A chef who has worked his way up at Mason’s Grill could get some national recognition, but he’ll need your help.

Mason Grill’s head chef Willie Wallis has been voted into the Top 16 in Thomas’ Breads Hometown Breakfast Battle Contest. The contest celebrates the company’s 135 years in business. Wallis advanced past the first round where 135 chefs where whittled down to 16.

At last count, Wallis’ dish —a crawfish and tasso eggs Benedict that he created — was in the top six. Those who would like to vote can do so once daily. The Top 8 contestants will be named Sunday.

Wallis has been in the food industry for 17 years and has worked at Mason’s Grill for two. He started at the Baton Rouge restaurant as a fry cook and worked his way up through the ranks. In March 2013, Wallis became the head chef.

“At first, I was frightened because of the volume of food we do,” Wallis said of chef job. “But with support, they groomed me well, and I gradually took over.”

Wallis said he has been surprised to go this far in the competition. For him, a victory would mean a cash prize as well as something intangible for other up-and-coming chefs.

“I feel that it would more cooks here that they can move up from the bottom, from the lowest spot on the line and give them inspiration to work harder.”

To vote and get more information on the competition, click here.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter @MatthewSigur.