Vineland Chef Named Regional Champion in Longhorn Steakhouse Steak Master SeriesLast Edited:
After years of practicing, learning, and persevering in the kitchen, Vineland native Edward Ortiz became Longhorn Steakhouse's culinary professional at the restaurant's Millville location.
Next month will be Ortiz's 9th anniversary at Longhorn, but that's not the only thing he hopes to be celebrating.
Ortiz began competing in the Longhorn Steakhouse Master Series back in March. The competition showcases the skills of grill masters from across the country.
“I try to make an effort to make sure that our guests get the best meal they possibly can every time they come in. And I think some people just noticed," said Ortiz.
It's not only being noticed but customers, management, and co-workers, but also by the Longhorn Corporation itself.
“I can’t express how proud I am of Ed, and his accomplishments and just the passion that he has for cooking food and making it beautiful, and [to] assure every guest is being treated just like as if it were his own home," said Longhorn Steakhouse managing partner Bryan Lawler.
Ortiz competed in-house against five of his co-workers, then went on to compete against seven other cooks from seven different locations in a regional competition in Cherry Hill this past March.
Ortiz took the title as Regional Champion and is now one step closer to making it to Steak Master Finals being held in Orlando, Fla. Out of more than 5,000 invited to enter the competition, it is now down to eight for the semifinals.
Oritz says, as a chef, he is where he is today because of one rule.
"Any time you cook some food, treat it like you’re cooking for your family," said Ortiz. "So when it comes to steaks, I treat the steak with love and it’s because I love steak myself. I cook it for my guests the same way I would enjoy it and they seem to enjoy it very much.”
During the series, Longhorn will be awarding more than $200,000 in cash prizes.
Ortiz will be heading to New Haven, Conn., on Tuesday, May 15th, for the Steak Master Series semifinals in hopes of making it to the final round in Orlando this June.
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