Dean McDermott Accused of Royally Screwing Cooking Staff

1/23/2014 1:00 AM PST

Dean McDermott Accused Of Royally Screwing Cooking Staff


Tori Spelling
is not the only one who got the shaft from Dean McDermott ... we're told he has stiffed the people who created his new cookbook, even though he got tons of money for the project.

Dean currently hosts a show in Canada -- the Canadian version of the U.S. show "Chopped" and it's doing well in no small part because of his domestic issues. So Harlequin publishing company decided to make a cookbook deal with him.

So Dean authored a book called "The Gourmet Dad" -- a personal account of a guy's guy who cooks for his family.

Sources connected with the cookbook tell TMZ ... Dean received an advance of more than $250,000 from Harlequin, but part of that money was for Dean to cover all expenses.  When it came to paying the people who worked on the book, however, it was a very different story.

We're told Dean stiffed the following people:

-- Photographer ... $33,319.80
-- Food Stylist ... $14,648.74
-- Prop stylist ... $6,609.91
-- Canadian taxes ... $6,613.40

The people Dean stiffed say they've called him repeatedly and sent him emails and texts but he's blown them off.

Staffers -- many of whom work on "Chopped" -- are indignant, because they let Dean live in their homes for free during the book and show projects and fed him gratis. 

Now they call him "The biggest mooch in Toronto."

The next move, we're told is a lawsuit.  And they have an ace in the hole ... the photog wants an injunction, preventing Dean from using his pics until he's paid.