Joe Kitchens has the perfect name for his career. What’s more, he said he always wanted to cook and “be like all of the cool guys in the heart of the house.”
Now he’s one of seven finalists in LongHorn Steakhouse’s Steak Master Series, an epic culinary competition in which Grill Masters go head to head for the coveted title of Steak Master and ultimate bragging rights.
The 11-year LongHorn Steakhouse team member started as a dishwasher at the restaurant in Merritt Island, FL. He loves his namesake kitchen and hopes to become a manager someday. His favorite food is steak, especially the Outlaw Ribeye.
After competing with nearly 5,000 culinary team members, Joe advances to the final round at the Restaurant Support Center in Orlando, FL, this summer for a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. If he walks away as champion, he plans to take his family, including two small boys, on a long vacation.
Joe said the people he works alongside every day are the best part of his job. They have offered him succinct advice for the finals: “Don’t mess up, Joe.”
“The Steak Master Series is a fantastic opportunity for our Grill Masters to really show us what they’re made of, and Joe is a fierce competitor,” said Jason Taliaferro, LongHorn Steakhouse's senior vice president of operations. “He’s extremely talented, and I’m excited that he’ll be representing the Orlando division at the championship round.”
The second annual competition awards cash prizes totaling more than $200,000 and celebrates LongHorn Steakhouse’s dedication to being the best of the best on the grill.