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Emerging Leaders of The Capital Grille | Shay Jackson

February 06, 2017

By: Darden Restaurants, Editor

Emerging Leaders of The Capital Grille | Shay Jackson

Shay Jackson, a sous chef with The Capital Grille and a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, plans to become an executive chef one day.

Photo Credit: Darden Restaurants

Q. How long have you been with The Capital Grille, and what was your first job with the brand?

A. I joined The Capital Grille four years ago as a pantry cook in Dunwoody, GA. I worked my way down the line and learned different kitchen positions including pastry, moving into culinary training when I helped open The Capital Grille restaurant in Raleigh, NC. Now I’m a sous chef. Before receiving a permanent assignment, I will travel to The Capital Grille restaurants in Sarasota, FL, and Cleveland, OH, to assist their executive chefs. I’m pleased about this opportunity because I enjoy traveling and learn something new everywhere I go.

Q. How has The Capital Grille recognized your potential and helped you to be successful?

A. I’ve always wanted to learn more, train other people and advance in my career — I’m a fast learner — and my managers helped me achieve my goals. We created a plan for my career progression and kept to it. I hope to become an executive chef someday. I’ve been in the restaurant industry all my life, starting at McDonald’s when I was 13. I’m a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, AZ, with a tremendous passion for food. I’d love to be able to give back to my community by cooking for homeless people at some point.

Q. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A. Even though I’m serious at work, I’m really goofy inside. I enjoy bowling and outdoor activities because I used to compete in several sports: cross country, basketball, volleyball and tennis. I’m adventurous and willing to try anything new. The more you try, the better you’ll get. That’s my philosophy on life.

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