\ ˈshef How to pronounce chef (audio) \
plural chefs

Definition of chef

1 : a skilled professional cook a trained chef specifically : one who is in charge of a professional kitchen I wrote to the chef of an acclaimed New American restaurant on the Upper East Side about my food experiences. He invited me to spend a few days in the kitchen on a trial basis. — Adam Shatz
2 : cook

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Other Words from chef

chef intransitive verb
chefdom \ ˈshef-​dəm How to pronounce chef (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for chef


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Examples of chef in a Sentence

The hotel's chef trained at the finest culinary institutes in Europe. He's the head chef at a five-star restaurant. a celebrity chef with her own TV show My friend is an excellent chef.
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Recent Examples on the Web Case in point: One of my patients has been loving cooking dinner at home with his fiancé and training him as a sous chef, and worries about returning to dinners out. Ian Kerner, CNN, "Our lives are changing, again, and so must our rituals that give it meaning," 6 May 2021 Large communal areas such as the chef’s kitchen and great room lie on the main level and open directly to a deck and outdoor dining patio. Neal Leitereg, Forbes, "Luxurious Mountain Living In 3 U.S. Markets For About $2.3 Million," 5 May 2021 If he has been reborn as a chef, his barbecue has likewise been given a new lease on life. Washington Post, "After a shaky start, this Silver Spring barbecue spot is money," 3 May 2021 The four partners have tapped Derek Lau, a veteran of San Francisco kitchens including Suppenkuche, Biergarten, Benu and Saison, as executive chef. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Mission hit Monk's Kettle brings its epic European beer selection and family-friendly vibes to Marin," 30 Apr. 2021 Lee was working as the chef of an izakaya in Koreatown — very much indoors, in the basement of a commercial building. Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times, "A chef turns to Instagram to survive, and his ready-to-eat Korean seafood takes off," 29 Apr. 2021 Clement doubles as the chef and prepares the dish with a unique rub. Amy Drew Thompson,, "Prime Movers: Celebrate succulence with prime rib," 23 Apr. 2021 Gibson worked with over a dozen restaurants during his time in Cincinnati, including serving as corporate chef at Jeff Ruby’s and operating Jimmy G's Steakhouse. Brook Endale, The Enquirer, "Chef Jimmy Gibson died Wednesday at age 63," 22 Apr. 2021 Sometimes as a fine-dining chef you get lost in a world of tweezers and fancy garnishes and the definition of what a meal is. WSJ, "Artist Amy Sherald, Chef Edward Lee and More on Community," 21 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chef.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chef

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for chef

French, short for chef de cuisine head of the kitchen

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Statistics for chef

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chef.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chef



English Language Learners Definition of chef

: a professional cook who usually is in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant
: a person who prepares food for people to eat


\ ˈshef How to pronounce chef (audio) \

Kids Definition of chef

1 : a professional cook who is usually in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant
2 : cook entry 1 My mom is a great chef.

More from Merriam-Webster on chef

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chef

Nglish: Translation of chef for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chef for Arabic Speakers

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