Derek Campanile Mission Viejo, CA
Taste of Home|June/July 2020
This dad is on a mission. Working in information technology by day and cooking at home every night, he’s transforming dinnertime from burdensome to just plain fun—one fullflavored, family-friendly recipe at a time. Read on for Derek’s fave ingredients, best advice and top recipes, then head to his blog, dadwithapan.com, for his latest creations.

What sparked your interest in cooking?

My earliest memory of cooking was when my mother taught me how to scramble eggs. Since then, I’ve always seemed to enjoy cooking and taken any opportunity available to grow.

What’s your family’s most-requested recipe?

My wife, Lacey, loves my pozole and my chicken and dumplings, so if I don’t have those in rotation at least once a season, I’ll hear about it. My son, Brayden, loves my enchiladas, and Kenzie, my daughter, really loves my string cheese—she doesn’t know those come from the store!

Which ingredients do you always have on hand?

I always need the basics: salt, pepper, onions, jalapenos and cilantro. I drive my wife nutty with how much garlic I buy.

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