when the kids finally recognize that Dad is not a place to hang novelty ties and decide he deserves gifts that recognize his rightful status as grill master. That joy is diminished, however, when the tendered barbecue gear comes in the form of one of those puffy French chef’s hats or an apron that says “Kiss me I’m the cook.” While we appreciate the double entendre of the message “I like my butt rubbed and my pork pulled,” grill wear built to withstand the rigors of the firepit would be more welcome.
Start with a leather apron from Antaun Maz ($159). Made in Colombia from soft, local cow leather, it not only puts up a shield from the hot fire, it catches splatters that will weather handsomely when rubbed into the material. You can also treat it with saddle soap. A large pocket accommodates other equipment, and buckles and rivets are made of sturdy ironwork. Neck and waist straps adjust for height and girth. Available in tan, brown (as pictured), blue and green.
Since your hands also want for serious protection, you’ll need industrial-strength mitts. Olson Deepak gloves ($17) give you the extra dexterity of individual finger holes. They’re made for welding and soldering, but are also perfect for the barbecue as they are oil resistant. Made of suede cowhide, they have a comfortable cotton inner lining.
Save that toque for making soufflés. For grilling you’ll want the six-panel Bocomal welding cap ($22, available in black, brown and green). Not only is it heat resistant, it can be turned inside out to reveal a plaid lining. Flame-resistant cotton duck protects your mane, while you look stylish.