Derek wears his passions on his sleeve—whether it’s introducing his son Henry to new veggies, traveling across the country for an important baseball game, or finding his perfect cocktail sweet-spot, Derek loves what he loves with abundant enthusiasm. So when he told his friends that he had an idea that would fulfill his dream of putting together a team of people he admired the most, they jumped right in. Derek loves experiencing the world through food, and wanted a way to share that enthusiasm with his son. He came up with Kalamata as a way to create a bridge between grownups and kids through adventures with food.
Derek has always been driven to fill spaces with things he helped to create. In college, he started an academic/athletic non-profit for kids called Shooting for A’s. That experience was his first working something from conception through execution and long lasting success, and it was a driving force for him to look onwards to the next challenge.
Derek credits the Chef’s Table series as being a huge catalyst for change in his life. The profiles of chefs are not just incredibly appetizing, they’re tremendous examples of visionary leadership. As the Kalamata’s Kitchen team leader, Derek’s unbridled enthusiasm and energy brings everyone to the table.
First food memory? “My grandfather’s pasta. The pasta wasn’t handmade, but the sauce was amazing. I’ll always regret not being interested enough as a kid to learn how he made it.”
Favorite thing to cook with your kid? “We love making waffles together. He helps me mix everything and mans the waffle iron while they’re cooking.”
If you could travel anywhere under your kitchen table, where would you go? “Easy— I’d travel to Modena and eat whatever Massimo was putting on the menu that day.”