Why are SSL certificates used in Chef?
SSL certificates are used between the Chef server and the client to ensure that each node has access to the right data.
Every node has a private and public key pair. The public key is stored at the Chef server.
When an SSL certificate is sent to the server, it will contain the private key of the node.
The server compares this against the public key in order to identify the node and give the node access to the required data.