Julius Tarng

I design products and experiences.
Holistic, cohesive design expertise – from interaction to UI to code.

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Chef's Portmanteau
Softgood for carrying professional chef tools.
Professional chefs carry an enormous amount of tools daily for work.
Chefs are expected to bring their own tools. Most have an arsenal of knives, specialty cookware, spare clothing, bandaids, recipe journals, dictionaries, and more.
Image flickred by Matt Hinckley.

Chefs are very proud of their career and have a deep bond with their tools.

"I'd rather go through the trouble of lugging my knives to my Dad's for Sunday dinner than use someone else's steak knife."

However, there are no solutions on the market that address their needs.

Knife rolls

Although compact, "they are not durable enough" and "they don't fit everything [chefs] have".

Knife luggage

"[Chefs] need customizability" for their range of tools, and these are inconvenient, unwieldy, and ugly.

Tackle box

Some chefs "wrap [their] knives in cloth and toss them in" these. This does not reflect their bond with their tools or pride as chefs.

How can a practical carrying solution reflect a chef's bond with his tools?

This is the
Chef 's Portmanteau.

Durable, utilitarian, customizable,
and fashionable. "I am proud to be a Chef."

Dual compartments

The Chef's Portmanteau has two separable compartments: one for cutlery, and the other for additional tools, clothing, and miscellaneous items like dictionaries.

The compartments are attached by four buckles, which can be tightened to secure tools inside and prevent damage.



With camera bag inspired velcro dividers, Chefs can customize their bag to fit all of their precious tools safe and sound.

The cutlery compartment contains two trays which can be customized by moving the white clips.

Cutlery tray

The tray is constructed with layered fabric to provide a stiff but soft structure and slots for the rubber-coated separation clips. Both help ensure knives do not damage each other.

             Clip slots

             Foam with PVC backing

Showing off

The sturdy trays make it easy for a chef to show off his dear collection.

First aid

An easy-to-access zipper at the top is color-coded to indicate its function to provide chefs fast access to medical aid.


The fashionable, culinary-inspired design helps chefs show off their pride in their career.

Dining cloth

Red is often used to simulate hunger and is associated with fine cuisine.

Chef coat

A durable (machine washable) white canvas exterior matches their daily work apparel.


Grill-inspired back padding is comfortable, breaths well, and adds a striking contrast to the white and red.

Classy cuffs

Cleans sleeves are a mark of a good chef, and they also inspired the fashionable backpack straps.

Chef's Portmanteau

Fashion, function, emotion.

Designed in collaboration with Dane Pieri & Albert Song.
Featured on WIRED's Gadget Lab, Core77, and The Awesomer, among many others.