Tiffany Derry, a native Texan chef made her culinary debut on Top Chef DC in Season 8. Immediately I became a fan of Tiffany because of her charming and bubbly personality. Tiffany added great energy and spirit to show that made it more enjoyable to watch.
Although she may have not won the title of Top Chef and had to “pack her knives & go”, Tiffany has been mixing up the culinary industry with her charm since then. I was fortunate enough to grab some of her time for an interview through passing.
The Journey Begins
At what age did you start cooking?
I started cooking professionally at 15 yrs old.
Where or whom would you credit your culinary expertise to?
My taste buds were influenced by family because we ate such a wide variety of food all the time. The advanced portion of different types of cuisines came from me studying and traveling around the world.
What was your first job?
My first job was at IHOP in Beaumont, TX. I started as a server because the manager said that girls could not cook in the kitchen but eventually someone called out and I got my chance to cook. After that I never looked back to serving.
Have you been back since your acclaimed success?
I have not been back to IHOP but everytime I go home, I pass by and think about all the great memories. None of the same people are there anymore, it’s just not the same.
If you were not chef, what would you be?
If I was not a chef I would be a coach. I used to love to play sports. I played volleyball, basketball, track golf and tennis.
Any food specialities?
What obstacles did you face growing as a female chef?
I feel like there are alot of things we go through that is different from men. For instance, if we decide to have children it is very difficult for us to keep up the life of a chef and take care of home. I think this is why we are such good organizers. The culinary industry is mainly composed of men and you just have to grab control by first demonstrating that you can do this.
What advice would you give to young chefs?
There will be tons of mountains, but just know that it will be alright in due time. Dont expect it to be easy because anything worth working for is so worth the reward. Learn all you can and keep your head down and keep cooking.
What did you enjoy the most about the show?
I met some amazing people who will be friends for life.
What was your favorite challenge and what dish are you MOST proud of?
My favorite challenge was the conch challenge, even though I was elimanted I had a blast. Just the whole ideal of jumping into water grabbing your own conch and cooking on the beach was so wonderful. In season 7 I did chicken tamales that was sooo sooo good that I will put on my menu for the new restaurant.
Are there any regrets while on the show?
I do not have any regrets because thats just the way I live my life.
How has Top Chef changed your life?
I now have to get up each day and do my hair (LOL), so many people know me from the show and they are some of the sweetest people I meet on a daily basis.
What are you doing now?
I am currently building my restaurant uptown inDallas, TX and the name will be Private Social. We are looking like it will be open in August but we will see. I am doing alot of traveling, cooking around the world with doing events and cooking demonstrations.
What’s next for Tiffany?
Two big things in life, opening restaurant and working on my own cooking show.
Until we meet again!!!