With the rise of reality cooking shows on television over the passed years and with the launch of Masterchef Australia in 2009 the use of the word ‘Chef’ is used in my opinion far more than it should be. The truth of the matter is that home cook’s enter Masterchef (you are not eligible if you are a professional) and then when they get through the 62 weeks of competition come out the other side often labeled a Celebrity Chef.
It probably doesn’t sound cool enough to call them Celebrity Cook’s but hey that’s what they really are.
Let’s define the difference between a cook and chef….
A cook is generally associated with the home and cooking in your own kitchen for family & friends. This room can be the hub of a home and where many a trained chef may have gained their passion and interest in food to pursue it as a career. I am sure you will remember the fabulous TV cooking series The Cook and the Chef – Maggie Beer being the Cook and Simon Bryant was the Chef.
At home we cook usually on average for 4 – 6 people and a favourite would be the roast chook…. A chef could be cooking up to 20 or more chooks for a busy lunch or dinner service.
It’s not right to call me a Celebrity Chef (which happens often) just because I present food and teach people to cook. I haven’t earned that title by studying the craft at a college or similar level. A Certificate III in Commercial cookery is a three-four year course. I did study for 2 years at Tafe about 30 years ago and here I was taught to present cooking demonstrations, food science, recipe writing, food styling and nutrition to mention just a few and this provided valuable foundations for my career in food.
Chef – a professional cook, typically the chief cook in a restaurant or hotel. A person who works in a commercial kitchen and generally has a team of chefs in various areas of the kitchen. Executive chef, Sous chef, Chef de partie – Station chef many different roles from Pastry chef to vegetable cook. More info here https://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/ChefTitles.htm
I value both chefs and cooks however we really should give them their correct title – Yes Chef – Yes Cook….