Chef vs Cook: What you need to know

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What do a Chef and a Cook do?

Chef is a professional cook. Although it is common knowledge that a Chef is a higher rank or position than a Cook, Chefs themselves differ in rank. In a restaurant, there can be different types of Chefs such as Sous Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Demi Chef, Executive Chefs, and many more. It is the executive Chef who is at the top of the line. 

Chefs are professionally qualified; they have a two to four-year culinary degree and have often received training under an expert Chef. Chefs always work in a professional setting, like a restaurant or kitchen. Their responsibilities include a supervisory and management role in the kitchen since he heads a team of Cooks. He may also not be directly involved in Cooking. A Chef also has the ability to create and implement menus.

A Cook is a person who prepares and cooks food. Although a Cook may also be good as a Chef in making delicious food, he or she lacks formal culinary education and training under an experienced Chef. The term “Cook” can refer to a person who Cooks food in a professional setting as well as a person who cooks at home. A Cook is generally considered an inferior title to a Chef.

A Cook may still be at the learning level of his career. Their duties may involve preparing food on a daily basis, cleaning and washing the kitchen, and performing other kitchen duties. A Cook also uses recipes and follows someone else’s menu plan.

Differences between Chef and Cook





Has received a formal, professional education and training in the art of cuisine

Has not received a formal, professional education and training in the art of cuisine


Higher rank than Cook

Lower rank than Chef


Leads a team of Cooks

Works under Chefs


Always work in a professional setting

May not work in a professional setting


Have the authority to create and implement menus

Often use recipes and follow someone else’s menu plan

Chef and Cook Skills Required

  • Food Safety

Cooks and chefs are responsible for ensuring the safety of the food they prepare. Familiarity with local health regulations and industry standards regarding food safety can aid in the prevention of foodborne illnesses. Knowledge of appropriate cooking and storage temperatures can decrease food spoilage.

  • Teamwork

Cooks frequently collaborate with other kitchen personnel, including wait staff, line cooks, and head chefs. Teamwork can be applied in different scenarios such as rotating cleaning responsibilities with kitchen staff, delivering food orders to customers, and cooking in collaboration with other cooks. Enhancing communication and empathy skills can enhance teamwork proficiency.

  • Commitment to Quality

A chef’s commitment to their work can be demonstrated through the production of high-quality food for their customers. Restaurants have established cooking and meal preparation protocols, and it is the cook’s responsibility to adhere to these standards to maintain and increase the customer base. 

  • Multitasking

You can perform a variety of tasks concurrently as a chef and cook. You can cook on your own in several pots or pans at once to quickly prepare the next dish and satisfy customer demands. While you’re cooking, you could also assist other team members, including the servers. For instance, while preparing one meal, a teammate may ask you to prepare something immediately since a customer has returned an item.

  • Creativity

There are several ways to show creativity in the kitchen, like preparing a meal utilising novel flavours and techniques, coming up with original restaurant themes, and presenting food to patrons in a beautiful and distinctive way. By learning new cooking techniques and developing recipe concepts, you may boost your creativity.

Are you eligible to study Culinary?

Academic Entry

Minimum Score


CGPA 2.00


CGPA 2.00


2 Passes




2 Passes

Australian Matriculation (ATAR)


IB Diploma


Note: Universities may have different requirements. To learn more, get in touch with us!

Entry Level

Minimum Score







Note: Universities may have different English Language requirements. To learn more, get in touch with us!

Job opportunities for Culinary graduates

Here are the list of the job opportunities for Culinary graduates that you might want to consider:

  1. Executive Chef
  2. Food & Beverage Manager
  3. Food Production Manager
  4. Food Service Manager
  5. Food Stylist
  6. Kitchen Consultant
  7. Pastry Chef
  8. Sous Chef
  9. Restaurant Owner
  10. Celebrity Chef

Universities to study Culinary in Malaysia

1. UOW Malaysia

A private university institution in Malaysia, UOW Malaysia KDU University institution has its main campus at Utropolis Glenmarie, Shah Alam. One of the first private colleges in Malaysia to have its own purpose-built campus was UOW Malaysia KDU, founded in 1983 and a pioneer in the country’s private education system.

UOW offers Culinary programmes which are designed to help students prepare for various opportunities in the culinary industry. Students can expect to spend a significant amount of time in our commercial kitchens with over 60% of the programme based on culinary subjects. These hands-on programmes cover various aspects of the culinary field – from theoretical classes on Menu Design, Food Nutrition, F&B Costing, Beverage Studies to practical classes on Culinary Artistry, Patisserie, Garde Manger, Butchery, Classical French and more.

Programme Offered



Indicative Fees (2023)

Diploma in Culinary Arts

2 Years

January, March, May, July, September, October

Local students:  RM52,380


International students: RM61,470

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in International Culinary Arts

3 Years

January, March, May, July, September, October

Local students: 

Single Award – RM68,500

Dual Award – RM82,000


International students: 

Single Award – RM80,680

Dual Award – RM94,180

For more information on the table presented above as well as with the Single and Dual Award, contact us now!

