This feature is part of a regular series called “How I Got Promoted,” spotlighting the stories of how top hospitality professionals took their careers to the next level. Today’s focus is on Megan Logan, executive chef of Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Los Angeles, who rose through the ranks of renowned hospitality company Patina Restaurant Group with her grit and persistence.
My first full-time job at the Patina Restaurant Group was with the Hollywood Bowl as a garde manger. While I was there, I really pushed myself and went above and beyond to be noticed. I was always asking questions, asking for more responsibilities. I always wanted to learn more, and I think the chef took an interest in me for that. He would mentor me, bringing me over to the hot line once the salad rush was over just so I could learn another station. Eventually, he recommended me for a role at Patina, which is a more fine dining restaurant within the company, so I was able to shift there — still in the same position, as a garde manger.
At Patina, everyone in the kitchen was so passionate and talented — they motivated me to work my butt off even more. I went from garde manger to working the hot station, and then eventually I worked my way up to being the chef tournant. I was the one showing up two hours before work just so I could learn anything that I couldn’t while I was doing my actual shift. I wrote everything down.
I always volunteered to work extra dinners and events. Whenever the owner, Joachim Splichal, came in, I would walk up, introduce myself, and shake his hand to make sure he knew who I was.
The opportunity soon arose for me to go back to the Hollywood Bowl but this time as the chef. It was pretty rare for them to offer that position to someone who was so young. But I got to work there over the summer and learned what it was like to run a kitchen. Then I returned to Patina in an elevated role: sous chef. While I was at Patina, we got a Michelin star and a four-star Los Angeles Times review. I was the support for the chefs and the person they could depend on to lead the team. Also, I had taught myself the numbers side of the restaurant business in my spare time, so I brought more than just cooking to the table.
One day, I saw an opening for the chef position at Nick & Stef’s. I knew Joachim wasn’t sure if I was ready — I was still quite young, and it was a big steakhouse doing high volume. I basically just went up to him and told him that I could do it and asked for the position.
He put his trust in me and gave me the job. I think a lot of it had to do with those early days when I was the one introducing myself every time and making sure he knew my name. I had the kind of confidence that he really respected.
I think I have been successful as the chef at Nick & Stef’s because of how I treat people. I am fair and even-keeled. I recognize the importance of being the person to ask questions and learning something from everyone. My advice: be respectful and treat people well, and it will all pay off in the end.