You don't have to be a real chef to use a chef's knife. We have plenty of chef's knife selections here on The Grit. If you do not know which to pick for your kitchen, we recommend that you consider the weight, sharpness, and material used. You should also examine the cooking style that you wish to use the knife for. Of course, your budget and your other preferences will come into play, as well.
One of the most important factors that will affect your decision is the blade material. It is best to use stainless steel. It's a material that you easily recognise since you probably have a lot of items made of stainless steel in your house. The beauty of this material is that it resists rust and is expensive. Carbon steel is another option, which may be a little pricier, but it is worth every penny. It is more robust and will maintain its sharpness and sheen for a long time.