Miami Music Manager Turned Mac 'n' Cheese Mogul Offers Comfort Food Nationwide

Posted: Feb 17, 2021

Food and music can not only evoke specific feelings and memories transcending generations and social divides -- but both can provide comfort in tough times.

One Miami food truck and restaurant owner, Derrick "Chef Teach" Turton, is providing comfort food with his dishes at the World Famous House of Mac. Turton perfected the art of the career pivot prior to the pandemic, and amid the uncertainty that 2020 served the food industry, the mac and cheese mogul found new ways to adapt.

Chef Teach told "Good Morning America" that the mac and cheese concept was born out of backyard barbecues at his home where he would test recipes on rappers and hip-hop royalty like Pitbull, who he managed for 15 years.

Turton attended culinary school at Robert Morgan Educational Center in 1998 with an early pursuit in professional kitchens but quickly switched tracks to the nightlife and music industry. After his father died in 2013, Turton said he had a moment of self reflection to pursue food and create a legacy.

"It was always a hobby that I did therapeutically," he said. A hobby, that is, until he had a push from rapper Bun B who tasted his lobster mac and cheese and told him "'it's time to take it more seriously -- and at least shoot your shot.' A lot of people rallied behind me and I chose to put my money on myself," Turton said.

"When COVID first started we were feeding all first responders, hospital workers, firefighters, police officers -- we've been on the front lines since the start," he said. "We just had to pivot because it came to a point people were scared to death and weren't coming out of the house so we had to find a way to get to them."

The World Famous House of Mac also started selling vacuum-sealed, frozen dishes online with shipping anywhere in the U.S. "That opened up a big revenue stream for us," Turton said.

And now, "we are looking into ghost kitchens," he added of the highly popular concept in the restaurant industry that utilizes commercial kitchen spaces to fulfill food orders without a physical storefront. "I like to think of it as a micro-franchise. It's alleviating a lot of risks because it's an easy way to expand without as much overhead," he said.

By Kelly McCarthy
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