The two terms are used interchangeably to indicate someone working away in the kitchen, regardless of whether that individual is cutting vegetables or masterminding the entire menu. For those who work in the culinary field, however, there is a big difference. Although there is no single professional organization that determines exactly who is a chef and who is a cook, most agree that the difference lies in education and experience. If you have a culinary degree and/or trained under a notable chef and have moved up the ranks, you are typically considered a chef, you can look for opportunities “chefs for hire”. If you simply dabble in the kitchen at home or are just starting out at the bottom of the restaurant totem pole, you are almost always considered a cook for hire.
What Makes a Cook a Cook?
Most people agree that cooks are lower-ranking than a chef, and that “chefs for hire” are themselves vary in rank. For example, an executive chef is the top of the line, while sous chefs, Chefs de Partie, and other professionals might have the right training, but are still working toward their top professional goals.
If you still aren’t sure exactly what it is that makes a chef a chef, consider these qualifications:
A two- or four-year culinary degree
Extensive training under a chef with the goal of gaining a culinary education equal to that of a degree
Why Heat Up Your Pans Before You Start Cooking
- Responsibilities that include a supervisory role
- The ability to create and implement menus in a restaurant setting
- Management roles in the kitchen
A cooks for hire or hired cook, on the other hand, can expect to:
- Prepare food on a daily basis
- Perform kitchen duties, as needed and directed
- Clean and wash the kitchen
- Use recipes and follow someone else’s menu plan
- Still, be at the learning level of his or her career
There are some culinary institutions (including the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks) that offer designations and titles based on testing, work experience, and education. Although many organizations and restaurants recognize these distinctions (and will boost your career accordingly), they aren’t required to be a chef or to be successful in your own culinary career. In most cases, the cook is below the chef in terms of prestige, pay, and career development. However, there are instances in which this isn’t true. There are in Vancouver, Canada Many homes hired cooks or cooks for hire have skills and experience that surpass that of their chef counterparts; they simply may not make claim to the title. Just visit Cooksforhire.com to hire a Chef or Cook in Vancouver BC Canada according to your priorities.