the chief cook, especially in a restaurant or hotel, usually responsible for planning menus, ordering foodstuffs, overseeing food preparation, and supervising the kitchen staff.
any cook.

1835–45; < French; see chief

chef, chief. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chef (ʃɛf)
a cook, esp the principal cook in a restaurant
[C19: from French, from Old French chief head, chief]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1826, from Fr. chef de cuisine, lit. "head of the kitchen," from O.Fr. chief "leader, ruler, head" (see chief).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But scientists aren't sure why these first chefs initially put food to fire.
Chefs extract the flavorless cartilage needles, which add a gelatinous texture
  to the soup.
It was as if the dessert chefs had given up on dessert, too.
At the end, he turns the camera to one of his chefs, who blushes adorably.
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