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A chef is a trained professional cook who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation, often focusing on a particular cuisine. The word "chef" is derived from the term chef de cuisine, the director or head of a kitchen. Chefs can receive formal training from an institution, as well as by apprenticing with an experienced chef.
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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 kitchen brigade system is a 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), neckerchief, double-breasted jacket, apron and sturdy shoes (that may include steel or plastic toe-caps).
The word "chef" is derived (and shortened) from the term chef de cuisine, the director or head of a kitchen. (The French word comes from Latin caput (head) 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.
Other names include executive chef, chef manager, head chef, and master chef. This person is in charge of all activities related to the kitchen, which usually includes menu creation, management of kitchen staff, ordering and purchasing of inventory, controlling raw material costs and plating design. Chef de cuisine is the traditional French term from which the English word chef is derived. Head chef is often used to designate someone with the same duties as an executive chef, but there is usually someone in charge of a head chef, possibly making the larger executive decisions such as direction of menu, final authority in staff management decisions, and so on. This is often the case for executive chefs with multiple restaurants. Involved in checking the sensory evaluation of dishes after preparation and they are well aware of each sensory property of those specific dishes.