A chef is a trained and skilled professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation of a particular cuisine. The word “chef” is derived from the term chef de cuisine (French pronunciation: [ʃɛf.də.kɥi.zin]), the director or head of a kitchen. Chefs can receive both formal pieces of 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.