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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Punk rock foodie Derrick Fox spills secrets of the 'MasterChef' kitchen

Gordon Ramsay intently watching a chef cook

Fort Myers native Derrick Fox toured as a professional drummer in several rock bands before becoming a private chef. Fox discusses the similarities between playing music and cooking. He also shares lessons for home cooks that he learned from his time on the TV competition show "MasterChef."

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He’s a little bit foodie, and a little bit rock ‘n roll. This week, we’re catching up with musician-turned-MasterChef contestant Derrick Fox.

The Fort Myers native graduated from Estero High School and went on to enjoy a career as a drummer with the Naples-based rock band Later Days. After years of touring, Derrick recently put away his drumsticks in favor of his other passion: cooking. He now works as a private chef, splitting his time between Dallas, Fort Myers and Los Angeles—where he competed twice on reality cooking competition show MasterChef. In season 6, he was a runner-up. And in season 12, he tied for seventh place. While Derrick didn’t bring home the trophy, he parlayed his stint on the show into a podcast called A Bunch of Losers with Derrick Fox.

On his podcast, Derrick interviews also-rans from reality TV competitions while they all drink from mugs with a FOX emoji. At the end of each episode, he puts guests through a blind taste test—because whether he’s making music, competing on a reality show or dreaming up new creations for his dessert brand, Epic Mega Cookie Company, Derrick is a foodie at heart.

I recently chatted with Derrick Fox, a.k.a., Derrick Peltz, about how his music career prepared him to be a chef, and what home cooks can learn from the MasterChef kitchen.

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