Derek James

Devoted family man and father of three, Derek James had always dreamed of becoming a chef at the highest level, serving heads of state and dignitaries. Instead, he was drawn into the restaurant business with his parents where he faced the harsh reality of having too many cooks in the kitchen. After two failed restaurants, Derek chose to work in IT for job security. At this point in his life it seemed unlikely that he’d be able to realize his dream. Kurt introduces Derek to former White House Chef Walter Scheib, a master not only of cuisine, but of the fine art of cultural protocol, an essential ingredient needed in a chef at that level. After training with Walter, Derek will interview with a premier catering company that handles all the high profile events at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library. Derek will have to sharpen his back-of-house skills to improve his cuisine, while also honing his front-of-house acumen to become an expert in protocol and international customs.