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Dallas Chef Tiffany Derry, a James Beard Award nominee, opening a Roots Chicken Shak in DeSoto

Derry and her celebrated Farmers Branch restaurant, Roots Southern Kitchen, were recently announced as finalists for the prestigious James Beard Awards.

Chef-owner Tiffany Derry
Chef-owner Tiffany Derry poses for a photo at her restaurant, Roots Southern Kitchen, in Farmers Branch, June 9, 2021. / Photo Credit: Brandon Wade/Special Contributor, Brandon Wade / Special Contributor

By Anna Caplan

James Beard-nominated chef Tiffany Derry will open a third outpost of Roots Chicken Shak — and the first stand-alone location — in DeSoto, city officials announced in a press release last week.

The location will bring Roots’ signature, duck-fat fried chicken to the city along with other southern dishes. The new DeSoto site will also include a drive-through, according to the release.

Derry, who’s an alumna of Bravo’s Top Chef, founded T2D Concepts with business partner Tom Foley “to bridge the gender and racial wealth gap in the hospitality industry through the power of good food and its social entrepreneurial business model,” according to DeSoto officials, with the new location moving forward the company’s goal of bringing “chef-quality food to underserved areas.”

“When a community serves as the host to a restaurant from T2D Concepts, they’re getting a company committed to nourishing the community and driving justice and opportunity for those who have been historically denied a seat at the table,” DeSoto Mayor Rachel L. Proctor said in the release.

Derry and Foley opened Roots Chicken Shak, which serves Southern-style, locally sourced food, in Plano’s Legacy Hall in 2017. In 2019, they partnered with H-E-B to open a restaurant inside an Austin store.

Last month, Derry and her Farmers Branch restaurant, Roots Southern Kitchen, were named the sole finalists from North Texas for the 2022 Restaurant and Chef James Beard Awards. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on June 13.

The DeSoto Roots Chicken Shak location will be a part of the city’s Hampton Road redevelopment project, although a specific site was not listed in the city press release. The DeSoto City Council approved an economic incentive package from the DeSoto Development Corporation to help bring the restaurant to the city, although the details of the package were not included in the release.

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