I entered the industry after having experience in hospatility ( 16 long arse months in a hotel ).
I knew i would work long hours , standing up , in a hot kitchen , with annoying people, well thats what your first impression is.
I actually didnt mind , i started out working with great people , and we really had a connection , sure i get bonkers during service but its fine with me. Of course though my last job required us to work 10 - 16 hours some days (would only get paid for 8) , but it did result in me gaining speed , and more experience.
In the end i think people think a chefs or a cooks life is what they see on the food network , now the people who actually have a connection with this industry and research and discuss about th topic openly know its tough , and that working a 9-5 job isnt something you will get so easily.
Also its kinda like you stated great chefs have worked long hours , their pupils worked long hours , my idea was that if one day i wanted to look in the mirror and say " hell i worked my arse off , but it was so worth it " , its what keeps me going and reminds me that i do have passion , and drive along with talent to stay and advance in this industry.
Besides the long hours fly , especially when the dinning room is filled and you have enough tickets to keep you busy all night.