Derek began his culinary training in 1985 with Delta Hotels and Resorts; he continued his training at the Algonquin College in Ottawa, where he graduated with honors in 1993. His career has taken him across Canada, the Caribbean, and to several major European destinations. He has since successfully completed many culinary and hospitality management courses as well he continues working with Team Canada Culinary, the 2010 Whistler Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London England.
Previously Derek was the Executive Chef at The Delta Meadowvale Resort and Conference Centre, Executive Chef at Glen Abbey Golf Club (Club Link Corporation), Executive Chef at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Downtown Toronto. Additional experiences include working as the Executive Chef at the Severn River Country Inn, Senior Sous Chef at Casino Rama, Restaurant Chef de Cuisine at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and as Chef de Partie at the Canadian Grill and Wilfred’s at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa.
Derek has won numerous medals competing at all levels within the Canadian Federation of Chefs de Cuisine. Derek was also the 1998 Gold Medalist at the Canadian Grand Prix Mondial in Toronto; he then had the honour to represent Canada at the International Grand Prix Mondial both in 1998 and 1999 held in Limerick, Ireland. Currently, Derek is a member of the Epicurean World Master Chefs Society and the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks.
Chef Mayes believes that the true success of any Chef lies within their team: the morals and values of the team members, a never ending commitment to training and development, improving product quality and fostering a true learning environment. Respect is essential to maintaining all this and remembering the value that is added to the Brigade though each team member’s unique qualities and talents; without your team you have nothing.
You only get out of life what you put into it: One of Chef Mayes’ key tenets and a practice that he has subscribed to from an early age. Derek strives to give back to the community that has given him so much. Combining his obvious passion for cooking, dedicates a number of his hours each year to a variety of charitable causes. Bringing a culinary component to these events has added a new dimension to raising funds for worthy groups. The smiles and positive outcomes have given him immeasurable personal reward.
Some of the various charities and foundations Chef Mayes is currently involved with include The Gems of Hope Foundation, Set Sail for Hope, The Canadian Cancer Society, and the MS Society. Additional time is spent working closely with local Colleges, and various other Escoffier society functions such as The Gourmet Food and Wine Show, The Chef Vitesse Association as well as penning a Culinary Section and judging culinary competitions.