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Demarcus Dobbs and Kevin Pierre-Louis: What's Cooking?

This Thanksgiving, Seahawks defensive end Demarcus Dobbs and outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis will be working on a different set of skills than tackling and blocking: they'll be in the kitchen cooking and baking.

Will Tukuafu didn't wait to hear the entire question. He didn't need to.

"Demarcus Dobbs is the best cook in the locker room," the Seahawks fullback proclaimed confidently. "We had some pork chops going the other night. He made some chicken wings the night before and I thought he just warmed them up right before we got there. Nope. He made 'em from scratch, seasoned and perfect."

Across the locker room, the review causes the defensive end to smile.

"I love cooking. I picked it up a couple years back," Dobbs said. "I watch Gordon Ramsay all the time and Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef so that's where I draw my inspiration from, in case you were wondering."

"My man does not use measuring cups," explained Tukuafu. "He tastes. Tasting spoons, MasterChef, Hell's Kitchen, that's Dobbs."

To make his point Tukuafu smacked his lips together as if tasting an imaginary dish and mimicked Dobb's dramatic flare for seasoning. 

"He sprinkles a little seasoning from three feet above. You can just throw it in right there, but he's one of those guys that sprinkles," Tukuafu said with a laugh.

"The key to cooking, and a lot of people don't know it, is tasting your food," Dobbs said. "You taste your food while you cook and you can make it taste like you want to."

Which is why Dobbs doesn't need cookbooks or instructions.

"I tell you what, I'm the type that doesn't follow recipes." Dobbs said. "I don't like to follow recipes. I like creating stuff on my own to see if I can get it."

He considers himself an expert on the grill, but admits he could use some help with sauces to accompany his main dishes.

"I'm worst with sauces. I don't know how to make sauces. That's the main thing that's bothersome."

Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, offers this advice to Dobbs: "Pasta sauce is good to gently sauté a few ingredients to wilt them a bit and add some caramelization. Then add your tomato sauce and/or cream or olive oil. The important thing to remember is to add your fresh herbs at the end so you don't cook out all the flavor.  Stock or wine based sauces need to be reduced to a syrup before adding a little butter and seasonings to enrich them before putting over your main dish."

Dobbs feels comfortable cooking, but baking is another story and something he'll leave to teammate Kevin Pierre-Louis who uses the kitchen as an escape during the season.

"I'm all about football throughout the week and the weekends," Pierre-Louis said. "That's one of my releases where I get to get away a little bit and do something different. It's always something that I've wanted to do."

Like Dobbs, Pierre-Louis creates food with family in mind.

"I say my main reason for starting is that I always wanted to be able to cook and bake because I'm going to have a family one day - not any time soon," Pierre-Louis clarified quickly. "But I'd love to, on a Saturday morning, be able to bake something for my family. So I'm pretty much practicing now so that when that time comes I'll be ready."

His best creation to date?

"My white chocolate chip red velvet cookies. Those were a hit," Pierre-Louis said. "I have to bake a little more to see how good I actually am. I've only had one thing go bad. I tried to make an angel food cake and that went terribly bad, but other than that everything else has been very good. No one has told me they didn't like it so I'm just going to keep experimenting and learning new recipes." 

He's also considering how much he should adjust the quantity baked. A single batch of cookies doesn't go very far in a locker room full of above-average appetites.

"It depends on who finds out I'm making cookies," Pierre-Louis said. "I came here with over 20 cookies one time and they went within five minutes. If I'm making cookies just for myself, a batch will last me about two days, maybe three."


He upped his game recently by purchasing a KitchenAid stand mixer.

"Hopefully that takes care of the mess," Pierre-Louis said. "There's stuff everywhere. You know, a guy baking? There's going to be a big mess."

Unless he follows the advice from Douglas, whose list of restaurants includes the Dahlia Bakery, home to the Triple Coconut Cream Pie.

"I also love my KitchenAid and have a clear cover for when it is churning so the dry ingredients don't spin out of the bowl," Douglas said, "I love a silicone mat for my cookie sheets because they rinse easily and you don't have to scrub the baking sheet."

The test ahead for both Pierre-Louis and Dobbs? Thanksgiving.

"My favorite thing to eat ever is pumpkin pie," Pierre-Louis said. His first attempt a couple weeks ago turned out well, but he'll have to replicate that effort in a couple weeks. 

As for Dobbs: "I've never cooked a Thanksgiving meal," he said. "So this will be my first time and I'm looking forward to it."

His track record suggests it'll be a hit and that he might need to include a little teamwork with Pierre-Louis on the dessert. 

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