Denied from her first cooking job at age fifteen because of her race and gender, Chef Tiffany Derry has risen her way through the culinary ranks to run her own restaurant concepts, appear on national television, and cook for President Obama at the White House. Derry stepped into the spotlight when she appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 7, earning the title of “fan favorite” and finishing in the top four. Her quiet confidence, warm southern charm, and culinary expertise made her a natural selection for "Top Chef: All-Stars", where she was again a finalist. Today, the Dallas-based chef, TV personality and owner of the recently James Beard nominated restaurant, Roots Southern Table continues to make her mark on the industry.

On June 24th, Derry will appear as a judge on PBS’s new food competition series, “The Great American Recipe”. In the 8-week series, home cooks from different regions of the country get the opportunity to showcase their beloved signature dishes. Derry, alongside the other two judges, will bring their professional insights and deep culinary knowledge to encourage and support the contestants along the way. 

Outside of her restaurants, Tiffany is a fierce advocate for social justice and equity across gender, race, and food access. She spends much of her spare time lobbying politicians to pass sustainable and healthy food polices—she was integral in getting the farm bill updated in 2013. Tiffany serves as a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and a spokesperson for the James Beard Foundation’s sustainability efforts. 

Ahead of her new series, Derry shares one of her favorite healthy and indulgent snacking recipes with EBONY. 

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Image: courtesy of Tiffany Derry.


2 cups chickpeas

2 cups black-eyed peas

1 teaspoon baking soda  

¼  cup + 1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup tahini

2 – 5 ice cubes, more as needed

¼ teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place chickpeas  in medium saucepans with baking soda and water. Cover peas with about 3 inches of water, bring to a boil and continue boiling for about 20 minutes or until tender, reduce heat if it overflows. Once ready strain and run cold water for about 1 minute. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender combine lemon juice, salt and garlic, making sure garlic is finely chopped. Let mixture rest for about 10 minutes to mellow out garlic flavor. 
  3. Add tahini to food processor to smooth and make creamy, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom as it sticks.  
  4. Once tahini is smooth add in both peas to blender along with cumin, lemon juice/ garlic mixture, olive oil and ice cubes. Blend everything together until super smooth, making sure to scrape side periodically.  Add more ice if needed to prevent to much heating of mixture, but keep in mind not to add too much liquid to mixture. We need to keep a thick consistency.