I assume that chef and cuisinier (chef and cook) have the same hierarchical connotation in france as would be here. Work at Per Se, you're a chef. Work at Mel's Diner, you're a cook.
Why isn't it 'Tu es un cuisinier'. To me it reads 'you are cook'. This appears to be different from the other lessons up until now (e.g. tu es un homme)
"cuisinier" is a profession, so no article in French and one in English (for a change)
No, I mean why cannot "tu es cuisinier" be translated "you are a chef" (chef in english)
Actually, "chef" in English has two meanings. The first one is what you say - the chief cook, but it can just as easily mean any cook. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/chef?s=t).
In job offers, at least in Ireland, the phrasing is pretty much always "chefs wanted", not "cooks wanted", regardless of what position they will actually have in the kitchen or the hierarchical connotation KimSCasey mentioned. Unless you're working in the food industry and care about distinctions there, for most of the population chef = cook in English.
Chef and cook are synonymous in English, although chef can also mean "head cook".
So if cuisinier is cook, what word means chef in French? Because apparently "chef" means boss/chief, which is not exactly the same as "head cook".
Can it only be translated as "chef cuisinier"?
Remember the term "chef" is actually an english diminitive of the french term "chef de cuisine" which means head of the kitchen. Even though english speakers often use the words chef and cook as equilivents, it's not quite proper.
I never knew the word "cook" is the synonym of chef in English until I read comments here. Thank Duo, I learn French and English at the same time. Je suis indonésien :)
The original sentence is "tu es cuisinier" and the final sound is "é". The feminine version, "cuisinière" ends with the sound "èr" (like "hair").