In our series Stuff Texans Love, our state’s most stylish celebrities share their must-have items.

Celebrity chef Tiffany Derry’s style inspiration isn’t a person or a place but rather a quality: functionality. The Beaumont-born chef stays busy; her days are spent going between her three Texas restaurants, including the nationally acclaimed Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch, and in Plano and Austin, Roots Chicken Shak, where duck-fat fried chicken became her insignia. Added to the mix is her frequent travel as an educational ambassador for the U.S. Embassy, as well as regular appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef, Food Network, and PBS Food. Practicality is an imperative, even more so during Texas summers, which don’t really faze her (unless a restaurant’s air conditioning stops working).

“Most days for me are not heels,” Derry says. She prefers pants and jumpsuits to dresses because they allow her to quickly morph from back of the house to panel discussions. She’s made it her mission to prove that women are qualified for restaurant leadership, ever since she was passed up on the first job she applied for: a line cook at IHOP when she was fifteen years old. She took the server gig offered instead, but kept her eye on what she really wanted, eventually becoming the youngest employee to be promoted to kitchen management after she jumped on the line during a hectic shift.

Today, as the James Beard–nominated chef continues doing what she loves in the kitchen while surviving a new era of extreme Texas heat, Derry is taking any opportunity to travel abroad and get in the water. She’s fly-fishing for bass in Austin and Aspen; she’s grabbing a tube; and she’s Hydrobiking with her mom, Cookie, on Lake Austin. To stay fresh and fly, she fills her Yeti backpack with these must-haves from four Black women–owned businesses.

Chef Tiffany Derry’s Shopping List for Surviving the Summer Heat
‘Shef Tiffany All-Purpose Creole Seasoning. Mia Valdez
Chef Tiffany Derry’s Shopping List for Surviving the Summer Heat
Carla Hall Sweet Heritage Breadwinner Loaf Pan with Lift Out Tray. Courtesy of QVC

Carla Hall Sweet Heritage Breadwinner Loaf Pan With Lift-Out Tray

Chef Carla Hall’s loaf pan with a lift-out tray is “sort of new and genius,” Derry says. Instead of cutting out parchment paper and saying a prayer that nothing sticks when flipping the bottom of a baking pan, Derry now uses this convenient pan with an easy lift-out tray for precise loaf extraction. 

Derry says it works great for summery cakes like the orange juice cake sold at Roots Southern Table. Unlike other rotating desserts, the butter cake soaked with fresh-squeezed orange juice (and more butter) comes from her mother and has been on the menu since opening day. At Roots, she recreates the creamy, citrusy memories from a childhood of Dreamsicles by finishing it with sweetened crème fraîche.

Fenty Skin Travel-Size Start’r Set With Mineral SPF

Derry owns the fact she’s been genetically blessed. “I have good skin that runs in my family,” she says. But she still has flare-ups during different periods of the year and month. She noticed a difference after using Fenty’s facial line, available as a travel set that includes a cleanser, pore-refining “fat water” toner serum, and SPF 30 moisturizer. Derry says she got even more compliments on her skin when she started using it, and she noticed the breakouts stopped, too. 

Katrice Two-Piece Set from House of Haute

Derry’s favorite place to shop for clothes is House of Haute, an Addison boutique store with an online shop. Because she is tall—almost five eleven—finding clothes that are on trend, fit well, and look good on camera can be a challenge. “I am not a small girl, nor am I petite in the waist, and I am virtuous in other areas,” she says. 

When she first visited House of Haute, she was drawn by the bright colors and high-quality materials. After trying on a few outfits, she was in awe: “I was like, oh my God, they all fit. And they fit right. That just doesn’t happen.” She recently packed this mix-and-match two-piece set for a trip to Cabo San Lucas.

’Shef Tiffany All-Purpose Creole Seasoning

Derry’s not-too-spicy all-purpose Creole seasoning with chili powder, paprika, garlic, salt, and coarse ground pepper was originally designed to be a poultry seasoning for her famous duck-fat fried chicken, but it’s good on almost everything. Her fiancé enjoys it on edamame, scrambled eggs, and french fries, and the seasoning will likely be used to prepare some of the food they’ll serve at their wedding later this year. It won’t be an elaborate wedding; she says a big party is all she really wants.

Yeti Crossroads 35L Backpack

As a plane-hopper who’s cooking in a different city almost every week, Derry’s carry-on of choice is this durable, high-capacity Yeti Crossroads backpack. If it drops, things like her frozen gumbo base won’t spill, and there are plenty of compartments for stowing all her must-haves. With six colors to choose from, it’s cute and serviceable, with lumbar-supporting ergonomic straps, a laptop compartment with wraparound padding, and “sidehustle” pockets for easy water bottle access.