Dean McDermott is probably best known as Tori Spelling’s husband but he’s also an accomplished chef who hosts “Chopped Canada” and has appeared on competitive cooking shows. The Canadian-born actor who has five children-- four with Spelling and a son from a previous marriage-- has a cookbook out called “The Gourmet Dad: Easy And Delicious Meals The Whole Family Will Love.” McDermott spoke to FOX411 about the book and how his marriage to Spelling is faring in the wake of his admitted infidelities.
FOX411: You’ve been through a couple of tough years, how are things now?
Dean McDermott: Amazing, absolutely amazing. They are better now than before all of this happened. When something bad or tragic happens, people say “what’s the message?” or “what’s the good in it?” And the good in all of that is that it really got the two of us on track as a couple and really got our communication skills working and it got me sober and in recovery and it changed our lives and together we’re stronger because of it and more in love.
FOX411: How long have you been sober?
McDermott: If I look at my sober calculator, it’s one year, three months and twenty-eight days. I go to meetings every morning at nine o’clock and I have a great sponsor and I’m working the steps and I have a spiritual program; I have a meditation program; I have a prayer program. I’m really working every aspect of the [12-step] programs.
FOX411: The last series was so raw. Do you ever regret doing it?
McDermott: You know, if I think about it, regrets start to come up, absolutely. But I have to keep thinking, at the time it was really good. It really helped us because it expedited everything we needed to start talking about. Because it was like, “OK this is what has happened and this is what the show’s about so you guys better go to work because the cameras are going to be rolling. You better go to work on your relationship and figure this s--t out.” So it expedited things as far as communicating and working on things that weren’t working, things that were broken in our relationship. Was it too much, was it really raw? Yeah, I think the world saw too much of us, certainly too much of me and that’s why I got out of it. I don’t want people to ever see that side of me again, that realness, that rawness. I don’t think viewers are really ready for that kind of rawness as well. I think it’s uncomfortable for a lot of people because a lot of reality TV has a lot of real moments but I don’t think as real as some of the stuff we touched on. I think I gave too much of myself and exposed too much of myself and my feelings in a very, very vulnerable state that maybe if I wasn’t in that state I wouldn’t have shared.
FOX411: So more reality TV?
McDermott: We are, but I’m focusing on getting back into acting, my first true love. I’ve been an actor for 28 years. The last eight years I’ve been mainly reality TV, so I’ve gotten away from it but doing a “CSI” last year, it really ignited that flame in my belly, so I’ve been focusing on that. And yeah we’re going to some more reality TV. We’re going to do some stuff for the cooking channel. It’s going to be lighthearted, nothing like “True Tori.” Do some cooking stuff, maybe some travel stuff, stuff with the family but lighthearted and fun. Those days of bearing our souls to the world are over.
FOX411: It was too much, right?
McDermott: It was. Like I said, if I think about it, regrets start to pop up and shame. It was a time of my life, I had to go through. I wouldn’t do it again. Really to work on yourself and your relationship in the town square it kind of just doesn’t work, it’s too much. Our thinking was because we had such a huge fan base and they really enjoyed watching us in the good times, well this is reality and this is what real couples go through, so here it is.
FOX411: This cookbook is unusual in that you have recipes and then they’re tweaked for kids too.
McDermott: Yeah, as you know I’ve got five kids, and I’d become a short order cook at dinner time and I really got tired of it. I got to thinking when I was their age we ate what our parents ate and if you didn’t like it you went to bed hungry and now the pendulum has swung the other way where parents have turned into short order cooks.
They don’t tell the kids what’s for dinner; they ask them what they want for dinner. And they start putting in orders. I said, “This is crazy.” Everyone needs to get on one page. The last thing I want to do is be stuck in the kitchen cooking throughout the whole course of dinner. So I came up with the idea of having the grownup meal and then with a few omissions and creativity making it a kid friendly meal.
FOX411: So are you down to one meal?
McDermott: I’m down to two because my 8-year-old son Liam is such a picky eater. I try and we’ve [gotten] to a point where he’ll try two bites of something and if he doesn’t like the taste or texture then I’ll have something on standby for him. But I usually try to make sure I’m incorporating the same kind of food.
FOX411: Doesn’t that drive you nuts? You wouldn’t have got away with that as a kid.
McDermott: Yeah this is true, but I find right across the board the pendulum has swung the other way. Think of all the things that our kids get away with that we didn’t. I haven’t won the battle but I’m making baby steps.
FOX411: Are you good cop or bad cop?
McDermott: I’m bad cop because Tori will let them get away with just about anything and everything! And then I have to come in and lay down the law. Sometimes it bugs me because I don’t want the kids to think I’m just this drill sergeant. It’s easy to be the good cop because it’s rewards and giving them what they want. But I’d rather have kids who have structure and discipline than free range kids.