Poivrot, someone wrote me a note today that pretty much nailed it: "They're not chefs; they're restaurateurs." If you think of it that way, it's a whole lot easier to swallow, no? No different than that guy singing "Yooou always get your waaay ... at Ourisman Chevrolet!" Or for that matter, Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Passion Food Hospitality, Great American Restaurant Group, or Think Food Group using José Andrés as their pitchman (I honestly don't mean this to be derogatory). It's all just chasing after a pot of money, and has nothing whatsoever to do with skill, talent, or craft. Start thinking of it that way, and you'll be able to sleep at night. I know, I know, they're wearing chef's whites which is what's so bothersome to people like you and me, but at the end of the day, there are a lot of people out there who will do anything for a buck. And that pretty much sums it up.
Precisely why I don't see why we have to respect it. I'm a lawyer. Who the hell thinks lawyers are respectable? At least I'm pretty good at what I do. I would not patronize a restaurant that doesn't put out good food and I'm going to rail against restaurants built on hype. I think it's actually public service to denounce shitty restaurants.