What’s harder, managing Pitbull for more than a decade or turning your wildly successful mac and cheese food truck into a free-standing restaurant?
Derrick Turton, aka Chef Teach, will soon find out.
After two years of mobile madness, Turton, Pitbull’s former manager, is ready to go brick and mortar with his World Famous House of Mac, opening on South Beach Dec. 2.
“It’s been a crazy journey opening this place for sure,” Turton said. “But I’m ready for this new chapter.”
Among his greatest food truck hits: jerk salmon pasta, fried chicken and pumpkin spice waffles, and his signature World Famous Mac & Cheese, which, judging from the long lines at its original spot in the Wynwood Yard, is worthy of its lofty name.
Gave up cooking for rap
Turton, who had attended culinary school in 1998 and started off as a line cook, took a different fork in the road, managing Pitbull for more than 13 years while working alongside other hip-hop royalty such as A$AP Rocky and Yo Gotti.
One in particular, rapper Bun B, encouraged Teach to “take the cooking thing more seriously,” Turton remembered.
Bun B asked Turton to prepare his signature dishes for several of his guests. He had him watch their reactions to tasting it to show Turton how good he really was.
Father’s death changes him
After his father’s death in 2013, Turton said he felt an immense urge to do something meaningful with his life. So he took his friends’ advice and returned to his culinary roots, where average Joes — and Fat Joe — can both enjoy his talents.
So now that the restaurant is opening, Teach can sort of answer the most pressing question: Is it harder to manage a mega music star or to open a brick & mortar restaurant in Miami?
“Let’s face it: Chicken and waffles don’t talk back,” he laughed.
Not that he’s implying a bark or bite from his former client. The opposite, in fact.
“I’m so grateful to have had so many people support my vision throughout the past few years,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. Opening this restaurant is a dream come true and I know my dad would be proud.”
World Famous House of Mac