Des Plaines chef competes for steak master

  • COURTESY OF LONGHORN STEAKHOUSEErnesto Ordonez stands outside the LongHorn Steakhouse in Des Plaines after he was named a regional champion in the restaurant's Steak Master Series.

    COURTESY OF LONGHORN STEAKHOUSEErnesto Ordonez stands outside the LongHorn Steakhouse in Des Plaines after he was named a regional champion in the restaurant's Steak Master Series.

  • Richard A. Green

    Richard A. Green

  • Amanda Heller

    Amanda Heller

  • Derek Wold

    Derek Wold

  • Tom Michalsen

    Tom Michalsen

  • Karen May

    Karen May

  • Ken Lavand

    Ken Lavand

Updated 6/12/2017 10:14 AM

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.

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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.

Green takes on added role

Richard A. Green, a financial adviser with Northwestern Mutual Chicago in Rosemont, was appointed a college unit captain. He will lead the internship program and assist in the training, development and mentoring of college financial representatives. He will continue to build relationships with his clients while also building relationships with campus professionals and prospective intern candidates on local college campuses.

Lavelle to move

Steven Migala, partner at Lavelle Law Ltd., said the 26-attorney firm is moving from Palatine to Schaumburg. The firm has listed its current property at 501 W. Colfax in Palatine for sale. Some attorneys and staff will remain in the firm's Chicago location on North LaSalle street. Under the terms of the 11-year agreement, Lavelle Law will occupy 12,620 square feet on the 6th floor of a building at 1933 N. Meacham Road in Schaumburg.


•Amanda Heller received the Water Stewardship Award for outstanding humanitarian service to improve and sustain the global water environment. And Derek Wold received the Collection Systems Award from the Central States Water Environment Association. Both are employees at Baxter & Woodman, a civil engineering firm in Crystal Lake, and were honored as the association's annual meeting banquet in St. Paul, Minnesota.


•Tom Michalsen was promoted to vice president of marketing at Weber Packaging Solutions in Arlington Heights. He has been with Weber for 36 years.

•Karen May, executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Mondelez International, was named to her first term on the board of directors at Oak Brook-based Ace Hardware.

•Ken Lavand is the new financial analyst at ML Realty Partners in Itasca. He will be responsible for reporting and compliance and will assist forecasting efforts for ML Realty Partners.

•There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people who make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

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