Brought to you in the early 50′s by realtor and insurance agent Joe Hodge this big mouth plastic chef spoon holder, or spoonholder as Joe spells it, is one of my favorites from my collection of fifty or so chefs in the same genre. I especially like this one because of the tongue relief in the mouth/spoon cavity as well as the clef in his chin as most other plastic chefs are flat in both places.
I also like any establishment that might be located on a street named Dairy.
As cute as these vintage spoon holders are they’re incredibly impractical.
If you’re cooking anything on the stove the chef needs to be close enough so the spoon won’t drip all over the place before resting in his mouth. But if he’s that close he’s sure to start melting and will end up poisoning you. So ultimately most of these chefs ended up hanging on people’s walls for decoration as opposed to actually assisting in the kitchen.
Plastic chef kitchen aids were all the rage in the 1950′s. Most popular among the S&P’s, note pad holders and mixing spoon hangers were these double spoon Jolly Chef spoon rests. In the postwar leisure class spending fury that modernized kitchens all over the world no one wanted their Eggplant Parmesan, Beef Stroganoff or Campbell’s Tomato Soup dripping on their new Okeefe & Merritt so the population of these little guys exploded. Of course, many a noxious fume mixed with the cooking smells as spoon rest after spoon rest melted from sitting too close to a burner. So finding one of these in mint condition is a fantastic gastronomical find. This guy has a scarred lip from a tragic spaghetti accident.
Made by Reliance in the USA, the original paper label on this 6″ x 5″ Jolly Chef reads “Heat resistant Styrene. Keeps Stove Top Clean…Attractive Wall Plaque product.” His chef’s hat has a hole for convenient hanging in case you want to keep him out of harm’s way.