It’s only February, but Samantha Burch has already achieved a sizzling milestone as LongHorn Steakhouse’s first female Grill Master Legend. She and four other accomplished culinary team members are being celebrated for grilling one million steaks each during their long careers with LongHorn.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Samantha, of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. “I feel like I’m part of a great team — a big family — and we all get to celebrate this.” She has worked at the restaurant for 24 years, starting as a prep cook right out of culinary school. “I wanted to learn how to cook steaks!” she said.
The other four Grill Master Legends are Delica LaFontant from the LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant in Boynton Beach, FL; Kenneth Brown from Canton, GA; Patrick Wagnac from Davie, FL; and Jose Luis Sanchez from Austin, TX. These exceptional grill cooks, who have tenures of at least 24 years with the brand, join the first four Legends recognized last year.
Each new Legend was surprised in January with a surprise event in their restaurant, a $2,500 check, a special gold chef coat and a visit from LongHorn Steakhouse President Todd Burrowes. In addition, they will each receive a net check of $1,000 every year for as long as they stay with LongHorn.
“The foundation of LongHorn Steakhouse is, has been and always will be steak,” Todd said. “Nothing is more important. That’s why we go to extraordinary lengths to continually test, train and certify our teams’ expertise. Our Grill Master Legends have been grilling those steaks right for decades.”
To reach one million steaks, LongHorn calculated the average number of steaks grilled per shift and found that Grill Masters who have continuously worked the grill in their restaurants for 24 years have achieved the magic number.
“The money is nice, but it’s really the appreciation that means the most,” Samantha said. “I love to eat, so cooking comes naturally! LongHorn is a great place to work because we are empowered to take care of our guests and do whatever it takes. It’s not just something we say — it’s something we do.”