The Difference Between a Chef and a Cook

ATMOSPHERE, presentation, service, location … all add to the pleasure of dining out. When everything BUT the food is superb, though, it’s like hearing a beautiful lady spout obscenity. It just doesn’t gel.

Without magic in the kitchen, the waitstaff may as well go home.

I’ve been thinking about Chefs and how one becomes a Chef. Maybe it’s the plethora of cooking shows on television. I don’t get to watch them, but my work with Vitamix often puts me in the thick of discussions about how to prepare good food. Or maybe it’s that I’ve become as dissatisfied with restaurants as I am with haircuts: I just can’t seem to find a good one anymore.

To get a better grip on the topic, I launched an Interview request on the best new tool for writers to come down the pike in a long time: MyBlogU.

My buddy, Phil Turner, who dispenses wisdom on the Time Money Problem website, said something about the difference between Chefs and Cooks that struck me as crucial. Said Phil:

A Chef is someone who creates original recipes and has a team of specialist assistant chefs working at his direction.

A Cook is someone who works in a kitchen and follows recipes to prepare meals. A cook may have a team, but the main difference is in terms of the level of creativity required of the role.

I love to cook. I’m not all that keen on doing the dishes, but I love to cook. And I seldom follow a recipe. I love to experiment, to use the foods that are fresh and available, and to turn leftovers into a whole new meal. And I have many times thought about opening a restaurant — but I know nothing about running kitchen. Loving to cook doesn’t make one a Chef.

What is are the potential paths for someone who dreams of being a professional Chef to realize the Dream? I’m hoping some of you can help me find out.

Come on, now. The world needs Chefs … and from the meals I’ve caught on the road lately … it needs them NOW!


  1. Philip Turner says:

    Hey Don, a great illustration of the power of The article is shaping up well.

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