plural chefs
: 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
: cook
chef intransitive verb
chefdom noun

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.
Recent Examples on the Web As the performance concluded, nearly 750 guests were treated to an elegant gala dinner, masterfully curated by renowned chefs Grégory Marchand, Takao Inazawa, Nadia Sammut, Bertrand Grébaut, and Fany Payre, and orchestrated by the talented Marine Bidaud. Vogue, 24 Sep. 2023 Meet the Native chefs helping restore that sense of cultural memory at a new food lab in Minnesota. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Sep. 2023 Things between the two chefs became even more awkward when Fassnidge joined the cast in Season 4. Keryn Donnelly,, 21 Sep. 2023 Formal living and dining rooms are joined by a family room with a wet bar, a home office, and a chef’s kitchen that’s decked out with Viking appliances, plus a giant center island that’s topped with rare natural granite. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 21 Sep. 2023 Federal workers line up outside chef and activist Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen to receive free meals and goods amid a partial government shutdown in Washington on Jan. 22, 2019. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, 20 Sep. 2023 The chef has a really great approach to Mexican cuisine, where the Scandinavian environment plays a role. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Sep. 2023 There is a new sauce in the collection from Poi Dog, which was the name of the chef Kiki Aranita’s Philadelphia restaurant that closed in 2020, and now identifies the products. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2023 The menu includes blue lobster and crab followed by Bresse poultry and a gratin of cep mushrooms prepared, respectively, by French chefs Anne-Sophie Pic and Yannick Alléno. Sylvie Corbet, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chef.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, short for chef de cuisine head of the kitchen

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chef was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near chef

Cite this Entry

“Chef.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a chief cook

More from Merriam-Webster on chef

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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