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Top ‘Top Chef’ In My Books

November 19, 2010

She has a sweet smile, lovely Southern manners and killer knife skills.  As we work through a cooking class together, Chef Tiffany Derry reveals that, young though she is, she has a deeply evolved appreciation for flavour and colour.  And she can dice a veggie into perfect identical cubes so quickly it appears instantaneous. This is a chef to watch.











Chef Derry is a star on Top Chef, (Bravo and Food Network) chosen to return to star in the Top Chef  All Star Edition to air in 2011, and already a celebrity in Dallas where she is the chef at the Go Fish Ocean Club. It’s easy to see why tv loves her.  She’s got a big smile and an energy buzz that is contagious.

“I love champagne vinegar,” she tells me. “LOVE it. I use it whenever I can.” And in the vinaigrette for the Crispy Pork Salad we are making, the champagne vinegar melds perfectly with little red chilies, fresh herbs and olive oil to create a fine balance of flavours. I am an instant convert.

Chef Derry oversees the prep for the vinaigrette.


“I always have Champagne vinegar on hand” she explains, along with her other must-haves, Dijon and Creole mustard, kosher salt and creole seasoning.

An introduction to Fata Paper











She introduces me to the wonders of Fata Paper, like she’s discovered a great new toy, which it is. ( I have already ordered mine from J B Prince )  The transparent cooking paper looks like plastic wrap but you can cook with it up to 420 degrees. The transparency allows you to see the cooking progress, and serving the little packages at the table is like delivering lovely presents on a plate.  Healthy, too, as no oil or fat is needed.












This is something I will definitely use, maybe for a course for Christmas Eve dinner.









Her caramel cardamom  ice cream is a smooth deeply flavoured delight, pairing perfectly with an upside down pineapple cake.











She’s good this girl.  She has acute perception and a sense of fun, as well as charm. The kind of person you want to be in the kitchen with, and whose food you know will be innovative and fun, but down to earth good eating too.

You can read about her career here or watch her in the new Top Chef All Stars next season.   Or watch her here, in a You Tube Video, cook her famous pan seared scallops, cream corn and lobster dish.

And if you get the chance to have her cook for you? _ Grab it.


Stay tuned for the recipe for Chef Derry’s Crispy Pork salad, coming in a new post soon.

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