By Kamala Kirk
Derrick Fox of “MasterChef” has brought the ultimate sweet treat to Playa Vista. The famed chef, who appeared on season 6 of television’s “MasterChef,” is the founder of Epic Mega Cookie Co., which debuted its first brick-and-mortar location last fall at the renowned Box Shop at RUNWAY.
“As soon as we were ready to step out of online sales, we started joining weekend markets, small-business markets, and doing pop-ups all around Los Angeles,” Fox says. “The people of Playa Vista really are the ones to thank for this. Every market we did in Playa, the response was so wonderful and supportive; everyone was so happy we were here. Long story short: My wife Kimberly (director of marketing and events) and the management team connected and got us into this super cool box shop.”
When he isn’t traveling across the country to host events, make personal appearances, judge cooking competitions or cook for high-profile events, Fox works as a full-time private chef. He started his company as a side hustle during the pandemic so he would have something to sell to his “MasterChef” fans around the country.
“When I got started on the development of E/MC2, I tapped into my music roots and really wanted to create the punk rock cookie of the world of confections,” Fox says. “When we were a year into the pandemic, the lockdowns and the social distancing, I felt the whole world was longing for connection, yearning for gatherings and wanting to share moments together again. I think it was almost subconscious that I created this cookie to share. I wanted the cookie to have shock value as well as bring people together. You can’t help but gasp and smile when you open the box and see this giant cookie and our alien friend on the inside of the box smiling back at you. I think that’s what the people love, is that it brings people together and makes you happy.”
Epic Mega Cookie Co. is known for its famous mega-sized cookies (a dozen cookies worth of dough baked into one cookie). Every cookie is handmade with quality ingredients, packaged in a plant-based fresh seal bag, and placed in a recyclable box, made in the United States. The store at RUNWAY also sells merchandise, including T-shirts, sweatshirts and cookie-scented candles.
Fox is constantly creating new and innovative limited-edition flavors such as bourbon pecan snickerdoodle, peanut butter pumpkin cream pie and chocolate peppermint cookie.
“I approach all these cookies with years of chef experience,” Fox says. “Balancing flavors, pushing the boundaries with ingredients, finding the harmony of the right amount of sugar and salt, and then the dance between all that, offering the right contrast of flavors at any given time so there is literally something for everyone. If I had to pick a favorite flavor, you can never go wrong with our Epic S’mores.”
Fox shares that there are so many things he loves about the Playa Vista community, including the people and vibes. He also says that it feels so positive and friendly, not to mention clean and safe — both of which are important to a small business in the big city.
“This has been such a crazy endeavor, something I never expected to get this big, and we now have wings to grow,” Fox says. “I truly want to say it means so much to have the support of this community, as well as the support from our loved ones around us. Starting a small business, you don’t realize how many people you have around you willing to support you in other ways than just buying your goods. The friends that come over and help us assemble boxes into the wee hours of the night, or walk your dog when we are baking giant orders, or family that flies in to help assemble the shop — there are so many people to lean on. I’m so grateful.
“Lastly, a special shoutout to my wife Kimberly, she has truly made it all possible and deserves all the credit. I just come up with the recipes and make everything look cool. She’s the reason it’s all running like a well-oiled machine.”
Epic Mega Cookie Co.
12751 Millennium Drive, Box Shop A, Playa Vista