What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
My dad was an inn keeper so I was thrown into the business at a young age and enjoyed true gourmet cooking in the 70’s.
What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
My dad – he introduced me to the kitchen in the early days. I never thought I would enjoy it but I really did and my excitement to move further up the ladder was palpable.
Describe your culinary style…
Bold flavours, no borders.I specialize in Southwestern, Texas flavours.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for your latest menu at the St. Moritz food festival?
The main focus of my menu is to truly represent Texas style food and debunk the cliché of “Southern” cooking.Texas and Southwestern cuisine has its own personality and I want to show that through presenting refined local meats like buffalo and antelope.
What drew you to Giardino Mountain, or what does the hotel have that you’re looking forward to experiencing while there?
I cannot wait to learn more about the local cuisine, especially dining at STÜVA in the Giardino Mountain which features regional specialties of the Engadine cuisine.
What do you think makes a restaurant or menu so successful?
I think any great restaurant should be approachable.The food can be refined but I want all of my guests to feel they can be themselves in any atmosphere.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Chilies (all types), lime juice andsalt.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?
A wild experience of a memory.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
Owning my own restaurant has been the most rewarding, memorable, exciting, terrifying and wonderful moment in my culinary career. When Fearing’s Restaurant opened in 2007 and was named ‘Restaurant of the Year’ by Esquire Magazine I knew we had created something extraordinary.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
I wish I had known more about the business side at an earlier age.
What’s next for you/What’s projects do you have lined up?
I am currently producing a monthly web series called, “Dean’s Texas Cuisine” that lives on my YouTube channel.I can’t wait to expand the series to teach what I’ve learned in the kitchen and provide a window in to my life. www.youtube.com
What is your guilty pleasure?
Texas BBQ, especially Sonny Bryan’s.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
I have always wanted to dine at Enrique Olvera’sMexico City restaurant, Pujol.The restaurant is currently ranked #16 on S. Pellegrino’s annual ranking of the world’s best restaurantswhich is impressivebut I just want to go to experience his flavours, showcasing the indigenous ingredients of Mexico in unique and innovative ways.