Customers at Jacksonville Beach's LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant may not know it when they place their order, but there’s a good chance their steak will be prepared by a Grill Master Legend.
Grill Master Legend is the title awarded to a LongHorn chef who’s grilled a million steaks. And now, that distinction belongs to Jacksonville Beach’s Simi Tamaseu.
“It’s beautiful,” he said. “It’s wonderful. It’s a great honor.”
It took Tamaseu 25 years to work his way up from line cook to Legend. He’s one of four grill masters at LongHorn’s hundreds of restaurants to achieve the status.
Matthew Leipau is the managing partner of the Jacksonville Beach restaurant where Tamaseu works.
“When they did the calculations — you know, working these shifts and estimated volume and so forth, it was absolutely amazing to understand that a person with us has grilled over a million steaks. And for a location, it’s quite an honor," Leipau said.
In addition to the title of Grill Master Legend, Tamaseu this month received a surprise visit from corporate and a check for $2,500 along with a gold chef’s jacket, which he doesn’t think he’ll be wearing at work.
“I think gold is not the color you want to wear in the kitchen because you’re going to get it dirty. So I think I’m going to put that on top of my fireplace," he said.
But, he added, he plans to get it framed first.