Chef Dean Edwards - "It's never too late to take a chance and follow your dreams."
Dean Edwards is the chef we all love. He is a brilliant, charming and warm man. He has been the viewers favourite chef on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ for 6 years now after coming second in The BBC’s Master Chef goes large in 2006.
For the whole of December you can see his Kids Christmas Cookery Mini- Series on ITV's Lorraine, also starring his daughter Indie. Keep your eye out for it, as there are many epic recipes you can do with your kids on there throughout this festive season.
Single father to his beautiful daughter Indie, who is 7 now. Dean is an inspiration to us all, as he is a follower of dreams.
He took a risk in 2006 and gave up his life as a digger driver to follow his heart to become a chef and I know all of us who watch ‘Lorraine’ are glad of that.
Dean and I are both big fans of Bristol City FC and we became firm friends because of that. Now one of my favourite people in the world, Dean came to our wedding and I was very proud to have him there. He’s always great fun and he was the last man standing and even helped us get some of our party animal friends up to bed (although he did try to run off and to be fair I made him help).
He’s a great friend and it’s a gift to have him in our lives. A wonderfully dedicated father to his little princess Indie, I was thrilled when he said he would talk to me about being a dad, Christmas and maybe even share a much sort after recipe with us.
You are a follower of dreams, what would you tell other parents when it comes to encouraging their children to so the same?
"Well its as simple as this, I truly believe its never too late to take a chance and follow your dreams, I was on a completely different life path to the one I’m on now, I was 28 when my career in food kicked off and I’ve never looked back. Sometimes you need a kick up the butt, sometimes a spot of luck or even through single-minded dedication you can follow your dreams.
I want my little one Indie to completely follow her dreams, they change weekly by the way ha ha but I will always be there to support her."
You are always happy and full of fun, what’s your secret?
"I’ve got a hell of a lot to be happy about, I love my life. I’m blessed to do something I love and a daughter that continually puts a smile on my face.
My secret which I will share with you, is to always surround yourself with people who bring positivity to your life; it’s so easy to be dragged down by negativity. You only have one life so don’t waste it by being sad."
You are magically dedicated to Indie and it’s a pleasure to see. What’s life like being a single dad?
"Being a single parent brings its own challenges and any parent will tell you that it’s a constant learning process, Indies mum and myself are great friends and have only one goal and that is to make sure that Indie grows up happy. We help each other out when needed and its hugely important that she grows up in a in a well balanced and happy environment.
These days it’s very much the norm for both parents to work so it’s a constant balancing act especially during the school holidays. I cherish every single second spent with my girl, even though I know I’ve only got a few more years before her teenage years and she’s not going to want to know me ha ha, so id better enjoy it while I can."
What’s the best tip you've had about being a parent and can you say who it was?
"I can’t quite remember who said it but someone once told me there is no manual or rule-book when it comes to parenting and to not beat yourself up. The thing is all kids are different so what works for one doesn’t work for another.
The best bit of food related advice I can give is not to pressure your little darlings into eating if they don’t like what you serve up, I always say to Indie “try it and if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it” often getting them to try that first mouthful is the hardest part.
The golden rule is not to feel like a failure, we all have ups and downs as parents but you learn to accept and grow with that."
I know you put your Christmas decorations up way before November was out how will you and Indie be spending this festive season?
"Ha ha guilty! You know what, I love the feeling that Xmas brings and I feel great during the festive season. The walk downstairs to the gentle glow of the twinkling Christmas lights makes me feel all warm inside. My thinking is, if I can extend that feeling to 6-7 weeks then that’s what I’m going to do and I make no apologies about that. Christmas in the Edwards household is always family orientated."
What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?
"Time spent with family and friends is precious; this will be the first Christmas we will spend without my brother and his family as he moved to Australia a few months ago.
I love the classic things, eating loads of food, a few drinks and board games around the table; Christmas dinner really is the best meal of the year!"
Will you be doing the cooking on Christmas Day and does everyone expect you to cook for them?
"I love cooking so any excuse really; I’m kind of a nightmare because I like to take control of the cooking. I love to feed, I actually think I enjoy seeing the look on peoples faces when they are enjoying food, over enjoying it myself if that makes any sense?
Christmas dinner is my favourite meal of the year, load your plates up and tuck in, oh and don’t forget that all important nap on the sofa in the afternoon."
What have you asked Santa for?
"It’s a strange one but I’m a big kid at heart so anything Star Wars is always a safe bet when it comes to buying for me. I also adore cookbooks I guess I’m pretty easy to buy for, well I think so anyway ha ha."
What has Indie asked Santa for?
"Everything ha ha, she is very creative and loves to draw so a selection of pens is very much on the list, hopefully it will stop her stealing my Sharpies! T
The thing she keeps asking for time and time again is Mr Freeze slushie maker, I guess we will see what Santa brings?"
Do you have a festive recipe you can share with us, an easy one that even maybe I can do?
"What about a nice starter and dessert recipe? Try my these mince pie samosas. Make them ahead of time so it saves the hassle of extra cooking on Xmas day!! Both recipes are from my cookbooks ‘Mincespiration’ and ‘Feelgood Family Food’ available from my website www.deanedwards.co.uk"
So now you now why in our family we just love Dean Edwards! He's just one of the best god damn people on the planet!
Here's the wonderful recipe for 'Mince PIe Samosas' that he wanted to share with us - but do check out his twitter account, as he posts recipes daily on there, you can access that by clicking on the image below.. You never know I may attempt a vlog of me making these for you all ;)
"Traditionally Mince pies did actually contain meat, but hey we have moved on and the sweet version we all know and love can never be replaced. This quick and easy recipe is great if you have guests dropping in unexpectedly over the festive period. Serve with some vanilla custard or some double cream and dip away. Ho Ho Ho!"
Mince pie samosas
1 jar good quality shop bought Mincemeat
50g Chopped nuts (I love macadamias)
40ml brandy (optional)
50g unsalted butter melted
1 pack shop bought filo pastry
Icing sugar for dusting
1: Using a shop bought mincemeat add the nuts and if you are using the brandy, stir in.
2: Take a sheet of filo, brush with melted butter, fold over to make a long rectangle then brush with more butter, place a large spoonful of either the mincemeat onto the bottom left hand side of the pastry, and fold from corner to corner until the mixture is fully enclosed. Repeat until the filling has been used up. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a pre heated oven set at 180c / 160c fan for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.
3: Leave to cool for 10 mins before serving, then dust with icing sugar before serving.