When Christian Dortch’s family moved from California to Hawaii in 2009, the high school transfer left him with enough credits to graduate. So Dortch decided to pack his schedule with electives: baseball and culinary arts. He didn’t care for cooking at first—he’d ditch class to go surfing and practice baseball, determined to become a college athlete. But Dortch’s culinary instructors saw his talent. One day, they surprised Dortch with a set of knives, a local chef to help train him, and a plane ticket to Southern California for the Best Teen Chef competition. With baseball playoffs the same week as the competition, Dortch was faced with a big decision. He went with his gut, cooked the best 3-course meal he could imagine, and won the first-place prize of a $5,000 scholarship to The Art Institute of Orange County.

Immediately after graduating from culinary school, he became the executive chef of Hanna’s Steakhouse. Hoping to further his learning, Dortch applied to Chef Curtis Stones’ Michelin-starred new American restaurant, Maude, through Craigslist and was hired as a sous chef. When meat-centric Gwen opened in 2018, Dortch joined their kitchen before becoming the head chef of the SHARE program, implementing Curtis Stone concepts on cruise ships across the globe. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down restaurant operations overseas, Dortch was offered the head chef position at Georgie by Curtis Stone in Dallas. There, he’s inspiring the new age of steakhouses, bringing global inspiration, seasonality, and Texas’s best cuts to the white-clothed tables.