Any way. For me chef or cook is the same meaning Un cuisinier.
To cook is cuisiner in French the action of preparing Food
If I am a Chef there fore I cook.
If I am a Cook there fore I cook
In France only one is call Chef and that is thy Head Chef or thy Head Cooks.
Chef it is a ranking position. The only way for people who does know and call someone a name that he wishes to be call a clear explanation in cool manners and without frustrations of the meaning of the word. But then like in all in Bureaucracy in Modern world they just understand (thanks to the English.) the word Chef instead of the definitions which are below.
The Chef: (le cuisinier) with some clarification of (the Cook: (le Cuisiner or Cuisinier)
A person who prepare food as an occupation in a restaurant, private house, hotel, etc…
Chefs have occupied an important role in society from the 5th century BC onwards and in the middle ages, with the creations of guilds, they constituted a hierarchical community. In France, in the reign of Henri IV, the guilds split up into several separate branches, were responsible for the Grosse Viande (the main cut of meat), pâtissier, dealt with poultry, pies and tarts, and vinaigriers made the sauces. The Traiteurs (caterers) included the master chefs, the cooks, and the porte chapes (the chapes was a convex cover to keep dishes hot) and they had the privilege of organizing weddings and feast, collations, and various meals at home. These Chefs Cuisiniers (Head Cooks) as they were now called, served a period of apprenticeship. At the end of which they had create a masterpiece of meat or fish, and give £6 to each member of the association.
High ranking chefs were revered, some like Taillevent were raised to nobility (they were head cooks at the time) the most famous of all was undoubtedly Careme.
A distinction was made between the Officier de cuisine, who was the actual Cook
From the 18th century onwards Chefs wore a large white hat to distinguish them from their assistants (hence their nickname of Gros Bonnet , Big Hat (as well as that French name got a slang meaning for powerful and high ranking politicians or anyone with influence in societies in Business)
In England in some establishments during the 1820’s the cook holds the title “Master Cook” Not Chef
The patron saints of male and female Cooks are Fortunat (Bishop of Poitiers a famous 7th century Poet) and Radegonde (who founded a monastry of which Fortunat Became a chaplain). Radegonde was an excellent Cook , as testified by this letter from Fortunat, thanking her for a meal that she had prepared for him
“Next a superb piece of meat was brought, arranged in a shape of a mountain, and flanked with high hills, the spaces betweens which were filled with a garden of various stews that included the most delicious products of earth and water……………”
The Modern Chefs: “Taste, Ideas, Skills, Sincerity”
What has really changed over the centuries is the mythology of cookery. “The Ninth Art” formerly reserved for the privileged few, such as guests at large hotels, guests in a few rich households possessing their own Cook …………
“Most Great Chefs and well known Cooks of today are restaurant owners………………….”