Des Plaines chef competes for steak master
Des Plaines resident Ernesto Ordonez is the new regional champion of LongHorn Steakhouse's Steak Master Series.
Ordonez, who was born and raised in Pachuca Hidalgo, Mexico, won $300 for the regional title. He now advances to the semifinal round to compete for the $10,000 grand prize on June 29 in Orlando, Florida.
The culinary competition features the restaurant's top-performing grill experts, who vie for the title of steak master. Ordonez was one of 59 chefs from various LongHorn Steakhouses to achieve the regional title.
Ordonez, 39, said through an interpreter that he cooked a filet, a rib-eye and T-bone steaks as part of the local competition. It was the first time he won such a competition.
He has worked for about nine years at LongHorn at 1470 E. Touhy Ave. in Des Plaines and enjoys cooking with the team at the restaurant.
Being named a regional champion has inspired him, and he might one day open his own restaurant.
"This recognition is a well-deserved testament to Ernesto's grilling expertise," Paul Livrieri, executive vice president of operations at LongHorn Steakhouse, said in a statement.
The second annual Steak Masters Series awards cash prizes totaling $200,000. This year's competition began on the restaurant level, with nearly 5,000 employees who participated in written tests and grill-offs. All 490 LongHorn locations selected a representative for the regional round. The top seven contestants will compete in the finals at Longhorn's headquarters in Orlando.
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