when can you call yourself a chef?

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In my opinion you can call yourself a chef when you hold that position. Otherwise you are a line cook, or "cook". I hate those people who call them chefs when they are line cooks and so on. But, this has been the widely debated topic of many. But if you are owning your own business and making things happen with no one telling you what to do, then rock on Chef.
 
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A-yup

The best way to define this thing is the "acid test" as follows:

A "Cook" is judged by what they put on a plate

A "Chef" is judged by how they run a kitchen.

End of discussion
 
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 who can answer my question i have been working as a chef /cook for over 30 years but cant call myself a chef has i have no qulifcations how can i get my life experance  grade 
 
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I am a Culinary Student. So when are you considered a Chef and not just a professional cooK? A Culinarian...if you will?
 
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IMO a chef is the one responsible for the kitchen as in ordering, bookkeeping, scheduling, budgets and when the shit hits the fan If people come looking for you to straighten it out.. You're the chef. Chef = Chief
 
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To Chef Ed,

Hate to say it, but as much as you espouse loving the life of being a chef, there does seem a tad bit of bitterness in your words. It's almost as if being a chef stole your life from you and you are just enjoying your time at the top before (because it seems apparent you don't save for retirement) you go all the way back down to the bottom. 

And then I realized....this post was 12 years old LMAO
 
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I am a Culinary Student. So when are you considered a Chef and not just a professional cooK? A Culinarian...if you will?

When?

When you are responsible for the food cost and labour cost of the kitchen.

Thats when.

O.K. Lets move along folks, thats all there is to this decidedly N.american age old question.
 
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I would ask one of your chef instructors this question. I would use their estimation of your skill in determining whether you should call yourself chef. I am mostly curious if you have experience in sales. Catering of course involves a strong sales talent. 
 
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I would ask one of your chef instructors this question. I would use their estimation of your skill in determining whether you should call yourself chef. I am mostly curious if you have experience in sales. Catering of course involves a strong sales talent. 

You aren't making a whole lot of sense.

Sales is sales, and running a kitchen is running a kitchen. If you do both, you'll fail at one, and have p.o.'d customers. True, many Chefs go on to sales-after leaving the kitchen, but they can't do both well at the same time.

But then again, I'm not a beverage expert......
 
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Pretty impressive run of zombie thread resurrections lately!  Since this one has risen from the grave I'll chime in.  "Chef" is simply the French word for "leader" or "head"..."boss" if you will.  If you're the boss, you're the chef.  Pretty simple.  I get that the word gets thrown around a lot and most of the time it's improperly used (or used colloquially to describe anyone that cooks).  Knowing this place someone will probably be along soon to say that the word has now "evolved" doesn't mean boss anymore.../img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
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I am currently employed in a "yes chef" restaurant, where we are expected to address every other BOH employee as "chef".   Most of the employees (both BOH and FOH) have 5+ years experience in the industry, in varying capacities.  Granted, you say "chef" with a slightly different emphasis when referring to the exec, sous, or CDC, but we're all "chefs" at this place. It lends itself to a more professional atmosphere.  Don't really have a point in saying this. just wanted to chime in with a different perspective.
 
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A post from 2005 a lot of water under the bridge. I wonder what the OP would say about it now. My stock answer to all the cooks wanting to be Chefs was, you can call yourself a Chef anytime  you want. But somewhere along the line your going to need to prove it.........
 
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  I have a neighbor at my apartment complex who always introduces me as a chef, it drives me crazy as I am only two and a half years in as a cook. Granted seven years in F.O.H. quietly observing from the wings and cooking at home has given me an edge I'm still just a cook. Having seen Owner/Chefs, Kitchen Managers, Sous and CDC's and what their responsibilities entail makes me far too humble to call myself a chef. But my neighbor is a sweet, slightly throwed off, older lady. So I always have to get all modest when she introduces me to someone /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif, especially if they work in the service industry as well lol. Same thing happens when someone mentions to someone that I (At a whopping 122lbs and a towering 5'7"!  )  am a former Marine (Yeah 8 years ago when I was 19, for all of 8 months before an honorable discharge at only E-2 with no deployment or M.O.S training) lol.
 
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It's nice to have another New Orleans/South LA native here, there are a few of us about. From NOLA and Thibodaux. A friend of mine was a grill cook at Comanders and gave me one of his embroidered coats, love it! The people here in NC don't even know what Commanders is
 
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Yeah I haven't seen too many south Louisiana users on this forum, so likewise from N.O. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif. I would love to tour Commander's Palace's kitchen at least once. I don't think I could work there anytime soon, seems to me you better have everything set right in your life to attempt a run with them. Maybe I'll give them a shot after around 5 more years, hopefully I'll have grown up abit by then, *sigh* I'ma miss my 20s /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
 
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