Jerry Morales, executive chef at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Brentwood, has been named Firebirds’ Chef of the Year for his outstanding back-of-the-house leadership, culinary prowess, staff morality, restaurant sales, guest count and guest satisfaction in 2017.
Firebirds, with 45 locations nationwide, recognized him at the company’s annual award conference recently.
“As a longtime team member, Morales exemplifies the passion, excellent work ethic and warm hospitality that are Firebirds’ cornerstones,” CEO Mark Eason said. “It is truly inspiring to see his constant commitment to not only our Brentwood guests, but the staff as well.”
A Tennessee native and 10-year Firebirds team member, Morales previously served as the executive chef at Firebirds’ Memphis restaurant, where he had also served as a sous chef. He joined Firebirds’ Memphis team as guest assistant when he was a junior in high school, working his way up while continuing to hone his skills.
"It is an honor to have been chosen as Firebirds’ Chef of the Year," Morales said. “I have to thank my friend and mentor Chef Mike Mitchell, who took me under his wing when I was working and training in Memphis and taught me the ins and outs of the kitchen and restaurant business. Everyone needs someone who believes in them and inspires them. Chef Mitchell was that person for me.”