Not everyone discovers their passion in life early. For chefs, it sometimes comes while they’re pursuing another field.
Jerry Myers was attending Purdue University, working on a degree in engineering when he took his first restaurant job at the insistence of a friend. He first washed dishes but gradually moved up into managing the kitchen. He liked the pace, enjoyed cooking and was good at organizing the staff and handling a budget. And because he started on the ground floor, he knew every job in the kitchen and earned the respect of his peers.
So as it turns out, he never became an engineer, unless you call him a kitchen engineer. Instead, he went to work for a restaurant group that operates several brands of steakhouses, and never looked back. He’s now the Sous Chef of our Indianapolis location.
We appreciate Jerry’s cooking talents, but his work is more extensive than that. “I am the numbers guy,” Jerry says. “I handle labor, operations and ordering. But I also make sure we send out the best product possible.”
When the restaurant is operating, you’ll find him in the kitchen looking over every dish that’s prepared. “I’m very hands-on, and I don’t sit still,” Jerry says.
If he’s cooking, you’ll find him at the grill. “I’m a steak guy,” Jerry says. “My true joy is grilling and running the broiler.”
The Eddie Merlot’s menu has a lot of great items on it, Jerry says, and he simply can’t choose one item as a favorite, though he tends to favor steaks. At home, he enjoys grilling, and his twin daughters and wife love for him to make steak on the grill. They also like his Chicken Alfredo.
If allowed to cook anything he wants, he prefers to make something with some heat. “My kids are finicky as far as what they let me cook,” Jerry says. “I like spicy and I like flavorful.”
Though he pursued a career in engineering, cooking has always been in his background. His entire family enjoys cooking from scratch. His grandmother made wedding cakes, and he learned to decorate cakes from a young age. “There are photos of me with wedding cakes at age 6,” Jerry says.
Jerry came to Eddie Merlot’s in 2008 when our Cincinnati location opened. He wanted to move back to the Cincinnati area, and we hired him as a meat cutter. He moved into kitchen management, then a food preparation role, and spent time at several of our locations helping train kitchen staff before finding a more permanent home in Indianapolis as Sous Chef.
What will keep him at Eddie Merlot’s is the opportunity to cook from scratch with high-quality ingredients, using creativity and input from customers to craft recipes. He loves the from-scratch approach of our restaurant group. Plus, he just really likes the company (and we like him!).
“I love working for the company,” Jerry says. “I like what we do, and all of my friends are here.”