X Marks the Spot: Chef brothers let the food do the talking

Savannah Chastain
Brothers, Dedrick and Daniel Gibson stand proudly in X Marks the Spot, the new physical location for their food business upstairs in Coyote Ugly.

Dedrick and Daniel Gibson are like most brothers, they like to poke fun at each other, laugh with each other, and generally have a good time in everything they do. What makes the Gibson brothers unique is that they have found a way to take this fun-loving brotherly energy and combine it with their passion for good food. As a result, the two are co-head-chefs in their own private chef and catering business, X Marks the Spot, and have just launched a new physical location in the upstairs of Coyote Ugly.

“X Marks the Spot started as me and him (Dedrick) doing private chef and catering for 360 Blue Properties in Watercolor,” said Daniel. “We bumped into the owners of Coyote Ugly’s at the chili cook-off at HarborWalk. At the time we were looking for a kitchen, and we found out they wanted to add late-night food for their customers.”

The two are now at home in their new kitchen, and bar front with a view, and say that cooking together is the magic behind their delicious creations.

“The coolest thing about us working together is it’s a lot less stressful having my big brother there,” said Daniel. “I always know Dedrick’s got my back.”

Dedrick told The Log, that once he and his brother get to bantering, that’s when the good food really gets cooking.

“We’re always joking around and playing off each other in the kitchen. It makes working together more fun,” he said. “We’re the entertainment of sorts, with really good food.”

The brothers grew up in Niceville, as part of a large military family, and have worked together in local restaurants off and on for several years. Dedrick led the way, now having cooked for sixteen years, and Daniel followed suit with more than 10 years in the kitchen under his belt.

“My first cooking job was at Grazie Café’,” said Daniel. “Growing up, I remember Dedrick working there, and I’d go there every day, I was really annoying. I kept saying, ‘Just give me one try’…ever since then we’ve been cooking together.”

Although he was first in the food industry, Dedrick told The Log that he was not the first to recognize his love for the kitchen.

“I actually went to school for computer science at the University of Florida,” he said. “While there I worked under a really good chef as a line-cook. It was then that my eyes were opened to my love for food,”

As for Daniel, both brothers agree he was born to be a chef.

“As a family, we knew Daniel was going to do something with food,” said Dedrick. “Ever since he was three-years-old, he has always been very particular about his food, how it was arranged, and how he would eat it.”

“I really think it was probably just my destiny,” said Daniel. “I have five older brothers, and they were always calling me ‘fat boy’ because of how much food I ate. I wasn’t actually fat, but I remember one time I was taking forever to eat my food at McDonald’s, because I was lining up all my French fries.”

When asked what their favorite cuisine to prepare is, the brothers had a hard time choosing just one style.

“That’s tough because we really like to cook across the board,” said Dedrick. “Food is food, nothing is better than another.”

Daniel had similar sentiments as he said, “If I had to be truly honest, I’m gonna make whatever makes this person happy, that’s what’s cool about being a private chef.”

When catering or working as private chefs, the brothers often present fine dining, and exquisite meals, but in their new location at Coyote Ugly the menu is simple, and still evolving.

“One of the things we want to do is build-your-own burgers. I’d like for you to come create your own burger with all sorts of cool things like fried pickles, onion straws, and salsa,” said Dedrick.

The Gibson brothers attribute a large portion of their inspiration to one of the greatest cooks they know; their mother.

“Mom can throw down,” said Daniel. “She’s a real country girl.”

“Mom’s cooking is still the best by far,” agreed Dedrick.

From the good southern cooking of their mother, the brothers even crafted one of their Coyote Ugly signature dishes.

 “The chicken waffle sandwich is one of our specialties, we’re pretty proud of it,” said Dedrick.

“It’s so good it’s illegal,” joked Daniel.

Although the food service begun last week at Coyote Ugly, the brothers are hosting a grand opening this Friday at 7 p.m.

“We are having a crawfish boil, and live music, and Coyote Ugly will be doing something special,” said Dedrick.

“We don’t like to talk about our food, just try us,” he added. “Come out and see us, I promise you’ll have fun.”

X Marks the Spot is located at 100 Harbor Blvd. in Destin in the upstairs area of Coyote Ugly.