Dean was born on September 18, 1975 in Birmingham, England. He moved around often as a child, living in Nigeria and eventually settling in Brooklyn, NY at 11 years old. After graduating high school in June of 1993, Dean decided to enlist in the Navy. This was never a career goal, but having two younger brothers and immigrant parents, he wanted to help out and make his own money for school.
Dean’s basic training lasted 8 weeks before he continued on to take culinary courses for the next 4-6 weeks. This assignment was perfect for him since he sees “cooking [as] a way of life”. He then began his job on a naval ship. On this ship, he was a chef in the mess hall for the officers. He was also given the opportunity to travel while on the job, which was his favorite part. Even though he was stationed mainly in CA, VA, and Japan, he was able to go to places such as Australia, Korea, and Thailand. Throughout all these places, Dean was able to meet a wide variety of people, which left a big impact on him. HOH was thrilled to honor him for his service as one of the first projects of 2022.