what is the difference between a cook and a chef

what is the difference between a cook and a chef

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To easily reply this query, a chef is a person who’s educated to know flavors, cooking strategies, create recipes from scratch with recent elements, and have a excessive degree of duty inside a kitchen. A cook dinner is a person who follows established recipes to arrange meals.

Whereas the definition of every function covers the fundamentals, there’s a deeper story behind the variations. There’s a big range of variations between a chef and a cook dinner, and we’re taking the time to clarify these variations on this article.

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Kitchen Hierarchy

To higher perceive who’s a chef and who’s a cook dinner, it helps to know the profession path that the 2 careers will take. Cooks & cooks might carry out related overlapping capabilities, however the actual distinction turns into obvious once you step out of the kitchen.

When a cook dinner walks out of the kitchen, she or he is just about carried out for the day. Outdoors the kitchen, cooks nonetheless have to fret about updating their menus and ensuring that each one administrative duties like schedules and payroll are taken care of.


There are a number of forms of cooks that may be employed right into a kitchen. They are often damaged down on which a part of the kitchen they work in and their expertise.

  • Stagiaires are “interns” within the kitchen. They’re both enrolled in an apprenticeship coaching program or might be recent out of culinary faculty.
  • Kitchen Porters are cooks in higher degree kitchens. They help with the essential cooking capabilities like vegetable preparation and a few cleansing duties. They might possess some degree of coaching however not at all times. They’re just like a prep cook dinner however might have culinary coaching and are working their method up.
  • Junior Cooks/Commis are people who work underneath a line cook dinner to learn to run a selected part of the road. They might or might not have culinary coaching.
  • Line Cooks are the cooks who run a selected part of “the road” which is a station that prepares a selected kind of meals. They focus on that space and it turns into their day by day duty.

Cooks fill a wide range of roles, and can at all times work underneath a chef to make the kitchen operate. A cook dinner’s overarching duty is to assist execute the chef’s culinary imaginative and prescient.


Cooks can fill many roles inside a kitchen from introductory roles to government degree positions. In these roles, a chef could also be liable for a wide range of duties to make the restaurant run.

  • Chef de Partie (Station Cooks) run particular person stations inside a kitchen and put together the precise dishes and sauces or sides. Some examples of stations embody: sauce, butcher, fish, roast, fry, grill, pantry, pastry, vegetable and swing (who offers breaks as wanted). A station chef might create recipes primarily based on their speciality and underneath the route of the top chef or sous chef.
  • Sous Chef is the deputy chef who’s the direct supervisor of the kitchen. They’re answerable for making ready meals, supervising the day-to-day cooking and filling the function of head chef if there’s not one current or must fill in.
  • Chef de Delicacies is the top chef. Head cooks are the people working the kitchen on the everyday – assuming supervisor duties, supervising workers, making purchases and dealing with the restaurant supervisor to create new menus and recipes.
  • Government Chef is the highest chef who manages kitchens primarily based on operations, price, managing a number of areas, and the enterprise facet of the kitchen. They don’t historically cook dinner on the day-to-day however they definitely have the power to in a pinch. Government cooks have climbed via the ranks for years to earn this place.

Private cooks are additionally an choice as effectively. Private cooks typically work in non-public kitchens alone or in small groups. They have to be capable to put together meals of every kind and design extremely custom-made menus for his or her clientele. A private chef might both cook dinner on location for a shopper, or create and ship meals to be heated at supply.

Like a captain of a ship, a chef represents the very best degree of the kitchen hierarchy. Cooks are anticipated to not solely perceive complicated taste dynamics and methods to create the perfect menu objects, but in addition handle the enterprise facet of the kitchen. A chef fills each the supervisor and supervisor roles throughout the enterprise, but should work intimately together with his or her crew to make sure that issues run easily.

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Culinary College and Schooling

One of many principal distinctions between a chef and a cook dinner are their ranges or training. This coaching and training can separate those who get pleasure from cooking and carry out their function day by day, and those that are captivated with making use of their management abilities and culinary experience on a bigger scale.

Chef’s Schooling

A chef is usually educated and sometimes possesses a culinary diploma. Cooks endure classroom-style training and intensive kitchen coaching in apprenticeships to know the ideas and study from somebody with sensible expertise. This teaches them the ins and outs of the kitchen, makes them well-rounded, and invaluable property to any eatery.

Cook dinner’s Schooling

A cook dinner place can typically be entry degree. There isn’t a prerequisite diploma or coaching program, and the specifics of a cook dinner’s function will depend upon the person place of employment. Cooks don’t require the coaching and background {that a} chef does as they’re typically tasked with following recipes moderately than creating them or drafting new menus. Cooks might be educated primarily based on the place they’re working and the forms of meals they cook dinner.

