Nice Beard, a Little Weird.
It didn’t take long for him to realize things come apart much easier than they went back together. One day, Dean helped himself to his father’s camera collection and started to document his progress. Dean would go to school “show and tells” with his parent’s cassette player to explain how it worked, or their blender he modified to go “warp speed.”
When Dean was just 15, he built his first junk yard turbo kit. He took over his parents’ garage with a friend’s 1994 Honda Civic. Weeks later, Dean would film this bright yellow Civic blasting down the local drag strip, further perpetuating Dean’s passion for speed, mechanics, and documenting them on film.
At 17, he went behind his parents’ back and bought his first motorcycle. Restoring it at a friend’s house, he completely disassembled this bike down to the frame. After powder coating every last piece of the bike, he called his uncle to help paint the fairings. This 1998 Honda CBR F3 was an impressive build, especially for a 17-year-old.
Dean’s passion for tinkering grew in diverse areas. He modified his first car, a 1989 Cadillac DeVille, with a TV and video tape player. Then, he put a dry nitrous kit on his 2000 Grand Prix. He also learned how to mold fiberglass panels, do bodywork and he even started MIG welding.
At 18, Dean attended WyoTech in Blairsville, PA, to study Automotive Technology and Chassis Fabrication. During his time at WyoTech, he excelled in electronic diagnostics and eventually tutored for the university. While in school, Dean started TIG welding, making custom motorcycle parts, and started fabricating a 1969 Camaro chassis with a family friend. By the time Dean was 20, he took his most important video: a little silver and blue sticker issued by the NHRA — they had approved his custom fabricated chassis.
His TIG welding and roll cage fabrication knowledge increased along with his thirst to build wild contraptions. Over the next few years, Dean worked his way up in an equipment manufacturing company, fabricating metal tanks and designing electronics systems. The company manufactured paving machines which heated, recycled, and repaved asphalt roads. The technology was so advanced, it was featured on Discovery Channel’s “What’s America Worth?” hosted by Donald Trump. Once Dean saw the film crew, he knew his passion for making documentaries could lead to something great.
Now armed with the skills to build anything, Dean turned his focus to digital design so he could share his project visions before modifying or fabricating. He had always crafted with a pen and paper, but this newfound digital focus brought him to graphic design, branding, product blueprints, and more. The ability to create or “fabricate” wild objects in a digital world fascinated Dean because he could build them with his keyboard and mouse rather than his bare hands and a welder. Over the coming years, Dean honed his digital craft and started a web design firm called Of All Trades.
He now had a diverse set of skills which allowed him to follow a long-time passion — making stupid videos. Dean created a film production company called Tree House Studios. He landed a few local commercials and marketing videos from acquaintances on Facebook, and a local food truck owner, Chris Hodgson.
One business cancelled their shoot just hours before call time. Sitting in a kitchen full of video equipment, a friend said, “We’re hungry. Make something.” Dean made guacamole, but little did he know, this dish would change his life. Years of producing comical videos gave Dean the ability to stand in front of the camera and entertain. While the guacamole was good, it didn’t compare to the five star review this video would go on to gain.
Dean posted this video on social media and there was an uproar. The response was unlike anything at the time. Within hours, famous Cleveland Chef, Michael Symon, reached out to Dean. During their phone call, Michael told Dean he was a natural on camera and belonged on TV. Coincidently, that weekend there was an open audition for FOX’s show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay. Michael arranged a VIP audition for Dean.
After the slam dunk audition, Dean was asked to create a video to demonstrate his on camera presence specifically for FOX. Within 2 weeks of submitting this video, Dean was selected to fly to LA and be in the cast of MasterChef Season 3. While in LA, Dean ran into another famous Cleveland Chef and now long-time friend, Chris Hodgson. Chris was there filming a show called “Next Food Network Star.” Dean filmed and produced Chris’s application video for not only “Next Food Network Star,” but for the previous Food Network show Chris was on “The Great Food Truck Race.”
During the filming of MasterChef, Dean was offered a chef position by Gordon Ramsay at his Las Vegas restaurant. Dean declined and said, “I want to own a restaurant, not work at one.” Gordon called Dean “an arrogant f*ck,” then gave his dish the highest marks of the episode. This proved to Dean’s edgy charisma made him shine on-camera.
A year later, Dean was contacted by Food Network to be on a show called ReWrapped. In this show, contestants use off-the-shelf snack food to create a top class dish. The first challenge was to recreate Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish crackers, and the judges included the CEO of Pepperidge Farm. Dean’s crackers were so delicious, the CEO asked Dean to give up his recipe so they could tweak the company recipe. Dean’s goldfish were great, but he ultimately succeeded because of his personality and on-camera presence.
In the years that followed, Dean was contacted by Food Network, FOX, and other production companies for to appear on multiple shows. He declined due to his personal struggles with alcohol addiction. This left him with little drive to follow his passions of building, designing, and making videos. Dean had quit drinking multiple times throughout his life, but it never stuck. On his 30th birthday, Dean woke up and it just clicked. The way he tells the story, he audibly said, “I don’t have to live my life like this anymore,” and never drank again.
Dean’s entrepreneur mindset would lead him to start new businesses, fail, learn, and start over again. Sharing these struggles and other videos on social media helped him gain a large social following of more than 15,000 people and over 6 million views.
He is presently 5 and a half years sober and back to making wild videos. Just to name a few projects, he’s rebuilding a couple cars and motorcycles, filming his progress to become a hobby pilot, makes videos with his sail boat racing team, and much more. He’s driven to revive his YouTube channel and shop his wildly entertaining on-camera persona to multiple networks.
… and that’s why he’s called “Dean Of All Trades”
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