Desi Vega, the co-owner and managing partner of Mr. John’s and Desi Vega’s Steakhouses, grew up in the restaurant business and was groomed by Ella Brennan at Commander’s Palace, Ruth Fertel of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Emeril Lagasse. His attention to detail and commitment to excellence makes for a truly memorable dining experience. Desi is determined to “do what it takes” to make both Mr. John’s and Desi Vega’s the new “local” favorite place to go for steaks!
Meet The Chef
New Orleans native and culinary driving force behind Desi Vega’s Steakhouse, Merlin “Muggsy” Beals, Jr., began his restaurant career when he was just 18 years old, working for Vega’s parents. While he started waiting tables, he quickly realized his passion was for food; not only serving it, but skillfully preparing it. With no formal culinary training, Muggsy spent the next several years studying the art of food and honing his skills in the kitchen. Eventually moving to Nevada to open Ruth’s Chris Las Vegas, the top- grossing location within the company, Muggsy assumed the position of Executive Chef, and quickly made a name for himself, earning the accolade of Top 100 Chefs in Las Vegas. Years later, after working with Chefs Emeril Lagasse, Tenney Flynn, and John Folse, Muggsy made his way back home to New Orleans to team up once again with life-long friend Desi Vega. With Muggsy’s knowledge and talent in the kitchen and Vega’s professionalism and keen eye for detail, Desi Vega’s Steakhouse was named Best New Restaurant “Class of ’13” by OpenTable and voted one of the Best New Restaurants of 2013 by New Orleans Magazine. When Muggsy isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found enjoying the ever-growing local restaurant scene and celebrating the renewal of his beloved city.