Line cook

Cook (profession)

A cook is a person that prepares food for consumption.

A cook is sometimes referred to as a chef, although within the professional kitchen, the terms are not exchangeable. The executive chef or sous chef is generally never referred to as a "cook".

Professional Usage

The term cook within a restaurant kitchen usually refers to person with little to no creative influence on a menu and little to no command over others within the kitchen, such as a line cook. These are usually all members of a restaurant kitchen that are underneath the sous chef in the brigade de cuisine. Other establishments may have a relatively constant menu, often only having people that can prepare food fast and consistently, having little need for an executive chef or sous chef. The kitchens in these particular restaurants would thus be entirely run by cooks. An example would be a short order cook, which is a cook who prepares fast, easily-assembled meals to order, often working in a diner or cafe.

Domestic Usage

When used of residential staff the word cook may refer to the head of the kitchen in a great house or to a cook-housekeeper, responsible for cleaning as well. See cook (servant).


Saint Lawrence is said to be the patron saint of cooks. He is reported to have said as he was being burned at the stake in the third century, “I’m roasted on this side. If you want me well done, it’s time to turn me over.”

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