For the first time in 27 years, Officer Dean Soubasis isn’t going to work New Year’s Day - not in uniform or with an apron on.
Since 1994, Soubasis has been the chef at ‘Deano’s Diner’, a little pop-up eatery in his own home where he’s fed his fellow Pembroke Pines Police Department officers who had to work the New Year’s Day holiday.
It started out feeding just eight people.
“As the years have gone by, the city is more populated. We’ve hired a lot of officers, service aids, civilians and anyone on duty is welcome to come over and it got to be so many people I needed help cooking so I recruited my dad,” said Soubasis.
In recent years, he and his dad have cooked a full breakfast for up to 86 people. But like so many other traditions that were put on hold this year, Soubasis decided to forgo the diner - figuring it was the safest option during the pandemic.
But, he didn’t have to abandon his eagerness to serve meals altogether. A couple days ago, he and his dad bought all the food they usually cook up for his colleagues and donated it to the Broward Outreach Center in Hollywood.
“We wanted to keep it going somehow so that we could say we didn’t cancel it, we’re still feeding people, just different people are eating it now. People who can use it more than we can,” said Soubasis.
Although he won’t be the one frying bacon and eggs on Friday, hungry people will get fed. Soubasis hopes it inspires others to give back.
“If you have the ability to help someone out, give them a hand. From the littlest thing possible you might make a difference in someone’s life,” said Soubasis.
Soubasis hopes to be back in the kitchen New Year’s Day 2022. By then, he will be a 30 year police veteran.