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A sushi chef at work
|Catering college; see European training|
A chef is a highly trained and skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation of a particular cuisine. The word "chef" is derived (and shortened) from the term chef de cuisine (French pronunciation: [ʃɛf.də.kɥi.zin]), the director or head of a kitchen. Chefs can receive both formal training from an institution, as well as through apprenticeship with an experienced chef.
There are different terms that use the word chef in their titles, and deal with specific areas of food preparation, such as the Sous-chef, who acts as the second-in-command in a kitchen, or the Chef de partie, who handles a specific area of production. The Brigade system is a system of hierarchy found in restaurants and hotels employing extensive staff, many of which use the word chef in their titles. Underneath the chefs are the kitchen assistants. A chef's standard uniform includes a hat called a toque, necktie, double-breasted jacket, apron and shoes with steel or plastic toe-caps.
The word "chef" is derived (and shortened) from the term chef de cuisine (French pronunciation: [ʃɛf.də.kɥi.zin]), the director or head of a kitchen. (The French word comes from Latin and is a doublet with English "chief".) In English, the title "chef" in the culinary profession originated in the haute cuisine of the 19th century. The culinary arts, among other aspects of the French language introduced French loan-words into the English language.
Various titles, detailed below, are given to those working in a professional kitchen and each can be considered a title for a type of chef. Many of the titles are based on the brigade de cuisine (or brigade system) documented by Auguste Escoffier, while others have a more general meaning depending on the individual kitchen.
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