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Hot Stove with Brian Dumoulin

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins

As the Pens’ four-game, 12-day swing through San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado drags on, Brian Dumoulin will start getting antsy.

Because while he’s a huge foodie who loves trying new restaurants – and the West Coast certainly has quite the culinary scene – Dumoulin has a passion for cooking and prefers to prepare meals himself with roommate Beau Bennett when they’re home in Pittsburgh.

“On long road trips, we’re like, ‘I can’t wait to get back home and just cook,’” Dumoulin said. “We don’t do it every night, but we try to do it as much as we can.”

Dumoulin and Bennett, both 24, get a lot of their inspiration from the Food Network, where a few of the shows they watch include Giada at Home, Barefoot Contessa and Chopped. But Dumoulin’s absolute favorite culinary icon is actually over on the Travel Channel.

“If I could be anyone in the world, I’d be Anthony Bourdain. He’s like my idol,” Dumoulin joked. “My favorite TV show is The Layover. I love seeing where he travels.”

Right now, the boys’ specialty is sea bass cooked in a miso glaze.

“We’ve been making that a lot,” Dumoulin said. “The past three times we’ve made it, we cooked it with shrimp and scallop risotto and usually asparagus or broccoli or a green on the side. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s pretty simple and it’s fun.”

Dumoulin’s parents Deb and Pete both grew up in northern Maine, with their families living just across a bridge from each other. On Thanksgiving, they would go to his mom’s side for lunch and his dad’s side for dinner, and it was Brian's maternal grandparents that helped spark his love for cooking.

“That side of my family, they’re big hunters so they’d always bring some special stuff,” said Dumoulin, who joked that he never had a problem making room for all that food in front of him on the holiday. “They loved doing all the stuff and they’d prepare for what seemed like weeks. I think I was just always enjoying the food and I wanted to be able to cook like that. That’s where I got it from.”

However, Dumoulin didn’t start getting serious about cooking until he left home to attend Boston College, where being on his own, he had to. And instead of doing what many other college kids do – eat at the cafeteria or order takeout – Dumoulin starting honing his chef skills.

And ever since he turned pro, Dumoulin has even more time to continue sharpening those abilities. Especially on off and practice days, when he’s done in the early afternoon and has lots of time to spend shopping for ingredients and working on recipes.

“I’ve always liked it, but now I can actually be cooking what I want,” Dumoulin said. “I like going to the grocery store. I like picking out things, I like looking around.”

During the summers, Dumoulin's schedule is even more free. He lives with two of his former Boston College teammates and roommates, Pat Mullane and Parker Milner (who’s a native of Mt. Lebanon) in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, and the three of them love to fire up the grill and get to work.

They’ve even taken to social media to show off their chef skills, as the boys started an Instagram called “486_eats,” where they post photos and detailed descriptions of dishes they’ve made.

“Parker’s a huge food guy. We’re both huge foodies,” Dumoulin said. “He started (the account) but we both post a lot on it, so it’s good.”

While Dumoulin whips up a lot of items you would expect a hockey player to eat – seafood, steaks and vegetables along with one of his go-tos, a sweet potato mash – he loves experimenting with more unique fare as well.

“I like cooking weird stuff,” Dumoulin said.

That includes Indian goat curry, veal sweetbreads, even bear and kangaroo – which he finds at an exotic meat store close in a Beantown neighborhood.

“There’s this store in Boston we go to a lot called Savenor’s Market,” Dumoulin said. “It’s in Beacon Hill. They have the widest variety: rattlesnake, bison steaks, kangaroo, full rabbits. They even have lion.”

Like a true chef, nothing scares Dumoulin when it comes to food. He loves figuring out the best way to cook those meats and how to complement them with sides to come up with balanced dishes. As Bourdain has said, “Good food and good eating are about risk.”

“I just like trying it,” Dumoulin said. “I really like learning how to cook the weird stuff and what goes good together. If you learn how to cook it well it’s going to be good. I really like cooking and that’s what makes it fun. I’m not the best. I just like learning about it.”

Here in Pittsburgh, Dumoulin occasionally cooks for groups – even making a meal for Bennett’s parents when they were in town recently. But Dumoulin cautioned that it may be a while before he hosts a team dinner for the guys.

“Mostly I like cooking for myself and one other, because I have to try it out before I cook it in front of a bunch of people so I can always make adjustments,” he said.

Until then, Bennett is going to keep enjoying his roommate's fare.

"He's an unbelievable cook," Bennett said.

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