Chef Derek Scattergood's interest in food started early. Growing up in South Jersey, Derek's parents sparked his culinary flame- nightly family dinners were mandatory in the Scattergood house, and his parents managed to feed four growing kids with fresh, home-cooked meals every night.
As a child, one of his favorite activities on a rainy Sunday was watching Jeff Smith's "The Frugal Gourmet" on PBS. He loved trying to convince his father that the recipes he was watched should be what the family ate for dinner that night!. In fact, at 5-years-old, he scrawled down a poorly spelled recipe for Jambalaya which still hangs framed in his kitchen, a reminder of his early love of food. (And for the record, it's the recipe the Scattergood Family still uses today!)
At 14, Derek got a summer job with his best friend washing dishes. He proceeded to work his way up from dishwasher to salad and prep cook, and then moved on to various sandwich shops, country clubs, and a variety of restaurants until at 23, he moved from his home in South Jersey to Philadelphia. He became Sous Chef -and later Executive Chef- at a busy bar and grille on Rittenhouse Square.
Since then, Chef Derek has spent years working in hotels, busy gastropubs, and family-run restaurants. He has also become a Professional Culinary Instructor and gourmet caterer.
Most recently, one of Chef Derek's cooking lessons at Sur La Table was featured in Philly Current! For a behind-the-scenes look at his lessons, check out the article here.
Chef-Derek.com is also the home of Chef Derek's blog. Chef Derek regularly updates with recipes, strategies, and techniques, and as well as his tales from the culinary world. Check back frequently for the latest stories, tips, and tricks culled from Chef Derek's 16-plus years in the culinary industry.
Chef Derek lives near his hometown in South Jersey with his wife Erin and their son, Dash.