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!
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).
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.
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.