We had the good fortune of connecting with Derricka Clayton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Derricka, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Taking risks is a part of life. Without taking risks, you’ll never know what your full potential may be as you are limiting yourself to your comfort zone. Risk taking has played a major role in my life and career. In my low points in my life, I have made sacrifices in order to help get me into better situations. I studied and obtained multiple certifications, did internships and volunteering in industries I was most interested in until I was in those industries full time. Most recently due to COVID-19, it has caused me to take risks in my career that allowed me to truly learn what all I am capable of doing and has opened my eyes to figure out what I would like to focus on specifically for my brand. Risks has catapulted me into situations I prayed to be in and due to taking these risks, it has made my life much more enjoyable. I’m just here for the ride.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own two businesses: Chef Derricka (Private Chef/Catering) and DC Website Consulting (Website Design and Consultation Services). I’ll take the time to elaborate on both businesses. DC Website Consulting (@DCWebsiteConsulting) originated in 2016 and stemmed from a blog, @ThaDopeFoodie, which highlighted all things food, restaurants, food trucks, and other local small business and chefs within the DFW and surrounding areas. I always enjoyed web design as it allowed me bring a unique vision and perspective on how I wanted to present information in my own unique way. Shortly from there, I began assisting other individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses help share their vision and brand with the world. DC has now become a strong, thriving business with clients from all over the US and has built partnerships with other brands and companies to continue to help people who are starting off who are in need of a website as well as those with current websites who need assistance with rebranding with a fresh new look. www.dcwebsiteconsulting.com Chef Derricka has been operating a little over a year now and has made a mark in the culinary industry in a short period of time. Besides being featured last year by Voyage Dallas (Much appreciated), since that feature I have participated in Nosh hosted by Black Restaurant Week, participated and won a People’s Choice award at the Culture Crawl for Best Bar Bite for my infamous Hennessy Wings, hosted Virtual Cooking Classes, featured in Expos outside of Dallas, held Pop Up Events, as well as had the opportunity to cater to several clients from private dinner and brunch services to large corporate events. Also, I will be graduating Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with a 3.8 GPA in June 2020, so I’m truly humbled by the acheivement of this accomplishment as it helps me become a master of my craft. The focus going forward is specializing in providing more intimate 5-star dinners and brunches. I have learned that I truly love not only cooking meals but plating and presenting them in a way that truly resembles my motto: A Modern Spin on Classic Cuisine. I provide exceptional experiences no matter the occasion and with my knowledge, skill and ability to literally make any world cuisine, as well as baking and pastry, my unique perspective on elevating classic dishes sets me apart from others in my industry. www.chefderricka.com Everything was not always glitter and gold. How I got here is strictly based on never losing sight of the goals I set for myself, no matter what type of challenges life has handed to me. Going thru a divorce, overcoming depression, raising an autistic child while co-parenting, working in management during the night shift while going to school during the day, having to sleep on someone’s couch for several months until I got on my feet., corporate job instabilities, dealing with the untimely passing of my ex-husband/child’s father… Life has only made me stronger from what I have experienced thus far in my lifetime. Never losing faith, keeping God first and staying prayerful helped me see the light of each and every situation. Having a strong support system also helped contribute to being able to stay positive and focused on goals I wanted to achieve. Lessons I have learned along the way include: Taking things for what they are at face value and not making them for what they are not. Transparency and communication help build relationships and respect. Organization and Time Management are major keys to success. Never stop promoting yourself. Somebody is always watching and people that you least expect are rooting for you. Support and help others as it’s not always about you. It’s a very important key to building relationships and collabs. Make time for work/life balance. Work hard, but play harder. Life is short and we only get one.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So here is my run down of our cheat week for food!! Monday, we would go to Cris and John grab some Ramenrito (Yes, Ramen Burrito), just to help us reminisce on our college food staple, yet presented with a Asian-Tex Mex Fusion. Tuesday, for our Italian fix, it’s a must that we hit up a local favorite, Campisi’s, because not only is the food amazing but on Tuesday is half bottle of wine night!! Wednesday, we would check out Aunt Irene’s Kitchen for our seafood fix. Thursday, we would head out to Aldeez for Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Fried Plaintains, plus their Rum punch is a must have!! Friday, we would head out to Hurst for some Carne Asada Fries from Los Alberto’s. Saturday we are hitting up Dallas Farmer’s Market and visit Brunchaholics because the Soul Food Burrito is simply spectacular (Shout out to Chef Jessie Washington). From there we would end the visit on Sunday by either brunching at Jonathan’s Oak Cliff with the build your own bloody mary bar or Pie Tap with the $2 Frozes or $3 Mimosas. Besides all the good eats, cool hangout would include Texas Live, Legacy Hall, The Hideaway, Union Park, Sandaga, or simply strolling through Uptown or Deep Ellum.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First off, I give our almighty God in heaven all of the glory, as if it was not for His grace, mercy and blessings that He has showered on me, I would not be where I am today. I would like to recognize my mother, Carole Washington, for pushing me to be persistent in creating and knocking out goals and always leveling myself up, as well as being there to help me when no one else would. I would like to recognize my sister, Pelar Blanks, for always supporting each and every endeavour I have ever done and being my rock and support system throughout my life. Definitely gotta shout out my cousin/mentor, Tywanda Tate, for holding me accountable business, finances, and faith. Her guidance has allowed me to approach life in a perspective that is best for being able to manage multiple things at once without stressing, which is definitely needed with balancing my two businesses, school and raising my autistic teen daughter. I’d also like to give credit to Nick Gatlin who is my close friend who is my listening ear when things seem complicated and helps encourage me to never give up and to keep going. Everyone needs a friend like him who can make you laugh when you feel like crying. I appreciate all of my other friends, family and supporters of my businesses who love my work and gets the word out to others about my business services and work. Finally, I wanted to dedicate everything I do to my heartbeat, my daughter Kamryn Clayton. She keeps me motivated and encouraged to be the best mom and role model I can be for her. I want to be the reason why my child believes that you can do anything you put your mind to as her own mom is a living, breathing walking testimony.
Website: www.chefderricka.com and www.dcwebsiteconsulting.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/chefderricka and
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chefderricka and
Other: Take A Chef and Hello Cheffy – Chef Derricka
Kory Sebastian at K. Sebastian Photography