Chef vs Cook dinner: Expertise

With a view to grow to be a profitable chef you’ll not solely want expertise, but in addition the correct kind of character. Cooks must have a persevering angle, an important work ethic, and the power to provoke and lead a whole kitchen workers. The perfect cooks wish to be within the kitchen, study one thing day by day, and are captivated with consistently enhancing their dishes.

These behaviors and traits will enable you to to make the excellence of chef. It’s potential to be thought of a chef with out the culinary faculty although. It takes a few years gathering data and recipes, and experiences that may solely be gained of years within the kitchen. A chef might be obtained quicker and extra effectively via faculty, however a cook dinner with expertise and the traits of above also can attain this distinction, simply with so much longer time handed.

Cook dinner vs Chef: Salaries

A cook dinner’s wage relies upon closely on their degree of expertise. For cooks which are beginning out recent with no expertise, the nationwide common is round $12.18 per hour. This equates to round $23,00 yearly. If they’ve extra expertise, they will probably earn as much as $15.00 to begin and wage would improve over time. Whereas expertise, location, and background do play a task, these are the typical salaries. Under are a few of the common salaries for a few of the cook dinner positions mentioned:

  • Line cook- $13.51 per hour ($39,429 yearly)
  • Prep Cook dinner- $12.38 per hour ($28,878 yearly)

A chef’s wage begins round $15.00 per hour. That is the nationwide common beginning out. This comes out to simply over $31,000 a yr. They will earn considerably extra all through the profession and might differ relying on location. The next are common salaries that cooks now we have mentioned can earn:

• Head Chef- $17.11 per hour ($35,588 yearly) • Sous Chef- $16.08 per hour ($33,446 yearly) • Government Chef- $28.53 per hour ($59,342 yearly) • Private Chef- $27.71 per hour ($57,636 yearly)

Professionals of Being a Chef

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There are lots of advantages to pursuing a profession as a chef. The next are a few of the superb alternatives that include the title.

  • Inventive Freedom: Cooks are restricted to following recipes and lack the coaching that’s required to know complicated taste profiles. Whereas cooks could make superb meals as effectively, they don’t have the power to construct new recipes or menus in eating places.
  • Each Day is Totally different: You’ll by no means have the identical day on repeat. Every day presents new alternatives to study, follow, and specific your creativity on the plate.
  • First Dibs on Meals: When you’re cooking, you’ll be attempting every dish to look at the style, which means you’re consistently consuming superb meals ready by your self and others within the kitchen round you.
  • At all times Studying and Coaching: You’ll have the chance to coach with many superb professionals. After you have developed in your profession, you’ll then be capable to share these experiences with different up and coming cooks and cooks.
  • You Are Your Personal Boss: You’ll have the power to maneuver to many various roles within the kitchen, supervisor positions, and even open your personal enterprise. Due to the various coaching, you possibly can transfer laterally anyplace with a kitchen or begin your personal.
  • Crew Management: You gained’t be by yourself and get to be part of a tremendous workforce. Many kitchen groups grow to be close-knit households by which they construct a constructive surroundings so that you can work and develop in.
  • Respect & Authority: Having the title implies that you’ll have the respect that comes with it. The title means that you’ve superior to the forefront of your discipline, possess the expertise, and the coaching wanted to succeed.

Chef Working Hours

Cooks and cooks typically work lengthy hours. Beginning out, you’ll really feel such as you dwell out of the kitchen. Whenever you get residence, you’ll odor like a kitchen. This can be a cultural norm for the culinary world, because it takes time and follow to excellent the craft and achieve the experiences.

Cooks start by working 50 to 70 hours per week. This could embody early mornings or late evenings, weekends, and holidays. As you’re employed your method up and also you’re in a position to delegate extra duties, you could work much less hours and strategy a extra regular 40-50 hour work week.

With such lengthy hours, you’ll get used to being within the kitchen, develop shut bonds along with your workforce, and be capable to manifest your ardour and creativity onto a plate. On the finish of the day, extra hours means extra follow – so regardless that the work/life stability might be troublesome, your time spent within the kitchen won’t ever be wasted.

Wrapping It Up

Cooks and cooks are each invaluable property to a kitchen workers. They every fill particular person roles that may assist a kitchen to operate easily. However, a chef possesses the next degree of expertise and training that the function requires. Due to this key distinction, cooks earn greater salaries and carry out completely different ranges of capabilities.

Cooks are sometimes greater within the kitchen hierarchy due to the coaching and it’s mirrored of their pay. They work lengthy hours to grow to be consultants on the craft and excel at utilizing the kitchen as a software to precise their creativity. With that stated, all the arduous work leads them to reap advantages which are distinctive to their discipline.

Contact Us Immediately

In case you are fascinated about turning into a chef or just taking your culinary profession to the subsequent degree, you’ll want knowledgeable steering, coaching, and mentoring to show you the required abilities. Attain out to considered one of our culinary professionals in the present day to seek out out particulars on enrollment and the assorted applications we provide.

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