Ocean Crest Resort is operated by three generations of the Curtright Family, providing an oasis of rest and seclusion in a natural forest setting that meets with the sound and sights of the ever changing Pacific Ocean.
Ocean Crest Resort has evolved over the years from four cabins and a one bedroom home overlooking the ocean in 1953 into a full service resort of 45 comfortable rooms, indoor pool, spa, health club, fine dining restaurant, cocktail lounge and gift shop. Our cliff top vantage presents spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and wide sandy beaches below, serviced by a scenic, meandering walkway and stairs through a wooded ravine.
It is our mission at Ocean Crest Resort to become your personal oasis of rejuvenation and relaxation on the Washington Olympic Coast. We aim to provide you with the best personalized service to help you fully experience and enjoy our one of a kind setting overlooking the majestic Pacific Ocean. Whether you are on a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a business retreat, we are committed to ensuring that you relax, enjoy, and return again and again.
The Culinary Madman Jess Owen
Assistant General Manager, Third Generation Family Member, One of Six Stock Holders and Executive Chef
Jess’ grandmother, Barbara Topete (formerly Cornish and Curtright), bought the Ocean Crest Resort in 1953. At the time it consisted of 4 cabins and a small one bedroom home where Barbara raised her 4 children, Rob, Barb, Sid and Shari. Everyone pitched in and helped out whether it be salmon bakes on the beach or maintenance. Grandma Barbara, as she’s lovingly referred to by the staff, still works as do all 4 grown children and grandson. Barbara & the family grew the resort over the years to an establishment of 45 rooms, a health club with indoor pool (Cedar Serenity Spa), a gift shop featuring Northwest art and artist’s and a fine dining restaurant with an award winning wine list.
In 1973 Jess Owen was born to daughter Barbara, and father Sam Owen. Jess has spent most of his life at the Ocean Crest. The staff is a second family and the restaurant a second home. When he was 11 Jess went to the Crest to ask his mother for some money for candy and she put him to work. His first tasks were to help with dishes in the kitchen and clean out fireplaces in the rooms. Jess has worked almost every position in the resort since. In 1989 he moved for a brief time to Eugene Oregon to finish public schooling then went on to attend business school. He met his lovely wife, Sara, in Eugene and shortly after their wedding, in 1996, they moved back up to Washington to fulfill Jess’ lifelong dream of taking over the running of the Ocean Crest Resort and keeping his family’s legacy alive.
In the dining room Jess is known as a Certified Culinary Consultant™. In the kitchen he is known as The Culinary Madman™ for his unique creations like Chai Halibut, Roosevelt Elk and Berry Soup, Razor Clam Taritas, and White Chocolate Whipped Potatoes.
Jess stepped into the role of Executive Chef in 2008 out of necessity due to staffing issues and without formal training, but made quite a name for himself due to his culinary creations at Ocean Crest Resort’s Northwest Wine Maker Dinners and 8 awards for his competition dishes at the Chocolate on the Beach Festival and the Razor Clam festival. In 2010 Jess passed the Creme Brulee Torch to Andy Bickar.
What is his driving philosophy in the kitchen? Nobody can truly know what goes on in the head of The Culinary Madman™, but Jess likes to keep dishes as simple as possible. In the kitchen, Jess is inspired by the bounty of the Olympic Peninsula and the blank canvas that is the plate, in life he is inspired by his 2 sons and his lovely wife, Sara Owen. Jess has always been the one to entertain the guests with his off beat sense of humor and abundant knowledge of food. Jess is also a behind the scenes guy who makes sure all equipment and computers are up and running. So when Jess was needed in the kitchen, although by no means his first stint, he was sure of the direction he wanted to take with the menus; beautiful simple food you want to eat again and again. One of his favorite things is to serve is a new and very creative dish, such as chocolate soup, and see the skeptical look on a guests face change to a look of pure happiness with that first bite.
Jess now is Assistant General Manager working with his uncle Rob to learn the ins and outs of the daily running of the business. Many of his tasks now include sales, marketing, PR, website development, attending events to promote the Ocean Crest Resort, Chef Demos, and of course covering shifts as needed. As well as his work at Ocean Crest Resort, Jess is active in the community, his local chambers of commerce and various improvement committees. Jess is currently Past President of the Olympic Peninsula Loop Culinary Tourism Association, on the Board of Directors for the Ocean Shores and North Beach Chamber of commerce, and former president of the Grays Harbor Tourism Advisory Board which has restructured to an LTAC where he retains his seat.
What Jess is most proud of is his ongoing passion for his family’s business and his community. He has brought in his wife, Sara, into the business and his oldest son James even worked a few summers as a dishwasher and cook. At any given time there are 3 to 4 generations of family at work.
So what will you get with Jess Owen and Ocean Crest Resort? You will get a wonderful experience not just with the view, the food or with the wine, you will be staying at “our place”. When you come to Ocean Crest Resort you are a guest of the family, so be ready to meet Jess and let his gregarious personality win you over.