When I meet Dwight Tiller to interview him, one of the first things he says is, “I remember ironing linens together.” We both attended Johnson County Community College’s culinary program circa 2016. Hospitality management classes have a way of bringing people together: taking turns collaborating and managing every aspect of the school’s weekly luncheons can do that.
Back then, Tiller was just a budding chef, paying his dues in various kitchens and helping run his family’s food truck Deez Nachos. In 2021, with the family food truck as a side gig and plenty of kitchen experience under his belt, Tiller co-opened KC Mac N’ Co. in Parlor food hall. The niche menu was created around Tiller’s rich and creamy made-from-scratch cheese sauce. After stepping away from the restaurant, Tiller went to work at One City Café, serving the homeless and other needy folks.
Now, his focus is his family’s business. During our reunion, Tiller reflects on his career working in kitchens so far.
“My mantra is, ‘I desire to break bread so that I can break cycles,’” Tiller says. This remark is in reference to a sweet potato tiramisu he created last summer as a personal project. “I like to find ways to see how [my] food can bridge communities. It starts kind of with race and that we eat differently. The sweet potato tiramisu was a way to get African Americans and white people to eat the same dessert and bridge those two cultures.”
Tiller’s work is grounded in his faith, family and community. The family nacho truck was an idea bred from Tiller’s father’s love for nachos and his barbecue competition background. When Tiller was a teenager, he got his first taste of culinary accolades when he suggested his dad’s team plate their smoked Basa filet in the shape of a star. The starfish plating won an overall nine out of ten points for presentation.
“That was a lightbulb,” Tiller says.
The Deez Nachos food truck pops up at various events with a menu full of mouthwatering nacho combinations. Smoked meats are based on the customer’s choosing and mingle with house-fried chips, secret sauces and hearty toppings. Tiller is ready to take the family business to new levels.
“It’s about my family,” Tiller says. “It’s about my community. My family and I built something. I need to keep that rolling. Our community propelled us forward wildly. We want to continue to ride with our community.”
Keep a lookout for Deez Nachos on Facebook to see what their next move is.
Breakfast: Easy. District Biskuits. Chef Guroux Khalifah is my boy, but that biscuit—the layers are perfect. They’re not too thin and they’re not super thick. It’s like biting into a pillow. The Wonder breakfast sandwich is really good. For matcha, my go-to is Kinship Cafe. The Green Fling is my favorite drink, and I get it every time I’m there.
Tacos: El Camino Real. Typically, I get the al pastor tacos. I like them dressed straight and traditional—onions, cilantro, with a side of lime. It doesn’t have to have anything else on it. And for a drink, I get the horchata. I tear it up every time.
Dinner: Right now, my two favorite places are Fox and Pearl or The Town Company. My girlfriend and I went to Town Co. for our anniversary, and the hot buns with the smoked carrot dip was so good we were scraping the rest of the dip with a spoon. It taught me that simplicity is what’s fine. You need quality and consistency and that’s it.
Sweet Treat: Miami Ice. I want the custard at the bottom, when the syrup starts to mix in with the ice cream. And then there’s the tiger’s blood-flavored ice cream. Oh my gosh, talk about a perfect day. I order guava, strawberry and tiger’s blood. I want the guava in the middle so it can go all the way down and mix with the custard. The custard they use is local, Sylas and Maddy’s. It’s so good.