Cook (profession)

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Two restaurant chefs

A cook is a person who prepares food 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, although in the professional kitchen, the terms are not interchangeable.

A group of professional and aspiring cooks in a hotel kitchen (1990)

Professional usage[edit]

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. 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, one who prepares fast, easily-assembled meals to order, often working in a diner or cafe.

Domestic usage[edit]

When used of residential staff the word cook may refer to the head of the kitchen in a great house or to a cook-housekeeper, responsible for cleaning as well.

A cook at work (15th- or 16th-century German illustration)

History[edit]

Professional cooks were used in Mycenaean Greece and they are mentioned in Linear b syllabic script.[1][2] The first Olympic champion listed in the records was a cook, Coroebus of Elis, who won the sprint race in 776 BC.[3]

Lawrence of Rome, traditionally a patron saint of cooks and roasters, 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."[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ancient Greeks Used Portable Grills at Their Picnics, LiveScience
  2. ^ How to Cook Like a Mycenaean, Archaeology Magazine
  3. ^ Food History Timeline from foodreference.com
  4. ^ Prida, Delores (May 6, 2008). "Modern Holy Helpers". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-10-24. "One strange departure is St. Lawrence, patron saint of cooks. He was no chef, but he himself was roasted to death in a large 3rd-century barbecue.During his torture he’s credited with saying, 'I’m roasted on this side. If you want me well done, it’s time to turn me over.'"