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They are called cooks. It's like saying there are amateur heartsurgeons.

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am·a·teur    [am-uh-choor, -cher, -ter, am-uh-tur] noun 1. a person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons. –  talon8 Nov 29 '11 at 15:56
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closed as not constructive by Sam Holder, rumtscho, yossarian Nov 29 '11 at 13:44

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1 Answer

Chef is a word with multiple definitions:

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

In common usage chef is most commonly used to refer to a cook of great skill or accomplishment. Many people each year attend the formal education required to become a chef, at Le Cordon Blue etc, merely for the personal joy of cooking for themselves, their family and friends. These people are both 'chef's' and are 'amateurs'. Today many 'amateurs' have advanced their culinary skills to the point where they are indeed deserving of the title 'Chef'.

I would deny no one with the passion for the art of cooking the title of 'amateur chef'. This is, after all, how Julia Childs started out....

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I didn't know whether to berate you for feeding trolls, or upvote you for giving a good answer to a bad question... After all, I went with the upvote, because your calmness and patience is admirable. –  rumtscho Nov 29 '11 at 13:24
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