\ ˈsü-ˌshef How to pronounce sous-chef (audio) \
variants: or sous chef
plural sous-chefs or sous chefs

Definition of sous-chef

: the top assistant in a professional kitchen The typical restaurant kitchen is set up so the absence of the head chef is not felt in the dining room. It is the assistant, the sous-chef, who is usually in charge of production, with the head chef the administrator and creative force.— Florence Fabricant The relationship between chef and sous-chef can be a particularly intimate one, for instance, and it's nice to have someone with a similar background and world-view when you're going to spend almost every waking hour together.— Anthony Bourdain

First Known Use of sous-chef

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sous-chef

borrowed from French, short for sous-chef de cuisine "second in command of the kitchen"; sous "under," preposition and prefix, going back to Old French suz, soz, going back to Latin subtus "in a lower position, underneath, below," derivative of sub "under" with -tus as in intus "inside, within" — more at up entry 1, chief entry 3, cuisine

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The first known use of sous-chef was in 1892

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Cite this Entry

“Sous-chef.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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