From an early age Chef Derek knew cooking would be a focal point of his life as many of his best memories with family are centered around cooking. He decided to take his passion for cooking and began to develop his career as a chef by garnering a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas in 2004.
In 2003, Barragan’s repertoire flourished when he joined Fort Worth’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro as Sous Chef; he worked alongside his mentor, nationally acclaimed Executive Chef Tim Love. He joined Chef Love in 2003 at the James Beard House. Four short years later Barragan was promoted to Chef de Cuisine where he developed depth in his culinary skill, technique and savvy.
After admiring Del Frisco’s in his community for several years, Barragan was honored by the opportunity to join Fort Worth’s Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse as Executive Sous Chef in 2008. This move soon led him to the East Coast to open Del Frisco’s new location in Boston where he was the youngest Executive Chef in 2011 at 29 years old. Barragan proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with in both Del Frisco’s kitchen as well as endless events such as Chefs in Shorts, the Housing Family Gala and many other cooking demos.
Barragan’s years of experience, diverse culinary background and menu versatility made him the perfect Chef for the W Hotel and Residences sole restaurant revamp. His entire background was intertwined in each menu item he created where he was a vital piece of the restaurants success. Barragan continued all charity endeavors along with participating in Chefs in Shorts, Battle of the Burger and may other cooking demos for adult education and Whole Foods.
In the latter part of 2018, Barragan came home to Texas and joined the Bob’s Chop & Steak House team in his home town of Fort Worth as Executive Chef. Bob’s culture and atmosphere were a perfect fit. In April of 2019 he relocated to Austin to open the Barton Creek location where his attention to detail, love to teach and years of experience ensured this new location would be a success for years to come.
In December of 2019, with a nudge from his girlfriend and now business partner, Niki, Derek decided to go out on his own to allow his versatility, love to entertain and unmatched work ethic into the homes of clients and groups of many sizes. Many of the clients to date have become like family and Derek and Niki frequently provide one of a kind meals for them often.
Niki is the behind the scenes, details and logistics piece of this duo. Her many years of experience in Office Management, Project Management, Business Management and love for entrepreneurship keep all things Chef Derek in order.
Chef Derek's knack as an amazing teacher has taught Niki how to take over all of the desserts, breads, ice creams and more! Her creative side gets to come out as she curates each charcuterie box or display for each and every client.