Difference between Chef and Cook | Chef vs Cook

Suppose you go to a restaurant and you want to meet the person who cooked your food. What would you call that person a ‘chef’ or a ‘cook’? Now the obvious question that might arise in your mind is that if we call the person who cooks our food in a restaurant as a ‘chef’, why do we call a person ‘cook’ who makes food for any functions or at home? To make sure that you don’t get into any embarrassing situations, this article will teach you everything you need to know about the words ‘chef’ and ‘cook’.

‘Chef’ and ‘cook’ is one among many pairs of words present in the English Language that people find confusing and often end up using interchangeably or synonymously in sentences incorrectly. A person/student who makes this mistake clearly reveals that they don’t have a proper grasp of the English language as they don’t know the appropriate meanings of the words. To ensure you avoid such mistakes, the following points will be explained in detail with examples of how the words ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ are different words. Let’s have a look at them.

Table Summarising the Difference between Chef and Cook




The word chef is used to refer to a person who is a professional food preparer.

The word cook is used to refer to a person who makes food and doesn’t possess special culinary skills.


It is used as a Noun.

It is used as a Noun.


Gordon Ramsay is a world-renowned chef.

My mother appointed a new cook for our house.

After going through this table, you can have the basic idea of whom you can call a ‘chef’ or a ‘cook’. The tabular chart shows that though ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ both prepare the food, they don’t mean the same person, and you can’t use these terms interchangeably. The following in-depth meaning of the words will help you get a clearer understanding of these words.

The Difference between Chef and Cook – Meaning

The primary difference between these two words is just the presence of professional and culinary skills and their post. When we use the word ‘chef’, we always refer to someone who has expert knowledge about food and cooking. People who become ‘chefs’ go through a specialised training/course that helps them to learn refined culinary skills, including cooking, serving, plating the dish. Whereas when we refer to someone as ‘cook’, it simply means a person whose job/work is to prepare food. They don’t have special skills like ‘chefs’ and often work under ‘chefs’. Apart from these points of difference, both the ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ are people who are associated with preparing food.

Example of Chef and Cook

The examples below will allow students to clearly understand the words ‘chef’ and ‘cook’’.

Chef – Sanjeev Kapoor is one of the famous chefs. (noun)

Cook – Our Italian cook made incredible pasta today. (noun)

The moment students understand the difference between the words ‘chef’ and ‘cook’, they can easily apply them in the proper context.

Chef and Cook – Conclusion

In conclusion, ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ can never be used synonymously or interchangeably. This article points out the difference between ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ and makes it easier for students to use them in sentences correctly as well as refer to the proper person. Besides, BYJU’S also offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with.

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