Our Team

Chef Derek Small

Derek Small is the Executive Chef/Director of Training at Troop Café. He joined the United States Navy in 1988 as a Culinary Specialist; while in the Navy he attended Johnson and Whales University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1996 and received a degree in Culinary Arts.

Training has been Derek’s number one priority in food service. He worked as a Culinary Operations Manager for Goodwill Industries and led a training team that trained over 2000 individuals with barriers to employment within the food service industry with 80% receiving competitive employment.

In October of 2017, Derek moved from Goodwill to the Center for Veterans Issues taking on the role of Executive Chef/Director of Training at Troop Café where he is has implemented the program he created at Goodwill.

Derek has been nominated for the ACF Milwaukee Chef of the Year 2015/16, and was awarded ACF Milwaukee Chef of the Year in 2017. He has also been inducted in to the Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of Chicago.

He is committed to the Mission – “You donate, We Train, and They Work”!

The head chef is talented, enthusiastic and driven by his mission to support Veterans and give the community a great place to eat plus reasonable prices.

Chris

The DeRosa Corporation has a strong commitment to our local communities, and we are pleased to pledge our support for the Center for Veterans Issues. We welcome the opportunity to work with the centers culinary trainees to fulfill opportunities at any of our 8 Restaurant locations, all located in SE Wisconsin.

DeRosa Corp.

Chef Derek Small

Derek Small is the Executive Chef/Director of Training at Troop Café. He joined the United States Navy in 1988 as a Culinary Specialist; while in the Navy he attended Johnson and Whales University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1996 and received a degree in Culinary Arts.

Training has been Derek’s number one priority in food service. He worked as a Culinary Operations Manager for Goodwill Industries and led a training team that trained over 2000 individuals with barriers to employment within the food service industry with 80% receiving competitive employment.

In October of 2017, Derek moved from Goodwill to the Center for Veterans Issues taking on the role of Executive Chef/Director of Training at Troop Café where he is has implemented the program he created at Goodwill.

Derek has been nominated for the ACF Milwaukee Chef of the Year 2015/16, and was awarded ACF Milwaukee Chef of the Year in 2017. He has also been inducted in to the Les Amis d’Escoffier Society of Chicago.

He is committed to the Mission – “You donate, We Train, and They Work”!

The head chef is talented, enthusiastic and driven by his mission to support Veterans and give the community a great place to eat plus reasonable prices.

Chris

Corey Washington

Manager of Culinary Operations

I am a veteran and also manage a local family owned pizzeria. I have traveled the world exploring different cuisines and cultures which has always been my passion. I’m very excited and it is my pleasure to bring my experience and skill set to Troop Cafe and help assist veterans with our mission.

Steven E. Nelson

Lead Cook

I am a Veteran, and am still serving. As part of the Troop Café team, my goal is to provide exceptional service to our customers, and prepare meals that are pleasing to the eyes and palate. The mission of Troop Café is to support Veterans and their families, therefore, we still serve. Your meal IS our mission.

Anthony Tompkins

Line Cook

I am a veteran employed at Troop Café. I love working at Troop because it allows me the great opportunity to really give back to my community. I love providing excellent customer service and with a great military inspired menu it is a win-win situation!

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VETERAN CULINARY PROGRAM

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