At this point, it feels as if Fireman Derek’s has always been around. If we go back to 2010, he sold his world-famous pies to a handful of restaurants and could mostly be found at farmer’s markets.
Since the day we met, Derek and I hit it off. He also reminded me physically of the professional wrestlers I grew up watching. Psychologically, maybe I was hoping he would beat the crap out of me. Just kidding, Derek, please don’t get any ideas.
After cooking at the firehouse for everyone, he began to cultivate his baking skills and comfort food skills. I clearly remember him and I planning to do a burger pop-up with all the proceeds going to charity. It might be a cool thing to revisit someday.
Everyone raves about his crack pies, key lime pies, and cheesecakes, but you should really try his breakfast sandwiches, chicken pot pies, quiches, and the flan. Speaking of which, in my original post about Fireman Derek’s (scroll down), I forgot to mention that he won the Flantastic! competition for Best Flan. Also, check out his New York-style Cheesecake recipe.
Fireman Derek’s Wall Chalk Art
Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop Pictures
Original Post on BurgerBeast.com
September 2nd, 2014 – I go way back with Derek Kaplan, aka Fireman Derek, to the early beginnings of the Burger Beast Blog. We met at La Camaronera when he delivered some of his famous but then unknown Key Lime Pies to them. La Camaronera was one of a couple of restaurants in Miami that sold them back then.
Months later, I invited him to be one of the desserts at the first event I ever curated, the Fall for the Arts Festival in September of 2010. When my short-lived Burger BEASTmobile launched in January of 2011, we were not approved to cook out of it, so Derek was the first to use it to sell his pies. Shortly after that, he opened up Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies Food Truck. He most recently won the Burger Beast Burgie Award for Best Dessert for 2014 with 24% online voting.
As time has passed, he’s expanded his creations from the original & still excellent key lime pies, which Andrew Zimmern raved about, to his flan, which I rave about. His new Bake Shop & Cafe (2818 N Miami Avenue) will be serving breakfast soon as he settles in but for now, grab one of his great quiches.
On the day I was there, he had croissants, cookies, muffins, and a variety of pies. The flans were coming out of the oven, so I wasn’t able to feed my addiction, unfortunately. I did, however, take home a couple of slices of the Abuela Maria Cheesecake (guava, cream cheese & Maria crackers), which is a collaboration with Azucar Ice Cream Company from Little Havana. A couple of ice cream flavors from Azucar are available too.
I forgot to mention that I bought a couple of slices of Crack Pie for my sister Michelle. Guess who’s addicted?