Derek Emerson

Jackson, MS
Walker's Drive InLocal 463

CAET Wine Bar | Local 463 | Parlor Market | Walker’s Drive In

Chef Derek Emerson was born and raised in Beverly Hills, California. As a child, he spent summers with his grandparents in Mississippi and later moved to Mississippi as a teenager. After getting his feet wet in the kitchens of Brick Oven and BRAVO! restaurant, he attended culinary school in Memphis.

Chef Derek Emerson was born and raised in Beverly Hills, California. As a child, he spent summers with his grandparents in Mississippi and later moved to Mississippi as a teenager. After getting his feet wet in the kitchens of Brick Oven and BRAVO! restaurant, he attended culinary school in Memphis.

He moved to Atlanta to hone his skills working for Nava, Buckhead Bread Company and the Blueridge Grill. After six years in Atlanta, he returned to Mississippi to become Executive Chef at a new restaurant, Schimmel’s. It was at Schimmel’s that Derek met his future wife, Jennifer. The two joined forces to purchase a Jackson landmark, Walker’s Drive-In, in 2001. Pushing the culinary envelope, Derek has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef: South. Under Derek’s keen eye, Walker’s Drive-In has become a local favorite recognized in local and national publications.


Accolades & Publications

  • James Beard Foundation – Best Chef: South semifinalist (2008 – 2010, 2014)

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