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At a restaurant with a window into the kitchen I saw a chef cracking eggs and pinching the top of the egg whites near the yolk before applying heat. We saw him crack many eggs and he did this every time. Why would he do this?

My best guess is that maybe it helps separate the whites from the yolk but I couldn't find any reference to this technique online.

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Please see the full answer to this SA question , excerpt below:

When you break the eggs into the pan, you will notice that the yolks are surrounded by a higher rounded portion of whites. The secret is to take your fingers and pinch this pile of whites gently until it breaks and the whites in this membrane will redistribute evenly in the pan.

From your description, the chef most likely cracked the eggs into a bowl rather than directly into the pan, but that shouldn't make any difference.

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