Backstory: Dezmon Campos, Executive Chef
Dezmon’s story starts just 36 miles east of SageCliffe. As he grew up, he loved nothing more than hunting, fishing and playing sports. This is what inspired his childhood dream to become a football player or go into sports medicine. Though through a twisted turn of fate, he had to get a spinal fusion at age 15 and his dreams of becoming a sportsman came to an end. However, this pivotal moment in Dezmon’s life led him to his future career as a Chef.
After working with his dad in construction as a teen, he took his first job as a dishwasher at Rock Top Burgers and Brew aged 16, where his competitive nature thrived. “The competitive side of me never left. I wanted to be the fastest at washing dishes and as soon as I saw how the cooks danced on the line, I wanted to start cooking as quickly as possible too.“
After a few months of dishwashing, Dezmon became a line cook – learning the dance and loving it. However, as he was about to graduate high school, he decided he wanted to learn more about food and master his culinary skills. He started working at SageCliffe Resort, previously known as Cave B Resort, under Chef Tyler Krost. This was Dezmon’s first step into fine dining and the point at which he truly fell in love with the industry.
He revelled in every moment of it, from working in the pantry to creating irresistible plates, refreshing salads, or mouth-watering desserts. As satisfying as these things were though, the key thing that made the difference for Dezmon was seeing the smiling guests, enjoying his food in the dining room. “Being able to make people happy with great food is something else, it is what I love to do.”
After 10 months at the resort, Dezmon graduated high school and relocated to Vancouver, Washington, where he attended The Oregon Culinary Institute. There he learnt about the management side of restauranteering, as well as in-depth information about global cuisines and fine wines. Parallel to his studies, Dezmon worked his way up to Sous Chef at Pacific House, under Chef Mark Wornson. Then, only one year later, he opened a second Pacific House in Camas Washington.
Five months after opening the new restaurant, Dezmon’s Head Chef, Mark, moved to Hawaii, leaving Dezmon as the Executive Chef overlooking both locations. During this time, Dezmon realised that working within a restaurant is more than just a job. He worked hard to nurture relationships with his team, whilst also providing a top-class experience to his guests.
Although Dezmon felt fulfilled and proud of what he’d achieved at Pacific House, after three and a half years, it was time to head back home. On arriving back, he started running a popular restaurant in Moses Lake. There he acclimatised to running a kitchen three times the size of what he was used to. Though after a year and a half of working in this incredibly fast-paced role, his heart ached for something new.