Cooks follow the recipes of others; Chefs create their own. A cook knows how to prepare a recipe; a Chef understands the unique taste of each ingredient and how best to combine them to produce extraordinary experiences of flavour.
A fitting analogy can be drawn from the arts. Chefs are like master artists who produce original works. Cooks are like skilled imitative artists who replicate the masterworks of the master artist, but do not create their own original pieces of the master’s caliber.