Dillion Chase, server
When Dillion Chase moved back to Utah after studying in Massachusetts toward a degree in architecture, he began serving at various hotel restaurants and bars. Three years ago, he landed a position at Stoneground (249 E. 400 South, 801-364-1368, StonegroundSLC.com). He now writes the food blog Dillicious.xyz and hopes to one day open his own waste-free restaurant.
You took a big leap from architecture to food serving. How did that happen?
When I moved back to Utah, it just made sense to get a waiter job—it was fun. I’m not your typical waiter. I got into it because I just like to talk to people. I like food, I like talking about food and I like talking about it to people and I love sharing new things with people.
I came back to Utah, and I started learning Italian. I fell into the food industry because it was my Plan B. Because my Plan A wasn’t enjoyable like I wanted it to be. … Being an architect would have been really cool, but I definitely prefer to eat good food and write about it and share it with people. And drink amazing things and enjoy how that feels and then share that with people.
What do you like about working at Stoneground in particular?
I go to Italy every year. This year, I was there for 65 days. … It’s so cool to come back to Salt Lake to work in a restaurant on the second floor of what used to be a tattoo parlor across the street from the downtown library in Salt Lake City, and I can have the best pasta I’ve ever had. Ever. I’m not just blowing smoke, it’s that good. To work in a place like this where it’s a passion project every day is really neat …
Do you have any customer fans?
I mean, I’ll have a table of four conservative white gentleman and—I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m not a very conservative white man—and my standard intro is ‘Hi, welcome to Stoneground, it’s a pleasure to have you all. My name is Dillion, and you can call me Dillicious.’ Nine times out of 10, the conservative white guy goes, ‘I don’t think I will,’ and nine times out of 10, that [same] guy is calling me Dillicious by the end of the meal because they realize it’s not something I call myself to be cute or flouncy. It’s like a part of the brand that I’m creating … This is a Dillicious experience.
Would you feel the same if you worked at a chain restaurant?
… I couldn’t do my job at, like, Sizzler, because at Sizzler, they try to take the “me” out of it and that’s what makes me a special server. … I expect things from my employer just as they would from me. They expect me to come do my job the right way; I expect them to let me because they see what I can do. And we’re all going to have more fun. … Every day I am here, I am so excited to come here.