First, to all fellow chowhounders, let me say Happy Holidays! As chowhounders, this should be our favorite time of year (endless lines of delicious high calorie foods...)
As a 21 year old recent graduate with a degree in culinary arts, I find myself wondering, what makes a chef a chef? Is it the love of food? Talent? Skill? Schooling? Rachael Ray refuses to call herself a chef, as she has no training, but I know countless people who barely graduated high school that I wonder consider a chef before most of these "celebrity chefs." Maybe a chef is someone who does what they do for no other reason than they love it. I think a real chef doesn't aspire to have their own magazine, or 39 shows on Food Network. I think it is someone who wakes up thinking about food after a long night dreaming about food. Anyway, I was just interested in the topic. Any insight you have will be helpful in my "quest for knowledge." Thanks Chowhounders, you guys (and ladies of course) are the best!