A chef and a cook are different. To most of people these terms have the same meaning. However, if you work in the hospitality industry you should know that there is a big difference between a chef and a cook. This difference regards to the person’s education and experience.
Generally a chef is a person who got a culinary degree or has been trained under a distinguished chef and has move up the ranks. On the other hand, a cook is someone who just started out at the bottom of the restaurant by working as a kitchen hand.
What makes you a cook?
As a cook you:
• May not be professionally trained
• Still be at the learning level of your career
• May not be working in a professional setting
• Use recipes and follow someone else’s menu plan
What makes you a chef?
As a chef you:
• Are responsible for the soul of the food. A chef should not require the directions part of a recipe
• Have the capability to manage roles in the kitchen
• Have a culinary degree of 2 or 4 years
• Have responsibilities that include a supervisory role
A chef and a cook
A chef is not better than a cook. Generally they are. However, a number of chefs are not as good at cooking as any number of amateurs. Also it’s easy to find a number of cooks who are better at cooking than chefs. Therefore, to be good at the kitchen as a chef and a cook will not depend on your “title” but on your experience.