YPSILANTI may be a small town in southwest Michigan but sometimes the smallest places house the greatest talent. In this country setting just outside of Detroit, Darrell A. Smith II, known affectionately as “Das,” had talent brewing from a very young age.
As a child, Das learned that the art of preparing a wholesome meal begins even before entering the kitchen. In his grandmother’s home and farm, the most decadent meals began with the aroma of fresh vegetable gardens and the satisfied moans of well-fed livestock. It was here, where Das began his culinary career.
By age 18, Das’ thirst for expansion brought him to Atlanta, Georgia where he studied business administration at Morris Brown College. As a student in a big city, cooking meals for his roommates and friends often became the center of social activity, and gave him a first glimpse at the great potential of his innate culinary skill. Within two years, he made the leap to technical college where he could pursue his passion for the culinary arts.
Upon graduating with high distinction from culinary school, Das returned north to work at the Westin Hotel, where he spent three years developing his own cooking style and refining his technique. And although Das’ natural aptitude for creating tasty, memorable cuisines first captured the attention of his admirers, it was his charismatic personality that has ultimately guided his career.
Using his many contacts as a base, Das launched a successful catering company that served community and state-wide government agency events throughout southwest Michigan. Two years later, the sensation of his company brought him west to Los Angeles, where he could push his success even further.
IN LOS ANGELES, Das divided his time between catering social events and studying under celebrity Chef Kerry Simon of Simon L.A Restaurant at the luxurious Sofitel Hotel.
Under Chef Simon and French Chef Marius Blin, Das sought to imaginatively combine classic and elegant French techniques with his personal new American style, which inspired him to rename his catering company Creative Cuisine.
In 2008, Das embarked on a venture that would add an intriguing element to his repertoire. Chef Das accepted the opportunity to run a brand new Culinary Arts program at Beverly Hills High School, where he could inspire young minds interested in a culinary career, and use his new facilities as an industrial base for catering.
Since his addition to BHHS, Chef Das has drawn the attention and respect of his peers, colleagues, students and strangers. His presence in Beverly Hills brings a vibrancy that only this colorful and creative Chef can bring.