What’s the difference between a chef and a cook

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “what’s the difference between a chef and a cook?”. We will also discuss what are the different types of cooks and chefs.

What’s the difference between a chef and a cook?

To put it simply, a cook “is somebody who prepares and cooks food,” whereas a chef “is a skilled and professional cook who serves in a hotel or restaurant.”

Simply said, a chef is someone who has received extensive culinary education and is expected to use that knowledge to provide delicious meals using only the freshest ingredients. When preparing food, a cook often adheres to tried-and-true methods.

To make it as a chef, you’ll need more than just training and expertise, you’ll need the appropriate personality, too. 

Chefs require a positive mentality, a strong work ethic, and the ability to inspire and direct their whole kitchen team. 

The finest chefs are those who like spending time in the kitchen, who strive to improve their skills every day, and who take pride in the results they achieve.

Years of practice in the kitchen are required to accumulate the wealth of information, recipes, and wisdom that one needs.

A cook with training and the aforementioned attributes can become a chef, albeit it will take much longer and will not be as efficient as going to culinary school.

What are the different types of cooks?

Cooks have a range of tasks and always work under a chef. A cook must implement the chef’s culinary vision.

A kitchen may recruit several sorts of cooks. They’re categorized by kitchen section and experience.

Stagiaires are kitchen “interns” Apprentices or culinary school graduates.

Kitchen Porters are upper-level chefs. They help with veggie prep and cleaning. Sometimes they have training. They’re like prep cooks but may have culinary training.

Junior Cooks/Commis work under a line cook to learn a particular sector. They could be trained chefs.

Line Cooks operate a station that prepares a certain sort of cuisine. It’s their everyday job.

What are the different types of chefs?

Chefs may serve jobs ranging from entry-level to executive. A chef in these professions may be responsible for several restaurant responsibilities.

Chefs de Partie manage distinct cooking stations and make meals, sauces, and sides. Sauce, butcher, fish, roast, cook, grill, pantry, pastry, vegetable, swing (who gives breaks as needed).

Under the guidance of the head chef or sous chef, a station chef may produce recipes.

The Sous Chef is the kitchen supervisor. They prepare meals, supervise daily cooking, and act as head chef if needed.

Head Chef est Chef de Cuisine oversees the kitchen, supervises workers, makes purchases, and collaborates with the restaurant management to produce new menus and dishes.

The Executive Chef controls kitchen operations, costs, various sites, and business. They don’t cook daily but can in a pinch. Executive chefs have spent years climbing the ranks.

Private Chefs operate alone or in small teams. They must make various sorts of meals and build personalized menus. A personal chef might prepare on-site for a customer or transport dishes for heating.

A chef is the kitchen’s captain, like a ship’s captain. Chefs must grasp taste dynamics, produce the greatest menu items, and manage the kitchen business. 

A chef serves supervisor and management duties in the company, but may still work closely with his or her team.

Chefs have more training than cooks. This training and education may divide cooks who love their position every day from those who want to use their leadership and culinary abilities on a broader scale.

Training for Chefs

In most cases, a chef will have some kind of formal training in the culinary arts. Chefs get both formal classroom instruction and hands-on experience in the kitchen via apprenticeship programs. 

This prepares students for a career in the food service industry and helps them become well-rounded individuals.

Training for Cooks

The role of cook is generally an entry-level one. The particular duties of a chef vary from establishment to establishment, and no formal education or training is required for entry into the field.

The duties of a cook are more likely to include following established recipes than coming up with their own dishes or menus, therefore they do not need the same level of education and experience as a chef. A cook’s education may be tailored to the establishment in which they work and the cuisines they prepare.


In this brief article, we answered the question “what’s the difference between a chef and a cook?”. We also discussed what are the different types of cooks and chefs.