Former Go Fish Ocean Club executive chef Tiffany Derry has been MIA since restaurant overlord DRG Concepts unexpectedly shuttered its doors last month. DRG principal Mike Hoque provided his take on the situation immediately following the closure, but Derry was unavailable for comments. Earlier today, we finally caught up with Derry to get her side of the story, which drastically differs from Hoque's.
Hoque told us that he decided to close the morning of Saturday, November 13, and officially shut it down the same night. Hoque insisted that he notified Derry and the staff within three hours of his decision but Derry says that isn't the case. While she knew the closure was a possibility at some point, she says that she had no idea it was taking place that night. "My sister and I were in the kitchen late Saturday night getting everything in order for our trip to Canada on Monday," Derry said. "All of the sudden, a group of guys came in and started packing things up. They didn't say a word to me. It took two days until [Mike] called to fill me in."
Derry was most upset by the fact that she was unable to give her staff a heads up. "I called them at 2 a.m. to let them know. They had been with me since the beginning and it broke my heart to have to tell them," Derry said. "If I had known, I would have lined up jobs for them."
Hoque said that most employees would be relocated to other DRG restaurants, but Derry only knows of two servers who stayed with the company. In addition, Hoque promised the staff two weeks' worth of pay. "That didn't happen," Derry said. "My check bounced."
"The way it happened wasn't so great but it has given me a chance to embrace new opportunities," she said. "I'm just happy to be finished with the drama so I can start my next thing."
While she's gotten some offers, she's not sure what her next move will be—she wants to wait until she finds the perfect fit. Until then, she's staying busy with private catering gigs. You can also catch her on Top Chef All-Stars starting tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on Bravo. [The Feast]