2. Taylor’s University

As the top private university in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, Taylor’s University is regarded among the best universities in the world. This comes on the heels of their accomplishment of becoming one of the select few Asian universities to receive a rating of 5 Stars for Online Learning, recognising the top-tier education they offer to their students. Taylor’s University’s high rankings in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 show that the school is dedicated to academic success. The institution has maintained its Top 20 ranking, ranking #17 globally for the discipline of hospitality and leisure management. Since 2017, the university has won the title of best Malaysian institution for the topic seven times in a row.

The programmes offered are developed in response to the increasing demand for employees who are able to work productively in various culinary environments and systems. Students have the opportunities to demonstrate culinary skills in the preparation of Western cuisine, Asian cuisine, garde manger, pâtisserie and bakery, and confection, as well as artistic skills. Besides, they will also learn and analyse the marketing of food and business information involved in opening and running a catering business.

Programme Offered



Indicative Fees (2023)

Diploma In Culinary Arts

2 Years

April, August

Local students: RM 60,642


International students: USD 18,848

Bachelor of Patisserie Arts (Honours)

3 Years

January, March, September

Local students: RM 103,424


International students: USD 30,119

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

3. INTI International College Subang

The INTI Subang campus gives you a really globally valuable set of abilities as a recognised leader in American education, among other fields. Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that improve your higher education experience, all set against the backdrop of the metropolis. By emphasising career-focused education, INTI International College Subang has been raising the bar for instruction for more than 20 years.

Culinary Arts are offered by INTI International College Subang, which is the ideal formula for budding Chefs wishing to stir up a storm in the culinary world! This degree equips students with the necessary skills for success in the fast-paced food industry, from learning fundamental Cooking techniques to discovering new flavours and gourmet trends. So if you love to Cook and have a thirst for knowledge, this credential is absolutely something you should dive into!

Programme Offered



Indicative Fees (2023)

Diploma in Culinary Arts

2 Years

January, April, August

Local students: RM 47,396

International students: RM 47,396

Bachelor of Food Service Management With Culinary Arts (Honours) 3+0 

3 Years

January, May, September

Local students: RM 84,977

International students: RM 84,977

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

4. Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia

Le Cordon Bleu, which was founded in 1895 as a tiny cooking school in Paris, has grown to become the top Global Network of Culinary Arts Institutes, offering educational excellence and tradition to more than 20,000 students each year. Le Cordon Bleu, which has a network of more than 35 schools in 20 countries, teaches a wide range of technical and university-level training programmes for people who want to work in the restaurant, hotel, and tourism industries or own their own patisserie, cafe, restaurant, or catering business.

This programme is aimed for people who want to eventually work as high-end professional chefs or restaurateurs and who want to learn cutting-edge culinary techniques from a reputable culinary training institution. Although prior culinary training or experience is not required to enrol in the programme, it is important to have the desire and dedication to learn from renowned worldwide chefs teachers and to produce the finest dining experiences.

Programme Offered

Diplôme de Cuisine


1 year


January, April, July, October

Indicative Fees (2023)

Local students: RM 110,700

International students: RM118,980

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

5. UCSI University

UCSI University is a renowned institution of higher learning with campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Springhill (Port Dickson), and Kuching, Malaysia. It was founded on the tenets of daring, perseverance, integrity, and excellence. Our colleges offer a broad range of academic programmes, from medicine, pharmacy, nursing, engineering, and architecture to music, multimedia, education, liberal arts, and hospitality. They are all equipped with cutting-edge facilities to satisfy the demands of students. 

Are you prepared to unleash your culinary imagination and advance your Cooking abilities? The Diploma in Culinary Arts from UCSI University might be the right dish for you! In addition to receiving practical training in a cutting-edge kitchen facility, this programme gives students a strong theoretical basis in the culinary arts. This credential is the ideal starting point for prospective Chefs eager to make their mark in the food industry, covering everything from designing signature dishes to perfecting knife skills. So UCSI University is the place to be if you love cuisine and have a thirst for knowledge.

Programme Offered



Indicative Fees (2023)

Diploma in Culinary Arts

2.5 Years

January, May, September

Local students: RM 46,095

International students: RM 58,440

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) In Culinary Management

3 Years

January, May, September

Local students: RM 81,890

International students: RM 96,450

For more information on the table presented above, contact us now!

For more information regarding the university, programmes offered, entry requirements and fees, contact Excel Education

Recommended Articles to Read

Becoming A Chef In Australia | Top Cookery Courses

Top Universities to Study Culinary in Australia 2022

Top 5 Universities to Study Diploma in Culinary Arts in Malaysia 2023

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About The Author

Qasyrina Zahirah

Still figuring out the direction of my life and most of the time life directs me to good foods and beaches 🙂

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