Wesley Campbell was born into the restaurant business. Watching his parents make jerk chicken and pork, steamed fish, and fried chicken in their restaurant, the call of the culinary arts couldn't be ignored. At fourteen, Campbell entered a cooking competition and astonished the judges with his sophisticated dish, setting the stage for what would become a deliciously eventful career.
Campbell began working as a prep cook at the five-star Half Moon Resort in Jamaica and was quickly promoted to pastry assistant. Struck with Campbell's potential, the resort sent him to Austria for additional training. Soon after, he became head chef. At twenty, he was offered the executive chef position. Feeling unready, he asked them to hire someone from whom he could continue to learn. Always seeking new experiences, Campbell later moved to the Wyndham Rosehall Hotel.
When a friend opened a restaurant in Washington, DC, Campbell left Jamaica for the promise of an Americanized culinary dream. With his help, Montego Bay Café flourished. Campbell continued his culinary successes in DC, working as executive sous chef for the Mayflower Hotel and Georgia Brown's Restaurant and as executive chef for the Georgetown Seafood Grill, before eventually accepting the executive chef position at an upscale restaurant called The Daily Grill. With his help, the restaurant prospered and three additional restaurants were opened in the area, as well as another in Houston, making him Corporate Chef to all four restaurants.
Hard work and dedication are the backbone of his successes, and there is no question of Campbell's talent in the kitchen. During his career, he has received fourteen gold and six silver medals for his culinary masterpieces and was awarded Chef of the Year in Jamaica. As a testament of his extraordinary gifts as a chef, Campbell was nominated to represent his country in the International Culinary Olympic Competition. Campbell was the winner of the Adam Morgan Day Fine Dining Restaurant Competition in Washington, DC as well as two-time first prize winner of The Sysco Platinum Chef Cooking Competition in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland area.
In 2005, Campbell jumped at the opportunity to open his own restaurant and launched Mo-Bay Grill, where international flavors are presented in a small-town atmosphere and meals are meant to engage appetites in a delightful experience.
Enjoy a savory breakfast with his huevos rancheros or amazing pumpkin pancakes. Find a tasteful difference at lunch and try the sweetly-spicy jerk chicken pocket, the mouth-watering cob club sandwich, or the grilled grouper sandwich with a succulent sweet onion sauce. Taste excellence even in the sides offered whether it's the Caribbean Slaw or the pleasingly tasteful and mellow cucumber salad. Pour yourself into his enticing She Crab Soup or one of his stews for a body-warming experience. Start a culinary journey with the conch or cod fish fritters or luxuriate in the green herbed steamed mussels. For a relaxed, tantalizing dinner, Mo-Bay's menu offers flavorful fresh and tropical seafood meant to dazzle not only the palate, but invigorate all the senses. Awaken the mouth with his red snapper served with an essence of ginger scallion oyster sauce, the perfectly seasoned Maryland Jumbo Crab Cake, or the delectable grilled salmon. Combine land and sea with the seafood paella; grouper, shrimp, mussels, and andouille sausage tossed in herb rice. For a walk on the meatier side, try the blue cheese sirloin steak or the charbroiled apple pork chops that will make your taste buds burst in appreciation. Diners looking for a taste of Jamaica will find a satisfying experience in the oxtail stew or the mushroom and spinach stuffed jerk chicken. Get your greens on by requesting the richly tender Irie vegetable stew atop lentils or the angel hair pasta tossed with carrots and bell peppers in a coconut cream sauce. For a simple selection at dessert, dive into the coconut rice pudding. If you can handle a sweet expedition, order the cheesecake topped with caramelized bananas and rum sauce.
While many of his patrons vow Wesley Campbell's dishes are to die for, the chef maintains the food at Mo-Bay Grill is meant to be lived for.
by Lisa Gergen