Leo Morales is a veteran chef with over 34 years in the culinary world, 20 of which have been mainly concentrated in Dallas, TX. Morales is currently the Corporate Chef at Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge, which has three locations throughout DFW and is owned and operated by Refined Hospitality Concepts.
Chef Morales’ culinary style focuses on BBQ and Texas cuisine with South & Central American influences. A seasoned pitmaster, Leo has been in the Texas BBQ & Smoker scene for 12+ years, garnering notoriety and awards along the way. He has worked at some of Dallas’ most notable restaurants throughout the years, including Nick & Sam’s, managed the barbecue joint Smoky Rose near White Rock Lake, and was the culinary director of Barrel & Bones Craft Bar and Smokehouse.
Ambitious and hardworking by nature, Morales began his journey into the culinary world as a dishwasher at only 11 years old. Through dedication and passion for the industry, he eventually worked his way into a culinary apprenticeship with Disney. To this day he has had the opportunity to work with some highly talented chefs, has a constantly renewed passion & love for the culinary art, and is unafraid to take risks.
“It’s funny how our identity develops over time and certain aspects of our lives start to mirror one another. My style of cooking, especially with the smoker and with my BBQ, is a lot like my journey as a chef. Just like anything in life, the best results come with devotion, attention and passion. Time has become my craft. My motto is low and slow. Quality comes with patience. It has taken many years, and even perspective from others to identify and embrace that about myself,” Leo states.
A formative part of Morales’ growth came through working alongside some of the most amazing people in the Texas BBQ community – one that helps others in times of need and wants to see one another constantly develop and succeed. Morales demonstrates this by constantly striving to build up those around him, both in and outside the kitchen, to produce their best and achieve their potential.
Throughout the years Leo has enjoyed multiple opportunities to create the food he loves and share it with others. Leo works directly with Solo Stove (which produces portable, “smokeless” stainless steel firepits & grills) as a recurring guest chef presenting new recipes to their over half a million subscribers. He has won multiple awards for his food, including 1st Place for his ribs at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 10th Annual BBQ Cookoff 2021, and has earned a nomination for “Fresh New Chef 2022” from Culture Map’s Tastemakers Awards. Morales has frequented the “Top BBQ to Try Right Now” lists, and is a recuring featured chef at the Texas State Fair.