01 October 13  |  Dining   |  

Daryl Dean, Sous Chef – “Truth, Hard Work, Passion & Love”

We are expanding our blog to hear about all of the fantastic amenities that Golden Ocala has to offer. To begin, we would like to introduce you to our hard working staff members who help make it all possible. Meet Daryl Dean, Sous Chef at Golden Ocala.

I Am A “Food-oholic”.

I love food. It’s my inspiration for what I do. I’ve been eating it in some shape or form my whole life and I believe that good food can make anyone happy.

I started as a dish washer for a restaurant in a ritzy neighborhood. From there, I quickly moved up to line cook, where I found my passion for cooking fancy food. In a few years, I became Sous Chef and then Chef after that, although I changed my title to Kitchen Manager because I knew how much learning I had in front of me. I read about food when I wasn’t cooking it or watching someone cook it (the Food Network had some great chefs like Bobby Flay on it back then). Thomas Keller is by far one of the most inspiring chefs to me, other than the previous chef that worked here.

I have this quote hanging in my office.

As far as change goes, I believe everything needs to be changed. I think the only thing that doesn’t need to be reinvented is the wheel – it’s the only perfect thing. I also believe that hard work pays off and that you’re only as good as your word.

Find Something You Enjoy and You’ll Never Work a Day in Your Life

My passion for cooking began when I was little. I used to cook with my grandmother and my aunt. I was always in the kitchen, stirring. I sort of fell into the profession and realized that it didn’t feel like work. My mom always said, “find something you enjoy doing and you’ll never work a day in your life”. She told me that when you found something that doesn’t feel like work, stick with it. So, that’s what it was – everything came very natural, organic so to speak.

The freedom we have with the food is one of the aspects I most enjoy.

No Limits to Creativity!

My position as Sous Chef at Golden Ocala is more than just one job. We have four different departments, so it’s all aspects of the food business. I have banquets, restaurants, bars – a true variety. Something I most enjoy about working at Golden Ocala is the freedom we have with the food and the types of food we can work with. There are no restraints as far as how far we can go with something exciting and new. We have the ability to try anything new without being told “no”.

Everyone Loves Spaghetti.

Source: Flickr by David Pursehouse

What do I cook at home? Spaghetti – it’s what I do. Everybody eats it. I tried for a while to make my kids eat what I eat, but spaghetti is always the go-to food and I’ve gotten pretty good at making decent spaghetti at home. Making stuff at work and then making stuff at home are two different worlds because I have a lot more options here as far as equipment than I do at home.

On my days off, I enjoy fishing, golfing, and spending time with my family. Right now, I’m teaching my son fishing, basketball, soccer, and golf. I also enjoy spending time in the woodshed creating things with wood and other projects around the house. One of the most important things on my bucket list is to get my flying licence. It’s something I have always wanted to do.

I’m Daryl Dean, Sous Chef at Golden Ocala, loving what I do and doing what I love.