As a child, Derek’s family had encouraged him to create something with his hands, be it painting, sculpting, or, in his chosen field, cakes and cake decorating. “I decided to take my love of art and creating and make it edible, to put my own flare on the cake world,” said Derek. “I’ve taken my cakes to a new level with a combination of the technical skills I learned at the CIA and my love of pushing the limit with art.”
Derek launched his custom cake shop, Corsino Cakes, after graduating from the CIA’s Baking and Pastry AOS program in 2007 and successfully ran the business for five years. “I enjoy everything pastry, but working on a cake, then seeing the look in someone’s eyes when they see it for the first time-it is hard to beat that type of gratification in your work.”
His unique concept for a specialty cake shop in the Hudson Valley helped him earn top prize in the Dutchess County Business Plan Competition before he graduated from the CIA’s Bachelor’s degree program in 2009. The competition was sponsored by the New York Business Development Corporation and the Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency. Derek pitted his creative, articulate, and precise business plan against plans from Vassar College and Marist College students. Derek has twice competed in Food Network Challenge events and appeared on Sugar Dome.
In August 2013, Derek decided it was time to give back and share his knowledge with a younger generation of budding pastry chefs. Relocating to Falls Church, VA, Derek is now a professor of baking and pastry at Stratford University, a private education institution with campuses in Virginia and Maryland. Teaching brings back happy memories for Derek of his time at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus and the chef-instructors who helped shape his career.