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Cook or Chef?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A question. Is there any guidelines or criteria for being called a chef as opposed to a cook. I know culinary trained professionals are called chefs but when or should cooks like myself (self trained or learning on the job) earn the title as chef? Or is it that cut and dried?

In the words of Rosa Anna Rosa Anna Danna "Nevermind", Ah, just saw a similar post and thread. Guess I should learn to search first, lol.
Bill
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Bill
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post #2 of 18
From the old joke I heard...

Whats the difference between a cook and a chef?

The cook still has to clean up after himself.
My life, my choice.....
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My life, my choice.....
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post #3 of 18
A cook is one who has basic knoledge and fundamentals of cooking. A Chef is the person that writes the menus, writes recipes, costs menus and recipes, does the scheduling, controls labor costs, controls food costs, Orders the product, inventories, Hires, fires, teaches, disciplines, and a myriad of other job functions. You don't have to go to school to be a chef. You'll know when you are ready and when you have EARNED the title. Hard work, patience, discipline , and perserverence. From the time you start cooking in a good kitchen it takes 4-5 years to work your way up to sous chef.
I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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I'm a glorified babysitter...........Yippeeee!!!!!!!
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post #4 of 18
Fairfieldchef, do a search on the topic, here on CT. There are numerous threads regarding this very topic. There seem to be quite a few, strong opinions about this subject. Makes for some very interesting reading and some great insights.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Cook or Chef?

Well, in that case I guess I'm a cook! LOL

Thanks to all for the replies and I'll remember to do a search before I ask my next question. I did find a lot of interesting post about chef vs cook.

Thanks again!
Bill
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Bill
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post #6 of 18

Chef or not!

If you wanted to simple explaination...

You can't be called a chef unless you hire or fire, manage cooks, and the BUCK stop at your desk...

We would like to think that you need CHEF PAPERS, but many cooks come out of culinary school calling themselves chefs...:confused:

But in reality, you should work a fair bit of time to really deserve the title of CHEF...
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
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Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well, then maybe I'm a Chef, because I just fired one and hired one! :lol:

Really, I consider myself a cook on the road to becoming, I hope, a chef.
Bill
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Bill
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post #8 of 18
I've always said I'm just a cook, but responsibilities at work have moved me into a chef de partie position. So don't really know where that puts me, all I know is I'm not the executive or the sous. although I have been given the reigns for the odd banquet here and there.
post #9 of 18

P

i would like to say it takes a lot of years of exp to be called a chef but i know some people who have worked as cooks for 12 years... and never made the jump... Some people just don't have the skills,,, ya they can cook but you need to be able to teach and lead, And paper work helps to... and have an over all good set of skills.. I have seen people who are just cooks, out work and skill a chef... its just a name on a paper, its how you act and work that gives you the right to be called a chef...
post #10 of 18
So, where does the Chef de Cuisine fit in to all this?

shel
post #11 of 18
I had always heard that when the people we refer to as "chef" start to call us "chef", we have earned the title. And to the recent culinary graduate, you haven't earned the title so please stop referring to yourself as chef.
Just my opinion though....
post #12 of 18
I am a cook by trade, a chef by title and responsibility.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #13 of 18
Now i know....thanks for the info. this was my question after i graduated Hotel and Restaurant Manaement Degree...LOL i asked it after i graduate hehehe!
post #14 of 18

When you are able to complete a task as done on ICA

Let me explain. I was trained in Omaha in the 80s and have been a line cook. However, I could not be given "a secret ingredient" and come up with 5 different recipes. I think that the test which separates the "cook" from the "chef" (besides some of the others input) is when you can walk into a kitchen...be shown 1 or 2 or 3 items...and prepare a eye appealing, mouth watering meal which is more than just SOS. In other words, I could be given tube pasta, cheese, milk and come up with an excellent Mac N Cheese. However, a CHEF could take those SAME ingredients and make something completely out of the box (nothing that would be obvious) and it would taste great (in most cases), look fabulous and make you "sit up and go Howdy!"

I hope this gets my point across as to when you are called a Chef or a cook. Based upon THIS criteria, I'm a great cook but NOT a Chef by any means.
Cantor Posner aka ChefBoyof Dees

"An Armed Society is a Polite Society"--Robert A Heinlein

"You either Do or Don't Do...There is no TRY" --Yodah
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Cantor Posner aka ChefBoyof Dees

"An Armed Society is a Polite Society"--Robert A Heinlein

"You either Do or Don't Do...There is no TRY" --Yodah
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post #15 of 18
a few people i work with are well, lets just say "the smartest kids on the short bus" and are giving sous or pastry chef positions. its sad really. they call themselves "chefs" but will have a rude awakening working at anyother job.
post #16 of 18

Lots of great answers!  And, sorry, but by the way, etc., it was Emily Litella, not Roseanne Roseannadanna who did the "nevermind" schtick.  :>)

post #17 of 18

this is the best definition and description I can come up with:

 

A cook is judged by what they put on a plate.

Period, end of discussion.

 

A Chef is judged by how well they manage the resources of the kitchen.

 

Look this discussion does not take place in continental Europe, no cook calls himself a Chef.  I did a cook's  apprenticeship in Switzerland.  3 years of split shifts.  At the end of that time there was   2 days worth of written exams, then the final practical, cooking a 6 course meal for 10 people in under 4 hours followed by another two hours of practical "show me how's".  After a month of nervous waiting, I get my papers in the mail.  They state "Cook" in all 4 official languages of Switzerland.  No mistake about what to call myself.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Jim View Post

I am a cook by trade, a chef by title and responsibility.

Sad but true, LOL

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