Q&A with Competitor Dean Cain — Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition
Season 7 of Worst Cooks in America is a little bit more star-studded, as seven recruits from Tinseltown are joining the ranks of the culinarily challenged. Like in previous seasons, the recruits will be split into teams, but this time their coaches will be Anne Burrell and Rachael Ray. For one of these stars, getting through all six weeks of trying challenges will mean $50,000 for his or her charity and bragging rights for the star's mentor.
Many an actor has portrayed Superman on both the big and small screens, and to join that rank is an honor. Dean Cain is one of those men, best known for starring on Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman. His other credits include Burn Notice, Mulaney and the Perfect Husband on television, and Vendetta, The Broken Hearts Club and Out of Time in film. This isn't Dean's first foray into reality TV, as he's previously competed on NBC's Stars Earn Stripes. He also hosted and produced Ripley's Believe It or Not! on TBS. Currently he stars in the VH1 series Hit the Floor, and he'll soon be appearing on CBS' Supergirl.
Although he's not a superman in the kitchen, Dean is eager to learn the much-needed skills that Boot Camp has to offer. Get to know a bit more about him and tune in for the premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 9|8c.
How would you describe your cooking style presently?
Dean Cain: My cooking style is, simple, healthy and very basic.
Have there been any really good or really bad cooks in your life? Do you think that had an effect on you?
DC: Everybody claims to be a great cook, or this, or that. My mom is an OK cook. She'll skewer me for saying that openly, because she claims to be a very good cook. She can make about, I don't know, 10 dishes, I think, which is four dishes more than I can make.
Is there something that has kept you from learning to cook all this time?
DC: The thing that's kept me from learning to cook on a higher level is being taught, taking the time to take a course. … I think it's important for my son, and I'm single, so [at a] certain point in time I'm going to want to cook for a significant other. I'm a Renaissance man. I don't want her to just cook for me; I want to be able to cook for her. And I have no problem doing that, and I would love to do that, but I just don't want to poison her in the process.
DC: Really what I want to gain from the competition is a sense of general overall cooking understanding because, again, I've never been taught. And then the ability to make several different dishes.
Besides the show's mentors, is there a chef or food personality whom you admire?
DC: Well, for me cooking is a happy, fun thing. I do see Gordon Ramsay going after people. Maybe that's his thing? He's a little rough, but I don't want food to be that. I want it to be nice and friendly and smiley. … I think Giada is easy on the eyes, and so if she were cooking for me, I would not refuse it. Or if she were to teach me to cook — problem is if she taught me to cook, I might not be able to pay attention.
Does anything scare or intimidate you about being in the kitchen?
DC: Well, if I'm not scared or intimidated from cooking for just my son, or my brother or brother-in-law, but … it's intimidating to have to cook for strangers or guests, who don't necessarily eat my food. That's a little bit daunting.
When you do go into the kitchen, what are some of the things that you try to cook for yourself or others?
DC: I do make a lot of chicken. … For my son, that's a great piece of protein that he can just take and toss in his mouth in a heartbeat, and he does all the time.
What's the worst kitchen disaster you've had or the worst dish you've made?
DC: I don't like to waste food, so literally, I'll go through and see what's about to expire, and I'll throw it all in a pan. … I've done that a couple times, much to my son's dislike.
If you had a choice, who would do the cooking for you?
DC: If I had a choice Giada would be in my kitchen every day.
Is there something we would never catch you eating?
DC: I try to be open to any foods. No, there's not really anything I can think of that you wouldn't catch me eating. … Uni is something you probably wouldn't catch me eating. That's about it, though.
What's your most-memorable meal you've ever eaten?
DC: That's a heck of a question. There's so many answers to that. But I guess I'm going to say, because of the way it was, [a past] Thanksgiving meal. … We had more than one turkey, so everybody sort of … tried their hand at making a turkey, and making everything else and all the fixins, and it was sort of a potluck in that sense. … That was pretty awesome. And there was more food than you could shake a stick at. Not all great food, mind you, and none of it that I cooked, so it was a great day.
What's a favorite dish you remember from your childhood?
DC: One of my favorite dishes, absolutely from my childhood, was something my grandmother made, on my mother's side. It was a shepherd's pie, and I really adored that. Every time she made that I was very, very happy, because I really like mashed potatoes, and she had ground beef in there; there was corn in there. I don't think it was a proper shepherd's pie, but it's her version, and it was just, to me, fantastic.
DC: The first thing that I can recall making myself was a little thing of French bread. I would stick it in the microwave until it got hot. I would squish it down and paste it with butter, and that is something I ate a lot of as a child. And then the first thing I learned to make was, like, noodles Alfredo in a little package. … It got me all the way through college, too, by the way.
What's your signature dish or what do you make most often for yourself or others?
DC: My signature dish has to be … steak. Everyone would say "Dean would make steak" — and probably broccoli and onions sort of mixed together. And I also do sort of a dirty, spicy rice, and I'll take those same chicken breasts, after I've made them, and just dice them up and put those in some rice and some soy sauce and some onions … and my son loves that.
DC: Everybody has guilty pleasure food. I love potato chips, potato chips, occasionally ice cream.
What's the weirdest thing we'd find in your fridge?
Which of the other celebrities do you want to take down?
DC: I know Jaleel well, and he's a competitor, so I think he's going to be in this to win it, not goofing around. So I know he'll be tough.
DC: I would celebrate by cooking a wonderful meal for my entire family. … I'd want to whip up this great number of dishes for them, and sort of show off my skills, and let my family know that I'm … a real cook.