Chef Francis Derby of Cannibal Culver City - Biography

Culver City, CA

September 2016

Francis Derby grew up on Long Island, visiting his grandfather’s duck farm and learning to grow vegetables. At 14, he joined the line at Varney’s Restaurant, his uncle’s seafood restaurant adored by the locals. Two years later, Derby was working as a line cook at the Bellport Restaurant on Long Island and became sous chef after six years.

In 2001, Derby made the move to Manhattan for work at Atlas with Paul Liebrant, and, in 2003, he was part of the opening team of Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50. In 2005, Derby took a trip that would change the way he looked at food: he worked as a stage at Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Mugaritz. Later that year, Derby returned to work with Liebrant to open Gilt, which earned two Michelin stars. Derby spent the following years at Tailor, which he opened with wd~50 alum Pastry Chef Sam Mason, before moving onto Momofuku’s Ssäm Bar and then Josh Eden’s Shorty’s .32. 

Derby joined The Cannibal team in 2012 as executive chef, where he drives a seasonal, meat-forward menu. Recently, Derby switched coasts and will take over operations at The Cannibal Beer & Butcher in Culver City, California—set to open in winter 2016.