My First Gig on Sunset Blvd

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Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 will go down in the history books ( my history books anyway) alongside Rock and Roll greats like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Eagles, The Byrds, Van Halen, Guns and Roses, and my favorite band of all time Jane’s Addiction, just to name a few. Not to mention some of my favorite comedians. To think Robin Williams, Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, John Belushi, Eddy Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield and Andy Kaufman, again, just to name a few, frequented the Strip to preform and play. Now I find myself hosting and launching my very own website. Me. Dean McDermott, a kid from Canada. I would never have thought I could say I did anything on the Sunset Strip other than “ I did the tourist thing” and “I saw a gorgeous blonde super model, but it turned out to be a dude”. You know, the daily happenings in Hollywood.

Well, times have changed for me. I’m going to be performing on THE STRIP!!! Here I am at the Andaz Hotel, which used to be The Hyatt where all the Rock and Roll bad boys and celebs would hang out and party. That’s not the case anymore. The Andaz is right in the heart of Hollywood and has a chic intimate feel, with every amenity you could ask for, and it’s kid friendly. The food is great by the way.

Now, I’m not saying I rank with the aforementioned artists, not even close. But, I am a Rock Star to my children Jack, Liam, Stella, Hattie and I’m hoping number 5 will feel the same way. Needless to say I have made chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and butter noodles by the ton over my 13-year tenure as a Dad. So, with this knowledge I have become The Gourmet Dad–A dad and up-and-coming chef that will teach you how to make delicious gourmet meals that are also kid friendly. Leave out a few things here and there, sneak in a few things, maybe cook it a little differently, and Whamo you’re done. One ingredient, two different outcomes. Now you have more time to spend with the family at the dinner table and in general.

So it is here, at the Andaz, that I cooked for 15 of my closest magazine writers, editors, and Andaz brass in the hopes of getting my name out there as a culinary force. No pressure right?? There were only representatives there from US, People, Life and Style, Details . . . Ha Ha, easy peasy.

I was given the run of the Andaz kitchen from the Executive Chef Jorge Chicas. Together we made and presented a gourmet ”grown up” version of an Andaz menu item and a “Gourmet Dad” version of the same item. For instance, on the Andaz menu there is a Californian Grass-Fed Paso Prime Hangar Steak with garlic mashed, seasonal vegetables, and a shallot red wine jus. That’s for the grown ups. For the kids, I made a dish I call The Gourmet Dad’s Miner Steak. I took the same steak, cut it into bite sized chunks, made a cave out of the potatoes (without the garlic), stuffed the cave opening with cooked corn, then piled the chunks of steak up in front of it to make it look like boulders. The kids ate the steak boulders to get at the gold (the corn). I decorated the top of the mound with broccoli spears and asparagus to look like trees. The adults loved BOTH dishes. Phew!

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Chef Jorge and I covered it all, from hand passed bites to entrées to dessert. Chef did a watermelon and heirloom tomato skewer with a balsamic reduction. I did a watermelon, strawberry, and cream cheese skewer. Chef did a chipotle chicken skewer, I did an Icky Sticky orange and honey chicken, and so on. (See full menu below).

Check out some cool man aprons here!

The one thing Chef left all to me was the dessert, which of course I was thrilled to do. I figured I’d close the evening out with a bang. After my S’more is Less deconstructed S’more was served, it was time for The Gourmet Dad’s Rice Krispy Bombs. You guessed it, Rice Crispy treats cooked in liquid nitrogen. When you bite into these suckers steam starts pouring out of your mouth and nose. My little ones love these, and so did my media guests.

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I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the way the evening went, and the response I got. I had so much fun. I belong in the kitchen. I want to be in the kitchen and I want to cook for everyone. All ages. Kids, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, you name it. Life is all about Food, Family, and Fun.

Hopefully, one day I’ll have a billboard on Sunset as The Gourmet Dad, or as the new drummer for Jane’s Addiction. All bets are on the Gourmet thing.

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Gourmet Dad
  • Kathleen O

    CONGRATULATIONS KID FROM CANADA!!!! As a fellow Canadian, I salute you and all of your accomplishments. I look forward to seeing many more from you.

  • Faith

    Wow Dean this is so amazing!!! Congratulations on your accomplishments! So great that you’ve come so far – your enthusiasm is so refreshing and I wish you the best on your future cooking endeavors! That Miner’s Steak idea is so cute and looks yummy too :)

  • Annie

    O my goodness!! I LOVE it! Way to go! As a grandma, I think its awesome. I hail from B.C. , Canada!

  • ErinK

    Congratulations on your first gig on Sunset Blvd! Thrilled for a fellow Canadian eh!
    I watched your video on chicken with curry and cumin. I made it and it was great.

  • kap1289

    Congrats! I hope to one day be able to dine in a restaurant where you are the chef!

  • gynyjo

    Congratulations dad and kid from canada. Wauouh what accomplishment.
    Buona fortuna!!!

  • Ingrid Ruiz

    OMG Dean this is amazing!!!! Congratulations on your first Gig on Sunset Blvd!! I Love it!! I wish you the best of the best on your cooking. Thank you for sharing your recipes. You Rock!!!! <3

  • Marla Murasko

    So glad to hear that you have been able to pursue your dream of cooking. I hope to watch you on your own cooking show soon. Love what you all are doing and keeping it real.

  • Kris G

    Congrats!!! Sounds amazing! Love the kids spin on the menu items. My kids are picky when it comes to getting green veggies…any sneaky tips would be great!!

  • Helen John Photography

    congrats! love the fun names on the menu… so original and cheeky :)

  • Sugar Loco

    Congrats! The names are so much fun. Are you going to share any of those recipes with us?