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I don't know about disrespect so much, but in my experience, those under a boss, many times feel like they could do the job better than the boss.

There are always at least three sides to every story. In this case there is yours. There is your boss's. There is reality.
head chef is lazy, avoids work as much as possible
Could be that when he is avoiding work, he is actually doing paperwork, scheduling,, ordering, talking to purveyors, etc.
goes missing from the kitchen very often thought out service leaving one chef to cope with very busy rushes.
Could be that when he is avoiding work, he is actually doing paperwork, scheduling,, ordering, talking to purveyors, etc. and the rushes might be very manageable (comes down to perspective, what you might view as a rush, I might deem as a walk in the park).
equipment in the kitchen is barely working making service very difficult to cope with the volume of tickets.
In what way is the equipment barely working? Also he may agree with this opinion and has expressed as much to owner, who has yet another opinion and adds another side to the story.

I am not taking the chef's side. I am not taking your side. It is too hard to provide a solid opinion from this side of the keyboard having only heard your side. What is obvious though is that the chef is not meeting your standards.
My frustration is being noticed and is starting to cause friction.
You might ask chef if you could come in on a day off/ off the clock, just to shadow chef for a day to give you a better perspective of things from his side and widen your knowledge at the same time.

On a side note
coughing on food with out washing hands
Washing your hands ain't going to make coughing on food any more sanitary :~) /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif " just ribbing you a bit"
 

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I tried to play devil's advocate in my reply, but some head chefs just aren't salvageable and it is sounding more like your head chef might fall into this category. Look for a more positive atmosphere with a strong chef and where teamwork is not just a word, but actually exists. Life is too short to pull other people's weight.
 
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