1st of all...being a "Chef" is sort of like a right of passage. A boy turns into a young man, and so forth hitting different stages of life.
A prep cook turns into a cook, a cook to a chef. Sort of the same idea. Not knocking any other profession, but the cooking industry is more of a lifestyle. Not that any other job or career doesnt' have these characteristics, but I can attest that cooking professionally is more of a way of life. With this said, the rights of passage comes with life, and hense the kitchen does as well. It's not just moving up in ranks or "graduating" to the next level. It's the life you choose as a Culinarian.
In short(too late for that), you may be good at playing the drums, you may be great at bowling, you may be the best at playing baseball, but nothing you can say, or do can compare to the life of a kitchen scrub.
Tell me, what other career can you start off at the bottom, work your way up the ladder, all the way to the top, then as life goes on you are moved back down the ladder to the same place you started when you get older.
????? Hummmm wow the life of a Chef.
MOST....I stress most.. start off as a dishwasher...they then get hooked on the food, money(somtimes) and the fun that goes with working in the kitchen. Then you want more, so you look to move up to prep cook, and then to the stage of cook...then you push and push to be a Sous Chef....then Executive Chef......woops..then you start getting old.....you can't handle the stress any longer...you move back down to Sous... then that gets to be too much, so you look for a job as just a cook....then woops too old for that now, then you BOOM you are right back to where you started, a dishwasher.
And so back to what you say about just being good at something doesn't grant you the right of a title, you are right. But just being good at cooking will NEVER grant you the right at being called a Chef. It' s the life of being a Chef that grants us the right to have the title. Not that I'm big on titles, it's only a word, I could care less. When you try and compare playing someone elses work on an instrument and being a Chef, I must say you may be smart, but you have NO idea what you are talking about.
nuff said, and sorry for being so long winded.