The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

CHS grad cooks home plate specials

Derek Brewster got start cooking for friends at home.

 

Jamie Cushman

lovis High graduate Derek Brewster works as sous chef at a restaurant inside the Texas Rangers home stadium since 2012.

ARLINGTON, Texas — One former Wildcat has gone from cooking for his friends in his Clovis home to cooking for the likes of George W. Bush, Matthew McConaughey and Nolan Ryan.

Clovis High graduate Derek Brewster is the sous chef for the Capital One Club, the high-end, buffet-style restaurant for season-ticket holders located right behind home plate at Globe Life Park, the home of the Texas Rangers.

As sous chef Brewster is in charge of setting the menu for the buffet enjoyed by the Rangers' high-end spectators including the team owners and any celebrities who come to watch a ballgame, including Bush, McConaughey and Ryan.

He draws on his experience growing up when he traveled the country due to his father's career in the Air Force and experienced different cuisines on both coasts, the Southwest and Hawaii.

"We bounced around and I had fallen in love with different cuisines from different parts of the country," Brewster said.

He also incorporates some of the local cuisine from the Rangers' opponents into the menu.

"I try to do something from the area of every team that comes to town," Brewster said. "Like when Seattle comes to town, there's a big Asian population over there so we'll go Asian style on the buffet. We got Toronto coming to town now so we'll do a poutine or anything that's cool up there."

The 1995 Clovis High graduate, who lived in Clovis from 1991 to 2001, said his path toward becoming a professional chef really started when he was just cooking for his friends in Clovis for fun.

"I had moved out of the house and me and all my buddies would hang out around the house and everybody would come over for Derek's spaghetti night or when I made green chili stew," Brewster said. "It all started there (in Clovis) when we were hanging out with all my friends."

Jake Whitaker lived with him off-and-on during that time and said Brewster was the only one in their group of friends that showed an interest in cooking.

"We were perfectly content with cherry Coke and Allsups burritos but he said, 'no, lets make some food," Whitaker said.

Whitaker said his favorite meal that Brewster would make was the spaghetti dinner, especially the homemade tomato sauce.

"He always took his time with the sauce, it was never out of the jar," Whitaker said.

When the Rangers aren't playing, Brewster keeps busy with catering events at the ballpark like weddings and also gets to travel to other sporting events. He said he has cooked at baseball's All-Star game, the New York Giants football home opener and last year's Stanley Cup Final in Nashville.

Brewster said he gets a chance to meet a number of famous people but does not have much in the way of anecdotes because he mainly tries to stay in the background.

"I meet them but with the job I try not to be out front too much," Brewster said. "I shake their hand and get out of the way and let them enjoy themselves. We have so many (celebrities) around often that they need a chance to get away and not have people bothering them, so maybe just a shake of the hand and a hello and move on."

Despite the fact that he runs a high-end buffet with a number of different items, it's the classic dishes that Brewster said are his most popular.

"I really dig the Southern soul food kind of thing but done up fancy," Brewster said. "I like it all but I like to take a lot of those good Southern recipes that I've got, kind of fuze some other stuff and ingredients into it, but I'm really known for my greens and grits and fried chicken it seems like."

 

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