So is filework OK on a chef's knife?
Well it sure is pretty and I like the look myself, I can appreciate the skill it takes to do this work. The kitchen knife world is different on many levels and this is one example that a maker needs to consider.
I say it's OK to offer filework if it's done between handle scales ONLY IF the voids are filled in with epoxy. Leaving voids at the tang on a kitchen handle is asking for trouble on a couple of different levels.
I say it's NOT OK if done to the spine forward of the handle. Filework on the spine of a chef's knife would be found in the exact place where a chef pinches the blade while using the pinch grip. We would not want to unnecessarily expose a chef's hand to a finger grater - not good.
I hope new kitchen knife makers converting over from bowie knifemaking, as well as new kitchen knife modifiers, can learn something from this.