LongHorn Steakhouse honors employee who grilled 1 million steaks

By Zoe Sottile, CNN

    (CNN) -- There's a new grill master in town, just in time for grilling season.

Gayle Dudley, a longterm employee at a LongHorn SteakHouse in Georgia, was named "Grill Master Legend" after grilling 1 million steaks -- one of just 14 employees to earn the title -- according to a statement shared with CNN.

Dudley has worked at the chain's Columbus location for two decades, Mario Roberts, communications manager at Darden Restaurants Inc., the group that owns LongHorn Steakhouse, told CNN.

Dudley's accomplishment was marked with a surprise ceremony at the steakhouse where she works. Her coworkers, friends and family gathered to watch her receive a $5,000 check and special gold chef's coat.

"I was taken aback. To be named a Grill Master Legend means a lot to me," Dudley said in a statement. "What made me happiest is that I had the opportunity to share it with my mother and see how proud she was."

"I love the people. I love my coworkers," she continued. "I love my guests too. Because at the end of the day, when they tell me they enjoyed that steak, that gives me the most joy in the world."

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