Chef Tiffany Derry

Tiffany Derry

Tiffany Derry

Beaumont, Texas native Tiffany Derry is the founder of Tiffany Derry Concepts and co-founder of T2D Concepts, the Texas-based purpose- driven hospitality group behind Roots Chicken Shak, Roots Southern Table, and ‘Shef Tiffany spice and apparel line.

Tiffany knew her purpose was to be in the kitchen from an early age. Growing up on her family’s farm in the South, farm-to-table eating wasn’t a trend, it was a way of life—eating with the seasons, canning and preserving fresh-picked fruits and vegetables, fresh pies on the counter, never letting anything go to waste. Her grandmother always welcomed guests to her kitchen with love and taught Tiffany that cooking is more than just putting a few ingredients together—it’s a passion.

This propelled Tiffany to apply to her first cooking job at the age of 15 at IHOP, which she was denied from because of her race and gender and was hired as a server instead. She was eventually given the opportunity to cook when the kitchen was understaffed, and she stepped in and stepped up. In just a short amount of time, she was promoted to kitchen management, making her the youngest person to hold a managerial role in the restaurant.

Tiffany earned her culinary degree from the Art Institute of Houston and deepened her appreciation for various cuisines and cultures through the study abroad program that took her to Costa Rica, Mexico, Italy, France, China, and Hawaii. She went on to cook in esteemed kitchens throughout Texas including Pesce, Grotto Cucina Napolitano, Go Fish Ocean Club, and Private|Social.

Tiffany then decided to break out on her own and founded Tiffany Derry Concepts in 2013, a company established to support her business and culinary ventures including television shows and brand partnerships.

In 2016, Tiffany and her business partner Tom Foley founded T2D Concepts, which operates her restaurant concepts and spice and apparel line. Fueled by a spirit of service and a deep-rooted hunger to drive social change, T2D aims to bridge the gender and racial wealth gap in the hospitality industry through the power of good food and meaningful dialogue around the table. The pair operates Roots Chicken Shak, a fast-casual concept centered on Tiffany’s famous duck fat-fried chicken with a scalable footprint designed to give minorities an opportunity for ownership, as well as Roots Southern Table, a fine dining establishment that pays homage to Tiffany’s Southern culinary heritage that has been lauded as one of America’s top restaurants by Esquire and The New York Times.

Outside of her restaurants, Tiffany regularly appears as a judge or contestant on national television shows including Bobby’s Triple Threat, The Great American Recipe, Top Chef, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Ranch, Guy’s Grocery Games and the Great American Soul Food Cook Off.

Tiffany is also a fierce advocate for social justice and equity across gender, race, and food access. She spends much of her spare time lobbying politicians to pass sustainable and healthy food polices—she was integral in getting the farm bill updated in 2013. Tiffany serves as a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation’s sustainability efforts, a board member for the National Restaurant Association, an educational ambassador for the U.S. Embassy and supports No Kid Hungry and MAPP.

Tiffany’s authentic approach to Southern cooking landed her on the 2022 James Beard Award finalist list in two categories – Best Chef (Texas) and Best New Restaurant (Roots Southern Table). T2D was named to Nation’s Restaurant News Power List, the definitive list of the 50 most powerful industry leaders, for Tom and Tiffany’s forward-thinking, inclusive approach to hospitality.