What do you call a professional who cooks in the kitchen?

A chef is a trained professional cook and marketer who is fluent in every aspect of food preparation and often focuses on a particular kitchen. Chefs will generally hold higher-ranking positions in a kitchen. In addition, a restaurant usually has management chefs and specialized chefs. Each type of chef can cover a variety of different tasks, from organizing and training to developing menus and creating recipes.

Becoming a chef requires years of education and experience, from entry-level positions to the ultimate goal of executive chef. Most kitchens are organized into stations or sections, and each one is responsible for preparing different foods or menu items. All the stations together form what is called a line. Each station on the line usually has a different name, but job titles often reflect the experience and skills of the cook.

This can be a little confusing. For example, in larger establishments, the positions of first cook, second cook and third cook are common, but the skills and qualifications of the people who hold these positions may vary from restaurant to restaurant and, in some cases, may be linked to the wage structures included in a union's collective agreement. In addition, many people call themselves chefs when in fact they are cooks in a restaurant or someone who has received culinary training. One of the main factors that differentiates them is the degree of knowledge and training they have had.

If they work in a restaurant, cooks generally have no voice or have little say in kitchen matters, such as inventory. Rather, they can prepare food on a daily basis, following recipes or a meal plan designed by someone else (such as a chef). They may be assigned other tasks and are likely to have additional responsibilities, such as cleaning the kitchen. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a cook is “someone who prepares and cooks food”, while a chef is “an expert and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant”.

If you are currently working as a cook, there is nothing to stop you from becoming a chef if you want to learn more or perhaps specialize in a certain food, for example, becoming a pastry chef specializing in making desserts. Some people argue that cooks also exist in restaurants, and they are usually the ones who follow existing recipes, rarely go astray or experiment. Whether you need an entry-level job or have enough experience to be the boss, there are enough types of professional chef positions that you can find the one that best suits your skills. They are more likely to cook according to the recipes given to them and to flow between different cooking positions as needed.

These definitions imply that a chef is a type of cook, but they differ in that a chef has developed learned skills and has received training. Chefs usually hold entry-level positions in a kitchen and are trained by specialized chefs. Similarly, trained chefs may decide to move away from the kitchens and responsibilities of restaurants and pursue careers that may or may not involve cooking. While the head chef and the subchef are responsible for planning and management, line chefs are responsible for most of the preparation and cooking of food, and many are also responsible for cleaning the kitchen at the end of the night.

While these are the official definitions of cook and chef, people who work in the industry tend to have very strong and often different views on what constitutes each of them. Others would say that cooks simply reheat food, assembling ready-made food to make a dish. The British Columbia Chefs Articulation Committee works in the restaurant industry under an international Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, except where otherwise stated. A preparer's responsibilities revolve around the basics of cooking, such as chopping ingredients, finishing preparation lists, properly labeling stored containers, and cleaning countertops.


Thomas Blackbum
Thomas Blackbum

Passionate beer advocate. Award-winning social mediaholic. Evil social media enthusiast. Hardcore pop culture advocate. Proud coffee buff. Amateur beer junkie.

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