At ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Tiffany Derry’s New Restaurant, Southern Cooking Goes Global

At ‘Top Chef’ Contestant Tiffany Derry’s New Restaurant, Southern Cooking Goes Global
Posted on February 9, 2023

I had been dillydallying around for weeks, with every intention of getting up to the Dallas area to visit chef Tiffany Derry’s promising new restaurant, Roots Southern Table, which had opened in June. Then, on the morning of October 12, as I was idly checking the New York Times website, I saw, to my utter horror, that the paper had included Roots on its list of fifty American restaurants it was excited about. Dammit! I fumed. Now I’ll never get a reservation! 

I toggled over to Roots’ website to assess the damage and found, miraculously, that the news hadn’t gone viral yet and reservations were still available not too far in the future. True, they were at five o’clock, but beggars . . . you know the rest. And that’s how, on successive nights a couple of weeks later, two groups of friends and I found ourselves parking for free and walking a few dozen steps to the front door of Roots. That sort of convenience is one of the distinct pleasures of early dining at a restaurant located twenty miles north of central Dallas in the satellite city of Farmers Branch. 

We settled in and perused the menu, which was delivered by an affable, mask-wearing server, then found ourselves overhearing a few nearby conversations. The chitchat revealed that other guests had known about Derry ever since her 2010 stint on season seven of Bravo’s Top Chef (the spunky Texas contestant took fifth place overall, and her quips and easy laugh won her the Fan Favorite award). I suspected that a few of the people in the room might have visited Private Social, the swanky Dallas restaurant she co-owned from 2011 to 2013. But I felt sure that far more of them had chowed down on her famous duck-fat-fried chicken at Roots Chicken Shak, her pandemic-proof fast-food stall, with locations in Plano and Austin.

Source: Texas Monthly

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