Difference Between a Chef and a Cook (With Table)

Cooking is not an easy task. We all work hard, and at the end of the day, good food is what we deserve for all the hard work we have done. We can either eat at a restaurant or eat home-cooked food. If we eat at a good high-class restaurant, a professional chef will cook for us. In our home, we get home-cooked food from our family members. 

Chef vs Cook

The difference between a chef and a cook is that a chef is a person who will cook at a professional restaurant. But cook will cook only at their home for family members. If you are a person who wants to gain some professional cooking experience, then you have to take a hotel management degree to become a chef. But to become a cook you don’t have to do that. 

A chef will cook at many professional restaurants. Their work not only lies in cooking but is also assisting other tasks as well. They should be very punctual in their work, and the place they are working should be neatly maintained, and all the proper and necessary measures should be taken care of. Being a chef at a professional hotel is one of the good careers in today’s competitive world.  

Cook are people who will cook only for their family members regularly. Some people may hire a cook for their homes. This is often done by people who are too busy to cook and by bachelors who miss home-cooked food. They will help them to cook food and, in turn, it will help them to gain some money as well. Even nowadays people started to do this as a business for office going people. 

Comparison Table Between a Chef and a Cook

Parameters of ComparisonChefCook
DefinitionCooks in a restaurantCooks for their family members
EducationNeed a professional degreeOnly experience and interest are needed
ResponsibilitiesHave to take care of all the kitchen worksHave to take care of all the home cooking-related works
TrainingThey have to complete training from a professional chefThey don’t have to do any professional training
Career optionsBest careerBest career

What is a Chef?

A Chef is a cook who will cook only in a professional restaurant. These types of people can be found in many high-class and five-star hotels. To become a professional chef, they have to work very hard. One cannot become a chef if he or she can just cook. They have to study it as a career to become a professional one. There are many hotel management courses available out there to become a chef. 

To become more successful, they should have worked under some professional chefs. Under their guidance, they will get much new information and experience, which will help them in the long run. You can become a chef of a particular cuisine if that is what you are interested in. You should have the relevant skills and interest to excel in this field. Without any interest, any job will be bored, and you won’t find happiness in what you are doing.

As a chef, your work not only involves cooking. You can even create your own recipe and menu according to your requirement. You are even required to check whether the food is prepared or not if you are in a higher position. You have to assist the chefs under your position in everything so that your restaurant’s reputation won’t be at stake.

What is a Cook?

A cook is a person who will cook either for their family members or at some other places. To become a cook, they don’t have to earn any professional degree or a particular certificate from a renowned hotel management institute. All they need to have are some relevant interests and skills to become a cook. A cook can cook for a group of members in a particular place. It can be either in a school, office, party halls, and functions.

Cooks can even start a catering business by hiring many cooks like them. Together they can make many food items and serve them to the people they take orders with. This will help them earn money and even start a separate business, which will help other cooks. If you cook at your home for your family members, that is not considered a chef.

This you are doing so because you have to take care of your family members and serve them at the right time. But later, if you find it interesting, then you can take it to a professional level. Many people are busy in today’s world, and they are not at all finding time to eat healthy and proper meals, so they will hire a cook for them. They will cook food for them in a homemade style.

Main Differences Between a Chef and a Cook

  1. A chef is a person who will cook at some particular restaurants. On the other hand, a cook will do work only in their homes.
  2. To become a professional chef, a person should get a degree from a renowned hotel management institute. But, to become a cook, you just need to have skills and interests.
  3. Not all people can become chefs easily. They have to work very hard. But anybody can become a cook if they just follow the recipe in a particular order.
  4. Chefs will research and make some new recipes in their work. But cooks will work only on making the already existing dish.
  5. The work of the chef is to assist people under them in cooking. The work of the cook is taking care of the place by washing utensils and cleaning them. 


Both Chef and Cook used to prepare food. But it depends on the place where they work. Chefs work in a high-class restaurant and have to study this as a particular subject to get a job from a professional restaurant. But cooks don’t have to study any particular subject, or they don’t have to obtain a degree. All they have to do is have some relevant interest and experience in cooking.

Both are good and will be in trend forever because humans work very hard just because they want good food for their hard work at the end of the day. For that, they will be ready to pay any amount of money. 


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1298(199903/04)9:2%3C101::AID-CASP514%3E3.0.CO;2-1
  2. https://archives.joe.org/joe/2015april/a8.php

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