Cook vs Chef
The difference between a cook and a chef is in the roles they play in the kitchen. Now, if you ask a common man on the street what he thinks about the words cook and chef, he may be bemused for a while, but will tell you that they are synonyms to be used interchangeably for a person working in a kitchen, whether he is overlooking the operations or is actively involved in making recipes himself. However, for those in the hotel industry or the field of catering, the two words cook and chef are entirely different from one another, and denote to people in the same profession, though having different roles and responsibilities. This is apart from having differences in educational qualifications. This article tries to highlight the differences between a chef and a cook to remove all doubts from the minds of the readers.
To some, it may sound bizarre that such important positions in catering are not clearly demarcated, or classified in a proper manner. There are not even schools offering degrees or diplomas that make any distinction between a chef and a cook.
Who is a Chef?
If you have trained under a known chef and have since then moved up ranks, you are considered and labeled as a chef. Chefs themselves vary in their ranks. There are executive chefs, sous chefs, chefs de partie, and so on. A chef has 2-4 year culinary degree. He is a person who has been trained under a seasoned chef with the goals of gaining culinary education, which is equal to a degree. After the completion of the training, the main responsibility of a chef pertains to a supervisory role. He is a person who has the ability to create and implement menus in a restaurant and is considered to be performing the management role in a kitchen.
Who is a Cook?
On the other hand, if you are a person interested in cooking and are passionate about your cooking, you are labeled as a cook when you start your career at a restaurant. There is a school of thought that says that a cook is inferior to a chef. That means they believe a cook is lower ranking than a chef.
A cook is a person who prepares food in a setting on a daily basis. He performs various duties in a kitchen when needed. He cleans and washes the kitchen. He makes use of recipes and follows other’s guidelines.
In culinary training centers and hotels, a cook is always regarded as below a chef in prestige, pay, and career development. However, there are cases where cooks have risen more than expert chefs. There are cooks who have extraordinary talent and their skills surpass those of their chef counterparts.
What is the difference between Cook and Chef?
• Definition of Cook and Chef:
• A cook is someone who cooks food daily as a profession. A cook also can be described as a person still learning how to cook.
• A chef is a cook with a degree and experience in cooking. A chef has passed the stage of learning that a cook goes through and is more in the mould of a manager.
• A cook is still in the process of obtaining a degree or does not have a degree.
• A chef has a college degree in culinary arts, and he also has experience.
• Roles in the kitchen:
• A cook does every job that he is given. Other than cooking the dishes that he is ordered to cook, he even washes and cleans.
• A chef is the person who supervises the kitchen. He does not wash or clean.
• There are no types of cooks.
• There are different types of chefs. Executive Chefs plan the menu and direct the kitchen activities. Sous Chef is the second in command of the executive chef. Saucier is a chef who has specialized in making sauces. Pastry Chef makes the baked food products.
• Usually, a chef gets a higher salary than a cook.
Now that you have gone through each term, you must have an idea about the difference between cook and chef.
- Chef Lorenzo by Jesus Guillermo Lorenzo (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- Cook via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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