Chef and Staff

Our talented staff

We have a great team of passionate, talented and friendly management and staff; crafting a standard of excellence for quality, service and hospitality.

EXECUTIVE CHEF

DUSTIN HARVEY

Ella Executive Chef Dustin Harvey started out his culinary career young, cooking daily with his family in Tucson, Arizona. Following his passion, Harvey moved to Austin, Texas in 2005 and worked for highly acclaimed restaurants, including
The Driskill Grill, Uchi, Uchiko, Qui, and East Side King. It was during these experiences, Harvey developed a deep relationship with local sourcing and the concept of head-to-toe cooking, minimizing waste, and maximizing yield to the product’s full potential. In 2015, Harvey met vegan
Chef-Mentor Tim Bevins, who pushed and challenged Harvey to become more old-world grain-driven, health-conscious, and environmentally aware of how and where ingredients are sourced from. After his daughter’s birth in 2017, Harvey and his family moved to Sacramento to be closer to family. In the Summer of 2021, Harvey joined the team at Ella. As Executive Chef, Harvey is excited to be a part of the Sacramento Farm-to-Fork community and looks forward to delighting guests with his seasonal and innovative menus.

Pastry Chef

ALISON CLEVENGER

Pastry Chef Alison Clevenger’s interest in food began at a young age, inspired by her Italian grandparents’ love and respect for traditional recipes using best-quality ingredients. While growing up, the proud Bay Area native eagerly learned from her grandmother the essentials of Italian cooking and along the way found her passion for baking.

After graduating from the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute at age 19, Alison sought opportunities to further develop her own creativity and moved back to her home state. In 2007, Alison joined forces with Ginger Hahn of Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates and was their Executive Pastry Chef for 10 years. It was here that Alison truly learned what it meant for a business to be farm-to-fork and how important it is to support her community through food.

Chef Alison’s style in the kitchen is centered around her focus to building a positive, inclusive, and healthy kitchen culture for her team. She joined Selland Family Restaurants in 2019. Alison hopes to give Ella diners the same heightened experience she derives from her culinary passion and expertise.

Events Director

NICOLE DESMOND

Look for Nicole Desmond and you’re likely to find her exploring one of the many restaurant options Sacramento has to offer. Food is her passion and her role with Ella and all the Selland Family Restaurants allows Nicole an opportunity to enjoy her favorite pastime.

Born and raised in Sacramento, Nicole graduated from Bella Vista High School located in Fair Oaks. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. Her first job with locally-based Event Architects was an entry-level position of administrative assistant; her role involved supporting events of all types from small intimate parties of six people to large full-scale events of six thousand. It was early in her career that Nicole realized how much she truly enjoyed being a part of celebrations, special events, and community functions. Nicole will tell you, “There is nothing more satisfying than helping someone plan their wedding and having them contact you again and again for other momentous occasions in their life. I want to be their ‘go-to’ gal.” Event planning and catering is more than just a job for Nicole; it gives her personal satisfaction to help others in making their moment matter.

Nicole has been the Ella Director of Special Events since 2010 and has worked in event planning for nearly 15 years. She will help plan every detail of your party or event, large or small, to ensure it is seamless, delicious, and unforgettable for you and your guests. These days, when Nicole is not working hard at planning parties for Ella or directing Catering at Selland’s, she enjoys spending time with her young daughters Henlee and Hayden. Call Ella and chat with Nicole today to get your successful event rolling!