Definition of chef in English:



  • A professional cook, typically the chief cook in a restaurant or hotel.

    • ‘I'd never been to a restaurant where a chef completely decides what you're going to eat and drink.’
    • ‘The restaurant changed its chef quite recently and we haven't been able to inspect it since.’
    • ‘These will be bought by patrons and the chefs will cook it according to specifications.’
    • ‘That means the chefs cook and the wine experts pour wine and talk about it.’
    • ‘However I would have to pity the poor chef who has to cook their pre-match and after match meals!’
    • ‘The best way to ‘winterise’ your fish is to do what restaurant chefs do and treat it as if it were meat.’
    • ‘Several local companies also supported the competition by donating produce for the young chefs to cook.’
    • ‘Each sous chef has four assistant chefs under him who, in turn, have trainee cooks under them.’
    • ‘There were plenty of other chefs to help cook, so the task did not take as long as she thought it would.’
    • ‘When you're eating in a restaurant and the chef comes over to your table you feel special.’
    • ‘I have never met a chef who enjoys cooking vegetarian food, it confuses them.’
    • ‘With the experienced management team and the excellent chefs, this restaurant should do well.’
    • ‘Twenty-three per cent of chefs and cooks said that they were satisfied in their jobs.’
    • ‘But there are plenty of professional chefs who find it hard to cope when it comes to camp cooking.’
    • ‘Their livers were then cut out and borne in triumph to a local restaurant, where the chef was ordered to cook them.’
    • ‘She praised the efforts of the restaurant's four chefs and five other members of staff.’
    • ‘Cash will be the vital ingredient as celebrity chefs cook up a special fundraising treat for charity.’
    • ‘Two other celebrity chefs have opened restaurants in Scotland recently.’
    • ‘The restaurant employs five chefs and spends tens of thousands of pounds in training its cooks.’
    • ‘I thought I was writing the book for cooks and chefs and restaurant people in the New York area.’
    cook, cordon bleu cook, food preparer
    head chef, sous chef, commis chef, chef de cuisine, chef de partie
    pastry cook, saucier
    short-order cook
    View synonyms


[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Work as a chef.

    ‘when they finish cheffing, they gather themselves together and they drink their owners' best wines’


Early 19th century: French, literally head.