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Cook (profession)

Cook (profession)

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A cook is a person who prepares food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 for consumption. In Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Canada this profession requires government approval (examination after three years apprenticeship).

A cook is sometimes referred to as a chef
Chef
A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

, although in the professional kitchen, the terms are not interchangeable. The executive chef or sous chef is generally never referred to as a "cook."

Professional usage


The term "cook" within a restaurant kitchen usually refers to a person with little to no creative influence on a menu and little to no command over others within the kitchen, such as a line cook. These are usually all members of a restaurant kitchen that are underneath the sous chef in the brigade de cuisine
Brigade de cuisine
Brigade de cuisine is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff, commonly referred to as "kitchen staff" in English speaking countries.The concept was developed by Georges Auguste Escoffier...

. Other establishments may have a relatively constant menu, often only having people that can prepare food quickly and consistently, having little need for an executive chef or sous chef. The kitchens in these particular restaurants would thus be entirely run by cooks. An example would be a short order cook, who is a cook who prepares fast, easily-assembled meals to order, often working in a diner
Diner
A diner, also spelled dinor in western Pennsylvania is a prefabricated restaurant building characteristic of North America, especially in the Midwest, in New York City, in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, and in other areas of the Northeastern United States, although examples can be found throughout...

 or cafe.

Head chef or executive chef


A head chef is a person in charge of one kitchen whereas an executive chef is in charge of more kitchens or of a larger kitchen-brigade. The name "executive" refers to the Latin meaning "acting" power, whereby the Property Manager (Director) or GM (General Manager) would be the "legislative" - deciding power.

Domestic usage


When used of residential staff the word cook may refer to the head of the kitchen
Kitchen
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.In the West, a modern residential kitchen is typically equipped with a stove, a sink with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator and kitchen cabinets arranged according to a modular design. Many households have a...

 in a great house
Great house
A great house is a large and stately residence; the term encompasses different styles of dwelling in different countries. The name refers to the makeup of the household rather than to any particular architectural style...

 or to a cook-housekeeper, responsible for cleaning as well. See Cook (servant)
Cook (servant)
A cook is a household staff member responsible for food preparation. The term can refer to the head of kitchen staff in a great house or to the cook-housekeeper, a far less prestigious position involving more physical labour....

.

History


The first Olympic champion listed in the records was a cook, Coroebus of Elis, who won the sprint race in 776 BC.

Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence
Lawrence of Rome was one of the seven deacons of ancient Rome who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258.- Holy Chalice :...

 is said to be the patron saint of cooks. He is reported to have said as he was being burned at the stake in the third century, "I'm roasted on this side. If you want me well done, it's time to turn me over."

See also

  • Chef
    Chef
    A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.-Etymology:The word "chef" is borrowed ...

  • Chief Cook
    Chief Cook
    A chief cook is a senior unlicensed crewmember working in the steward's department of a merchant ship.The chief cook directs and participates in the preparation and serving of meals; determines timing and sequence of operations required to meet serving times; inspects galley and equipment for...

  • Cooking
    Cooking
    Cooking is the process of preparing food by use of heat. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the world, reflecting unique environmental, economic, and cultural traditions. Cooks themselves also vary widely in skill and training...

  • Personal chef
    Personal chef
    A personal chef is a chef who prepares meals for a client in the client's home kitchen, based on the client's needs and personal preferences. In most cases these meals are left packaged in containers and refrigerated or frozen for the client to enjoy later...

  • Cook (servant)
    Cook (servant)
    A cook is a household staff member responsible for food preparation. The term can refer to the head of kitchen staff in a great house or to the cook-housekeeper, a far less prestigious position involving more physical labour....

  • Domestic worker
    Domestic worker
    A domestic worker is a man, woman or child who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping...