Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chef Tiffany Derry Talks Being A Bobby Flay Titan, Louisiana + Texas Roots & More

Chef Tiffany Derry is one of the stars of the new hit series Bobby’s Triple Threat on Food Network. The show has just been renewed for an expanded second season so fans will be seeing a lot more of Derry alongside the other Titans Brooke Williamson and Michael Voltaggio. Each week the titans battle some of the best chefs in America that have been handpicked by master competitor Bobby Flay.

Derry is no stranger to televised food competitions. She starred in Season 7 of Top Chef Washington DC becoming the fan favorite after placing fifth overall. She returned in Season 8 for the Top Chef All-Star version filmed in New York City placing fourth. Most recently she also competed in Season 3 of Guys Tournament of Champions.

Derry is a Texas native growing up in Beaumont.  In 2017 she opened her duck-fat fried chicken restaurant, Roots Chicken Shak. In 2020 the chef expanded into Austin and fans of Derry’s famous fried chicken can now also try her recipes at a branch of the restaurant in at the food hall Main Streat by H-E-B.

Partnering with investor Tom Foley of T2D Concepts and Indigo Group, Chef Derry opened Roots Southern Table in June 2021 in Farmers Branch, Texas. Roots Southern Table was included in the “2021 Restaurants List” by The New York Times as one of the 50 best American restaurants of the year.

The Travel Addict was able to catch up with Derry in person after her cooking demo at the Austin Food and Wine Festival.

Chef Tiffany Derry Talks Being A Bobby Flay Titan
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What has been your highlight of being part of Bobby’s Triple Threat on Food Network?

I think honestly just being chosen as one of the Titans. I couldn’t believe Bobby came to my restaurant and ate a meal. And I guess in that moment, that’s when he decided that I was going to be a titan. I had no clue.

Bobby Flay did say it was one of the best meals he ever ate.

He did, which blew me away. I realized that he really was loving it because he was asking specific questions like, “where did this inspiration come from?” I remember serving him fonio grains and him saying, “what is a fonio grain,” you know, and me explaining the roots of different foods. I think that impressed him as well.

What’s the secret to the best chicken sandwich?

Just making sure you start with quality ingredients and seasoning it like your life depends on it.

You said your family is from Louisiana. Any fun places to visit off the hidden path in Louisiana?

Oh, Lord, you’re taking me back. I say, always hit the gas station. Those are always my favorite. Yes, Yes. Boudin, crackling hog cheese. Like all the stuff that I feel like it’s starting to be almost like an art that’s dying away. You know, people aren’t embracing it quite as much. But if you can find yourself some red boudin, get it, please.

Chef Tiffany Derry Talks Being A Bobby Flay Titan
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What has been your highlight of Austin Food and Wine Festival?

it’s just started but I’ve seen so many great friends already. It’s always great to see all the people in the industry and meet all of the folks that come out to see the demonstrations.

Being a native, what’s your perfect day in Texas look like?

Sleeping in past 8:00 am. Hanging out and just being at home for half of the day and then maybe walking to the park and then having dinner at one of my favorite neighborhood restaurants.

What are your plans going into 2023?

Oh, there’s so much happening. Season 2 of Bobby’s Triple Threat is coming. Possibly a couple more restaurants opening, a few more TV shows, more extension of the spice line. Let’s just say there’s a lot happening.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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