Justin Schultz

VP Operations & Executive Chef

Willie's Grill & Icehouse

Justin Schultz

White logo with Willie's i the center and Grill & above it and Icehouse below it on a navy blue background
Justin Schultz serves as Vice President of Operations Services and Executive Chef for Willie’s Grill and Icehouse.

Justin is a big-picture expert who loves people and obsesses over the taste of every bite. At Willie’s, he manages all training, culinary endeavors, purchasing, and new restaurant openings. A friend once called Justin the most “Texan Californian” he’d ever met, and those who know Justin will vouch for the observation’s accuracy. A details guy with a genuinely laid-back disposition, Justin is a rarity––and an ideal ambassador and gatekeeper of Willie’s easy going but precisely Texan culture.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Justin started waiting tables as a teenager. While studying advertising in college, he continued serving and bartending but felt most drawn to the kitchen. He loved the pace, challenge, and competition of the back of the house, and after he graduated with his Bachelor of Arts, he immersed himself not in ad writing or marketing, but among the stoves and prep spaces of a young Macaroni Grill franchise, where he set about learning how to cook from scratch on the job.

In 2015, Justin joined Willie’s as Vice President of Training, then moved into his current position a little less than a year later. Justin takes deep pride in the fact that from hand-breading and hand-battering to the creation of signature spices, every aspect of Willie’s beloved comfort food happens in-house. When his team gets excited about a new dish, Justin gets excited––and knows Willie’s has another winner. A teacher at heart, Justin also loves sharing his knowledge with the next generation.

“The best part of my job is the satisfaction of seeing people learn something new––a technique, a recipe, a process,” Justin says. “Most restaurant folks tend to be younger, and many are in a transitional period. Things they’re learning at that stage can still have a profound impact. For me, teaching them something that can make their lives better is very rewarding.”

Burger with macon, cheese, lettuce and tomato
Willie’s Grill and Icehouse is known for their Bacon Willie which is a Schweid & Sons half pound beef patty, cooked medium-well, choice of cheese, bacon, mayo, mustard, lettuce, red onion, tomato and pickles.

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