Derek SarnoChef - Director of Plant-Based InnovationTesco PLC
Globally recognized for his innovative approach to bold-flavored, chef-driven plant-based cuisine, Derek helps lead Tesco’s plant-based team and the initiative to bring delicious, unpretentious vegan/plant-based foods to the mainstream market.
Derek and his brother Chad are the pioneering chefs and co-founders of Wicked Healthy, LLC., Wicked Foods Inc. and Gathered Foods, makers of the skyrocketing Good Catch plant-based seafood line. These brands are the real-world expression of the brothers’ personal mission to make a difference in the lives of humans and animals globally through more sustainable and flavor-forward plant-based meal solutions.
Prior to Tesco, Derek served as the Senior Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market, where he oversaw global recipe development for the company’s healthy eating initiative, worked with suppliers and leadership to develop and promote plant-based foods across the organization, and served as Culinary Director for the Whole Foods Academy for Conscious Leadership.
Derek is a serial entrepreneur, founding several award-winning restaurants and food service companies in the United States. Derek also served as resident Chef & Gardener at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and retreat center in upstate New York. During his three years at the monastery, Derek grew and cooked the meals and learned how to sit quietly. This time helped him become less of a jerk.
Born in New England, Derek is the co-author of The Whole Foods Cookbook and The Wicked Healthy Cookbook. He is credited with developing pioneering culinary techniques that utilize mushrooms as a meaty alternative to animal protein, showcased in his hugely popular cooking videos, which have generated more than 2.5 million views.