est 2018 by Derrick Teh
When we started, we wanted to bring more exposure to Malaysian food by creating new menu items on each pop up. Hence the name SEKALI which means once and also together.
Born and raised in Sabah, Borneo, Derrick started his culinary career working at 5 star hotels in Kuala Lumpur while attending Taylor's College for French Culinary Arts. He then furthered his studies at Johnson & Wales with a Bachelors in Culinary Arts.
His American career started at Gracie's in Providence, RI, which he started off as a line cook, opening a sister bakery (Ellie's) and then back at the restaurant as a Sous Chef. He then had an opportunity to work at birch in Providence, RI, for a year.
After accumulating all the knowledge, he then moved to Honesdale, PA to help his friend open a restaurant Dyberry Forks as a consulting chef.
A year after consulting, he made the big move back to the East Coast to help open Cafe Artscience in Kendall Square, Cambridge as a Sous Chef for two years.
A big opportunity came for him to open up Pagu in Central Square, Cambridge as the Executive Sous Chef and helmed that position for a year.
With leaving opened up an opportunity to start his pop up with close friends and amazing bartenders Koharu Usui and Caitlin Sullivan. They were popping up around Boston and beyond, Momi Nonmi, Commonwealth Kitchen, Mamalehs, Yume Ga Arukara, Whaling in Oklahoma, Coleen's Ice Cream, Backbar, and Tasting Counter. All while holding a position as Chef de Cuisine at Momi Nonmi for two years.
COVID hit hard in 2020 and a monthly pop up became a weekly delivery of Malaysian and Southeast Asian dishes. Throughout 2020 to 2022, SEKALI wholeheartedly donated food to restaurant workers that was furloughed, hospital workers and the less fortunate, dropping food off to community fridges throughout Boston, without taking any financial help and digging into their profits to help the community.
Once COVID eased, SEKALI slowly started to do physical pop ups again at Momi Nonmi, Little Dipper, Artifact Cider, Grays Hall and Lamplighter Brewery.
Today, SEKALI is still doing pop ups in and around Boston.
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