I am a proper Bristol boy as you can tell from my very dodgy accent; luckily you, the readers, have been spared the ordeal within this interview. I’m easy going, probably to my detriment and I would also say I’m a pretty good laugh to be around. Well I would say that, not too sure my friends would say the same thing.
What is your proudest moment to date?
I think it was when I got my job at ITV, I was interviewed by an incredible lady called Sue Walton who has had a massive impact on my life, she believed in me and gave me a chance, I never believed for one second I would ever get such an amazing opportunity. A close second was when I saw my first cookbook on the shelf at my local supermarket and Indie looking at me trying to work out what was going on, I was bursting I can tell you.
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?
Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself, I live by this and through this I have no qualms in cutting people from my life who disrespect me. Sounds harsh but I truly believe people know what they are doing, whether its right or wrong, worked for me so far in life.
Favourite book and album?
Easy, my favourite album of all time and forever will be is ‘Appetite for Destruction’ by Guns ‘N’ Roses, just summed up a moment for me. My favourite book?? It would have to be Mincespiration! By Dean Edwards, ha ha just kidding. It’s a strange one but its Jaws by Peter Benchley, started a real fascination for me.
Tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m a cook, quite by chance, I have cooked since I was a kid but caught up on another path, I was a digger driver until I entered Masterchef back in 2006, my life changed from that point. I’ve been fortunate to work in food since and I’ve been a resident chef at ITV since 2009 on shows ‘This Morning’ and ‘Lorraine’ I am the proud author of two cookbooks and regularly appear at food shows up and down the country cooking easily achievable family food.
Has anyone been a big influence in your life?
My daughter Indie changed everything for me, not only with the usual changes that becoming a parent brings but it totally refocused the direction my career was going, I knew from the minute I saw her I had to play a very hands on role in her growing up. This led to a massive change in focus for me, out went the fine dining and in came easy, accessible family inspired food. She influences me every day, the choices I make in life; just seeing her little smile makes my heart pound.
Have you faced any challenges getting to where you are right now?
Loads, I’ve had a very unconventional route to where I am today, however this does mean I never take anything for granted and it definitely keeps my feet on the ground. I’ve had to put up with criticism from others within the industry but it is what it is. I often wonder what would be said if they met me face to face, not a lot I expect. I had an opportunity and I took it and ran with it, if they were in my position they would have done the exact same thing.
What do you do to relax?
I love sport, especially playing football. I also train a lot, at the age I am now you realise you have to start looking after yourself a lot more that when I was in my 20s.
What are your 3 best qualities?
I would say, I’m friendly, honest and a damn good Dad. I’m not even slightly embarrassed to say that.
Where is the most beautiful place in the world?
The most beautiful place I’ve ever laid eyes on is the Maldives, like something out of a storybook but I think it all comes down to places where you feel at your happiest, Cornwall is the place that conjures the best memories for me, its simply breathtaking and its right on our doorstep.
What bad habits do you have?
Well my friends say I’m tight, I’m not really, I like to call it sensible ha ha. To be fair I did have to check under the bed this morning to see if I’d lost any sleep. The second one is never start chatting to me about food or cooking, you will never get away ha ha, its been said I could chat a glass eyeball to sleep.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I cooked a dinner party for a good friend of mine who’s been helping me out, sometimes giving time is a more generous gift than spending money on a thoughtless gift. Or is that me being tight again? Ha ha.
If you’re feeling bad, what do you do to pull yourself out of it?
I try to stay positive; I used to be a massive worrier, literally about everything. Actually to the point it was seriously affecting my life. By having a positive mindset there’s really nothing you cant overcome. I’ve had ups and downs same as everyone else but positivity is key to keep moving forward in life.
What is your pet peeve in the world?
Negative people. Simple as that. Maybe its just me getting older but will not surround myself around people that add negativity to my life. Oh and that helmet Donald trump.
What’s the best bit of advice you have ever received?
The best bit of advice I was given was never to be a busy fool, once explained it makes sense, so the reasoning behind it goes like this. There’s no point working yourself to the bone, stressing and owning a business that turns over £1million a year if the costs and out goings come to close to that figure. I was in a position where I was spreading myself too thin trying to grasp everything I could, by taking a step back and concentration on the important things I was fully able to focus and become more successful.
If you could give your 16-year-old self some advice, what would it be?
Cut that hair off boy!!!
What are your goals for the rest of the year?
My goals are the same as always and never change from year to year, I just want to be happy and content and make sure my little chick Indie feels the same way too. I never want for her to feel there is anything lacking on an emotional level.
Do you work on your mindset and what do you do?
Not really, I try and stay positive and that seems to do the trick for me 99% of the time. I think my downfall though is I’m a very private person, I don’t like to burden others with my problems, I am trying to open up, but its not always as simple as that, at least I’m trying though so that’s a start.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I got picked to play netball for England, yes you read that right, ha ha, enough said.
What can we see you doing next/new projects?
So I’m very excited to have started a blog, this will focus on everything from the challenges of being a single parent to getting your kids to eat healthy meals. Food as always will be a massive part of the blog as it is in my life. Ill be posting exclusive recipes, tricks, tips and generally sharing my passion for cooking. You can visit the blog at http://www.deanedwards.co.uk/blog/for an insight into my life.
“The photo of Dean’s hair, was worth this interview on it’s own! Dean’s story is so inspiring due to it’s unorthodox nature. Similarly to me, Dean has gone about his rise in a totally unconventional way, but he’s just so humble and brilliant because of it! Dean and I met at our friends wedding and after complimenting him on his teeth and finding out he can talk as much as me, I knew he would stay in touch.
Please make sure to check out Dean’s blog, it’s brand new and he’s got some exciting stuff to share!
Thanks for being part of my Inspiring people series, Dean!”