This is age-old debate/conversation will continue. There is, in fact, an American Culinary Federation (ACF) chef's apprenticeship program that designates, following an exam, a certification. That certification is only had by membership in the ACF which, for many, belonging to that group is debatable in itself. Not sure if this sheds any light or not.
I am not so sure that it matters, in the end. Be a cook. Be a chef. Be a hack. It doesn't matter. If you are good at what you do and work hard, you will have a sense of pride and accomplishment. The same can be said for a doctor, plumber and welder. If you need your ego stroked, then you need your ego stroked. Don't make it more than what it is. We buy stuff. We fix it up. We sell it.