If it’s your first job right out of culinary school and you demand to be called chef. Odds are you’re going get laughed right out of the kitchen. Chef status is something that is earned after years of hard work and sacrifice. Even then, it isn’t always deserved. By default, if you have the Sous Chef, Executive Chef, etc. titles, you are typically referred to as chef.
For me personally, I hated being called chef. Not sure why but it always kind of bugged me when people referred to me as it. The meaning of chef always registered to me that I was the superior, and I didn’t care for that. We were all there to accomplish a common goal, and it seemed if you added rank to it all then things just got complicated. That is why a lot of establishments refer to everyone regardless of rank as chef. When the playing field is even, everyone works more as a team to help achieve a common goal. Obviously, everyone knows who the person in charge is, and who are the seasoned veterans in the kitchen and who the new guy is. However, when the respect is evenly distributed amongst all your employee’s, bigger things can and will happen.
The next time you want to be called chef, ask yourself- what have I done to deserve that title, and is it worth having it to differentiate yourself from everyone else?