Professional cook the same as chef? It is a question that many ask regularly. The truth is that  being a professional cook or being a chef  are terms that are often used interchangeably. 


Even the line that separates them has become almost imperceptible. But technically speaking, the chef is a person who must necessarily have a professional qualification and must prepare food in  a professional environment. 

For his part,  a cook  may not even be professionally trained and may or may not be working in a  professional environment . For example, you may be a staff member in a residence where you prepare  food and manage the kitchen staff. 

The  chef de cuisine  most likely has under his command a team of cooks in a restaurant or hotel. Consequently, a cook is regarded as a lower title than a chef or head cook. 


The profile of the professional chef : Differences between a professional cook and a kitchen chef


We are now talking about the  professional chef profile and its qualities.  In this sense, a  professional chef  must have an exceptional vocation and discipline.

His profile is related to creativity, hygiene and organization. Consequently these are the most important aspects in the profile of a professional chef: 

  • It should be clean and computer . The professional cook must apply these two aspects whenever working in the kitchen. Your body grooming should be daily, both body, hands, face and hair. Cleanliness and organization also apply to kitchen tools and utensils. 
  • You must also be polite . Professional cooks have to be educated people and show composure. They must be friendly, social and willing to provide the best service. They must show interest, good behavior and enthusiasm. 
  • Have a vocation . It is undoubtedly one of the most important qualities in the professional cook. It means that you must have a special motivation that leads you to prepare dishes from the mixture of ingredients and flavors. 
  • The organization . Another key aspect of the professional chef’s profile is organization. You must perform your tasks in order, as well as develop a capacity for foresight 
  • You must also know how to work in a team . A professional cook must be willing to work as a team. All the tasks carried out in the kitchen are possible thanks to the fact that each employee carries them out and if someone does not comply, this affects the final dish. 

Along with the above, the  profile of the professional chef  also involves being efficient, responsible, having manual skills, as well as a high tolerance to stress.

Of course you must also be dynamic and active, innovative and self-critical with your work.

The specialized training is also important to be a good professional chef. Our gastronomy courses offer you global and specialized training at all levels to be able to work in this sector.

Professional Cook


Professional Cook

What does it mean to be a kitchen chef (your responsibilities) 

When speaking of  a professional cook  as well as a chef, responsibilities must be taken into account. In this way, the differences between the two terms can be more clearly established. 

A chef means being responsible for the following: 

  • Take over the general organization of the kitchen . You must ensure that everything works properly. Manage schedules, delegate tasks, solve unforeseen events, etc. 
  • Place orders . You must establish direct contact with the suppliers to place orders. In this way, the kitchen will always have the raw materials necessary to prepare the dishes. 
  • Keep the kitchen in top condition . The chef de cuisine is responsible for ensuring that the kitchen and everything inside is kept in perfect condition. You must  ensure the proper use of the facilities, as well as the tools and equipment. 
  • Hiring of person . The head chef is also responsible for reviewing profiles and hiring potential candidates to work in the kitchen. 
  • Training . You must also ensure that you train all personnel under your command. In this way, you guarantee maximum performance in the way you want to work. 

Of course, it is also the  responsibility of the chef de cuisine , to take charge of the planning of the work. Not only that, he is the one who prepares the menus and makes sure to listen to the customers.  






How has this profession evolved? 

Being a professional cook or chef de cuisine  is not like it used to be in ancient times. In fact, the role of today’s professional chef has its origins in ancient Greece. 

Cooks, like merchants, have their origins in ancient Greece. Back then, most chefs were slaves. 

But even living under that condition, the chef was the owner of the slaves and servants that were in his environment. 

Suffice it to say that in Athens, a cook was the master of all domestic slaves. As Athenian influence wanes and the Romans flourish, the chef acquires the status of important merchants in society. 

It is in these moments when professional chef societies emerge  . In the Renaissance they acquire greater importance, becoming more sophisticated and more respected in society. 

In the 18th century,  the first professional chef went public . It is no longer exclusive to the nobility. This transition from private to public, together with culinary writing, are aspects of reference for the evolution of the chef. 


They have something in common? 

The common thing about a  chef and a cook  is that to achieve the title of chef, you first have to be a cook. In addition and as has been said before, a cook is a member of  the kitchen chef’s work team. 

Another thing they have in common is that everything that the chef prepares or makes, the chef knows how to do. 

Why is a cook not the same as a chef? What differences are there? : Differences between a professional cook and a kitchen chef


The main difference is probably that  the chef de cuisine  is the one in charge of the kitchen. For his part, the cook is simply the one in charge of transforming food, that is, cooking. 

Of course this does not mean that chefs do not cook. It simply means that all chefs can be cooks, but not all cooks have the ability to be chefs.  

The main differences of the chef with respect to the cook are the following: 

  • Administrative management 
  • The creative firm 
  • Responsibility for all recipes 
  • Work in all areas of the kitchen 

Conclution : Differences between a professional cook and a kitchen chef

And although they may seem the same,  a chef de cuisine and a professional cook  perform different roles. A chef is trained to cook, but may or may not do it, but simply dedicate himself to managing the kitchen equipment. 

The head chef  certainly has many more responsibilities than a professional cook. Not only do you have to make sure that the dishes taste unmatched, but you also have to keep the kitchen running in top condition. 

Regardless of the situation, specialized training makes a difference. Not just to cook well, studies related to cooking include in its agenda other important topics such as food security , food composition or possible intolerances . The training offers you the possibility of progressing and knowing in depth the secrets of cooking and gastronomy. Discover our cooking and gastronomy courses! Differences between a professional cook and a kitchen chef