Chef Spotlight DeMarcus Hill - The Good Place

Born in Memphis TN in 1983, DeMarcus Hill began his life's journey to become a humble proclaimed chef. "I've never liked being called a chef. Having a title as a chef implies that you are the best at what you do, and I know that I haven't gotten there yet" DeMarcus says. He was the oldest child and began helping with the cooking for the family at age 4. “I watched my grandfather cook when I went to grandma's house on the weekend. He was a great chef. I used to grab a step ladder and collect all the ingredients I needed, place them on the counter next to the stove and fire that baby up!” But this was only the beginning to what was to come.

In 2001, DeMarcus attended CHIC, The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, where he furthered his knowledge and experience in French cuisine arts. After returning home to Memphis, he took some time off from the culinary arts and began working at FedEx, a job which he loved. After a few years of employment, DeMarcus began to explore options in the field of music. He became a musician at Union Grove Holiness Church.

In early 2008 DeMarcus' life took a turn as he began slowly returning to his true passion of cooking. "Being raised in Memphis, you didn't have a choice but to know how to Bar-B-Q. My aunt, uncles, and grandparents always had the grills and smokers going so I naturally learned techniques from them. I love to be on the pit!" He began to cater for friends and family, small parties, preparing dishes like chicken roulade, lasagna and party platters. In late 2010, DeMarcus met his now wife Deelana and three beautiful daughters. After marrying, he began cooking for the school district in Poplar Bluff MO, and climbed the ranks in less than a year to District Chef. Demonstrating and introducing new techniques to regional staff under the close eye of Paul Stolle, DeMarcus brought a new spin on nutritional values for the students. DeMarcus also states that he started changing the way the students ate by first changing the way the food was presented.

Later, before moving from Missouri, DeMarcus took a bold leap and started selling BBQ plates to the city out of his 2 bedroom apartment. "My wife, kids and I thought it would be fun to allow people in Poplar Bluff to try my food and at the same time make extra money, but we never thought it would get as much attention as it did. I even sold plates to the city court judge and clerk's office. People started asking me to cater parties and weddings. It was crazy! But I loved it!"

In late 2013, DeMarcus arrived in Dallas TX in search of a restaurant job. "On my first day in Texas, I started working at Pickles Icehouse and BBQ in Watauga TX under the leadership of Chef Issac Walker. I was also working at FM Smokehouse in Irving TX, staying around the BBQ scene as much as possible." Regular customers at FM Smokehouse requested that DeMarcus prepare their meals. They even pressured the owner into allowing him to create new dishes and special menu items. With his bold stance on presentation, combined flavors, and southern root influence, DeMarcus made his way to Capital Senior Living at The Good Place in NRH Texas where he is now Food Service Director, training staff with his experience and knowledge to create above standard meals for residents. "I think a lot about my residents, and want to prepare the best meals I can for them to enjoy." DeMarcus contributes his success to staying humble and loving what he does best. "This is still the beginning, but with every step it's always still the beginning."