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Master of Discipline

You might know Dean Sheremet from “My Kitchen Rules” on Fox or The CW’s “Terry Crews Saves Christmas.” Maybe you’ve seen him on “Access Hollywood,” “The Talk,” “Good Day LA,” or “Home and Family.” If not, you’ve definitely stumbled across one of his hugely popular Instagram reels sharing a beloved recipe from his days at Nobu under the guise of “I hate this dish.” Much more than a celebrity chef, Dean is a philanthropist, heath and wellness influencer, former dancer, and devoted father of one. We asked him to reflect on some key moments of his ever-evolving metamorphosis.

MY: WHAT’S THE MOST EYE OPENING THING YOU LEARNED IN CULINARY SCHOOL?

Dean Sheremet: That I wished I’d started working in restaurants at a younger age. I went to culinary school very late at 29. I was one of the oldest in my class, and thankfully I approached it with the seriousness it deserved. If I were to rethink the journey, I’d start much younger, find a restaurant that would have me, and work every single position to soak up as much as I could. Culinary school can be very expensive, and I don’t like the idea of young cooks entering a workforce where the pay isn’t great, saddled with debt. The first day I spent cooking in a professional kitchen I learned very quickly that nobody gave a shit that I graduated at the top of my class. That accolade didn’t help me when I was being run circles around by more experienced cooks. In culinary school we had three people on every station, in the real world one cook was handling the job of three. It was a welcome kick in the ass to learn how to do everything at “kitchen speed” with no wasted movement. The best advice I ever received was “move your ass and don’t cry.” That applies to everything in life.

MY: YOU WERE A PROFESSIONAL DANCER BEFORE YOU WERE A CHEF. HOW DID YOUR FORMS OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION SAVE YOU DURING TUMULTUOUS TIMES IN YOUR LIFE?

DS: More than artistic expression, it was the discipline required to be successful in both of those endeavors that pushed me through hard times. My work ethic is my greatest attribute. Many times, whether it be dancing or cooking, I was performing someone else’s vision. What I did was more akin to a craftsman than an artist. Most of the choreography I performed was not mine, most of the dishes I cooked were also not mine. I had to find perfection in the repetition, and my art came from making the dish or the movement that much more perfect every time I executed it.

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