Derek Dammann was born in Campbell River, BC, a tiny resource town on Vancouver Island's east coast that is best known as the salmon capital of the world. After studying cooking at Malaspina Culinary School in Nanaimo chef Dammann worked with Peter Zambri, one of the greatest Italian chefs Canada has ever produced at his restaurant, Zambri's in Victoria. He eventually found his way to London where he worked alongside Jamie Oliver in developing the restaurant Fifteen and later as the corporate chef of Sweet as Candy, the British chef's private production company. He returned to Canada settling in Montreal where he opened the restaurant DNA, which quickly developed a reputation as one of that city's best restaurants. Today he is the co-owner, along with Jamie Oliver, of Montreal's much loved, Maison Publique.