We had the good fortune of connecting with Chef DeeJay Ferguson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chef DeeJay, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I used to think work centric. If it wasn’t making me money it wasn’t for me. I was burnt out, out of shape, and dealing with ailments I had no idea I had. I had worked myself into bad health. Now, my life and work have found a coexistence. I now spend more time taking care of myself and family versus constantly being “on the grind”. If I’m not at my best, how can I be at my best for other people.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The path to this wasn’t easy. I’ve had a lot of jobs and a lot of fails. Persistence and my family is what has kept me going. I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself, learn from the mistakes, and challenge myself everyday to get better. My story is one of great loss and great triumph but what sets this brand apart above all is love. We love what we do and it’s a passion you can definitely taste.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so many great restaurants out here, Smoking Fins, Galeto to name a couple. Definitely gotta take them to a few of the “secret bars” and speakeasies. Food truck festivals, farmers markets, Old Town Nightlife and live music bars. There’s a ton to do in Arizona at any given time.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mother, grandmother, Principal Macklin who gave me my start, LeaMo and her unwavering love and consistent support, any and everyone who has ever tasted my food and helped me to confirm my destiny.

Instagram: @chefwyze

Twitter: @wyzewordz

Facebook: Www.Facebook.com/chefwyze

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.