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Old 05-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #1
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Chef or Cook?

Is there a difference, in your opinion? Is a chef supposedly more educated or creative than a cook? Or do you think of a chef being the term for a male cook? Or is a chef a professional, and a cook a hobbyist?

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
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I'm a cook but I'm not a chef. The guy at the hamburger grill is a cook, but not necessarily a chef. I would consider a chef as a person in charge of others in a kitchen and responsible the food and display from beginning to end.

Heck, many moms with a big family and kitchen could qualify as a Chef. :D
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:27 PM   #3
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Chef is French for chief or person in charge. As Escoffier developed the kitchen brigade system for large hotel and restaurant kitchens, the term obviously stuck internationally.
Cook is an English term and denotes the person in the action of cooking. English households employed heads of kitchens who were know simply as "cook".

Both require not only knowledge of cuisine and competency in cooking, but also in ordering and management of portions, cost, and staff.

A major restaurant or Hotel dining room may employ many chefs (executive chef, sous chef, chef de cuisine, etc) and many cooks (line cooks: grill chef, saute chef, chef de guarde manger [cold kitchen], pastry chef) and on it goes.

not an easy set of words to differentiate as they can be used in so many ways.

Today you hire a cook or caterer for the home and you have hired a "personal chef" go figure!
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:28 PM   #4
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i went to Chef school, till i have my diploma & own my kitchen, though, i will call myself a cook.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Well, what difference does it make as long as everyone is eatin' good? Potato, potaato, tomato, tomaato. You know? Popeye said it best. "I yam what I yam."
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Jane View Post
Well, what difference does it make as long as everyone is eatin' good? Potato, potaato, tomato, tomaato. You know? Popeye said it best. "I yam what I yam."
Yam or sweet potato???

My view has been if it's your profession you are a chef in my eyes - I guess I have one more qualification - it needs to be a restaurant that prepares things from scratch (and takes reservations ) and not just somewhere where you "flip" everything.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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Well, I have to agree with Kitchenelf. If it is your profession to provide fine food for people, you can call yourself a chef. In that case, the title is certainly honorable and well-deserved. I write and call myself an editor:) BTW, yam. Somehow a sweet potato is just a little too sweet. Okay, what's wrong with just being a really fantastic cook? Everyone loves the cook because not everyone can cook. I think we foodies forget that. Anyway, I prefer to call myself a culinary artist.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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Unless certified, one is just a cook. I believe there is a set of qualifications one must have to be considered a chef. My family sometimes says I am a chef, and I make it clear to them I am just a cook.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Jane
"I yam what I yam."
"I'm Popeye the sailor man....Toot Toot!!"


...Around here I am known as the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer!!
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:28 PM   #10
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A chef is title that is earned, either from rising through the ranks of a kitchen, and/or through certification from something like the American Culinary Federation (ACF). It is a misnomer to call yourself or someone else a chef without earning that title.
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