Some consider not being certified, or not having a formal culinary education, as not deserving of the title.
As with any profession, with a few exceptions, the guy that has been doing it for 20 years has probably already forgotten more than a fresh culinary graduate will ever know.
I went to school, the school of hard knocks.
I started out as a dishmeister, slowly working my way up, sometimes sideways, and occasionally backwards, then up again.
I'm currently an Executive Sous Chef, which we all know translates into "the Executice Chef's Main B!tch".
I've been the Exec. Chef a couple of times, the Chef named Sous a few more, and many lower positions.
I'm not above jumping in wherever needed, be it the dish pit or the line.
The only downside for myself is that the school of hard knocks isn't always the most well rounded of educations.
I'm always learning, whether from my chef, books or my staff.
I call myself Chef because that's what I do.
What I am is a cook, and proud of it.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.