Longhorn grill master has unmatched work ethic - WSMV News 4

Longhorn grill master has unmatched work ethic

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Choya Phillips has been working at Longhorn Steakhouse for 27 years. (WSMV) Choya Phillips has been working at Longhorn Steakhouse for 27 years. (WSMV)

For 27 years, Nashville’s Choya Phillips has worked in the kitchen at Longhorn Steakhouse with a “be the best” attitude he picked up as a high school basketball player at Hillwood High School.

Phillips was 17 when he started and wanted the job for one reason.

“I wanted my own money,” he laughed.

Phillips is now the grill master at Longhorn Steakhouse, but the early days weren’t so glamorous.

“’Get back here, you’re washing dishes,’” he said. “’We’re going to start you at the bottom, work here and we’ll see how you work out.’”

Twenty-seven years of climbing the ladder have led him to a leadership position.

“Time flies back here,” Phillips said. “Every day is something different.”

In this high-pressure job, perfection is expected every time a hungry customer orders a steak, no matter how many he’s cooked in the past.

“I’d say 10,000, at least 10,000 steaks over the years,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ work ethic is unmatched, especially in the restaurant business. He grills every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and only takes one vacation day a year. Regulars request that he grills their steaks.

“I put a lot of pride in what I do. People know I work here and see me, they know I take pride in what I do,” Phillips said.

Now he’s looking ahead to what’s next.

“I was talking … about that the other day. I’d love to go corporate someday. That’s something to look forward to,” Phillips said.

Phillips has one strong recommendation for all steak lovers: for the best eating experience, order your steak medium rare.

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