The term Chef is used loosely today. People often think of Chefs as Cooks. Cooks may butcher meats, prepare, season and cook stocks, soups, sauces, vegetables and create desserts for consumption in hotels, restaurants and clubs. They may also prepare and cook food for people with special dietary needs.
Chefs on the other hand hire, train, coordinate and supervise cooks. They may participate in activities with cooks and other kitchen personnel in order to help prepare and serving foods. They require strong communication and people management skills. In addition to planning, designing, formulating and budget preparation Chefs must also be creative, organized and able to work well under pressure.
Chefs make use of a complete set of tools in order to excel at cooking, baking and garnishing. They need to be quick on their feet yet patient and careful with attention to the smallest of detail. They must be open to learning about new cooking methods, recipes and menus. Chefs need to have an amazing sense of taste and smell, and a reasonable level of strength and fitness.
This knowledge is not just gained from textbooks or courses. It may start there but it must be developed through working experience. A Chef must grow his knowledge through a never-ending stride for perfection.