Holidays

Chef Fathers on Being a Dad + How They’re Spending #FathersDay

Neckties, barbecue tools, and Hallmark card platitudes have become de rigueur around about the third Sunday in June. Most dads, like most moms, will agree that any recognition of their parental dedication is more than welcome. Nevertheless, the true essence of Father’s Day is to simply celebrate the contributions of fathers, and father figures, to their children’s lives. With some fathers trading briefcases for diaper bags, a modern dad struggles as much as a mother to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Enter the chef and/or chef/restaurateur; much like parenting, this is a daily round-the-clock commitment. When the buck stops with you, there are no days off. Working evenings, weekends, and holidays renders family time even more precious. Much like balancing flavors, harmonizing work life and family life can be delectable and rewarding. We rounded up three chef fathers to talk about Father’s Day and what being a dad means to them.

Martin Rios, executive chef + proprietor, Restaurant Martin, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rios family blog copyMartin Rios of Restaurant Martin in Santa Fe seems to have struck a copacetic balance between work and family. A James Beard nominee for Best Chef in the Southwest, Rios and his wife, Jennifer, who is also his business partner, are doing more than preparing outstanding progressive American cuisine; they are raising two teenage daughters. Emma and Annaliese, 17 and 14 respectively, have spent many an hour back-of-the-house with their parents. Does Rios see them following in his footsteps? “No, I am not encouraging them to follow in my footsteps. If this is the path they choose, I will, of course, support them, but whatever they choose to do is what I will encourage. They do help in the kitchen at home and at work, but we are hardly at home since we are owned by a restaurant!”

With culinary arts taking center stage in this family, the proverbial apple might not have fallen far from the tree. Rios, who is also his own pastry chef, is proud of his oldest daughter Emma’s baking prowess. “Emma, has become an inspired baker and always has an eye on a beautiful presentation,” explains Rios. Conversely, Rios’ younger daughter, Anneliese “has become as close to a vegan as she can get!”

How is the Rios family going to celebrate Father’s Day? “By working! Our restaurant is always open on holidays and Father’s Day is no exception. We will work and then eat together as a family at the restaurant.”

Michael Schwartz, chef + founder, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida

Tamara and Michael Schwartz blog copyJames Beard Award-winning chef/restaurateur Michael Schwartz of Miami’s Genuine Hospitality Group, which includes Schwartz’s flagship, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, is the father of “the three best kids on earth; Harry is 12, Lulu is 15, and Ella, my eldest is 18.” Schwartz hails from a family where neither parent did any cooking. “Dad did encourage me to get that first restaurant job. I started out as a busser, and the kitchen lured me in pretty quickly. Today, Schwartz’s children are intricately involved in everything he does, both at home and in his career. Ella and Harry have namesake eateries: ella, a casual pop-up cafe serving breakfast and lunch in Palm Court, in Miami’s Design District, and Harry’s Pizzeria, also in the Design District. Lulu might not have a restaurant named after her, but she does have bottles of wine. Lua Rossa is a California red that is blended annually with Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat winery in Santa Barbara. Lulu is not only the inspiration, but the designer of the label.Continue Reading

Five Foodie Fathers to Follow on Instagram for #FathersDay

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we’re taking a moment to celebrate the dads who share equal parts parenting and eating adventures on Instagram. Get inspired by these five foodie fathers to follow on Instagram – for what’s on their plates both literally and figuratively.

@ChefSawyer
Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s family includes his wife Amelia, son Catcher, daughter Louisiana, dogs Potato and Vito, and chickens Bear and Squid, His family of restaurants includes The Greenhouse Tavern and Trentina (a runner-up in Esquire’s 2014 Best New Restaurants), among others, which recently helped him win a James Beard Best Chef Great Lakes Award earlier this year. Chef Sawyer’s Instagram showcases the heralded food from his restaurants and what he and his family enjoy to eat in their coveted time together (And some really cute dog pictures, as well. Woof!).

Dad_Beets blog copy
@Dad_Beets
Do you like to put an egg on it (whatever it happens to be)? Food in sandwich form? Waffle-y concoctions? Check, check, check? Then have we got an IG stream for you. Dad Beets, recently highlighted on Mashable, has all that – and more. There are adorable kid pics galore and whether he’s eating out or whipping up sammies in, he’ll show you that life is more delicious when you’re raising tomorrow’s foodies.

 

Kevin Blankenship blog copy
@Kevin_Blankenship
Don’t let your kids see Kevin Blankenship’s Instagrams. Any of ‘em. Not if you plan on ever making them even a single pancake again. Blankenship (a cartoonist, if that makes you feel better) uses the blank slate of a frying pan and tasty batter to create epically artistic pancakes that are spot-on renderings of some of the most beloved pop culture touchstones, from Cookie Monster to the Millennium Falcon.Continue Reading

Save $20 on #FathersDay Dining When You Pay with OpenTable

FathersDay Payments Promo_600x250Show dad you learned the value of a dollar (or 20!) this Father’s Day. When you book a table and pay through the OpenTable app this week, you’ll save $20* on your Father’s Day dining experience — and you’ll make your pop proud. Here’s how it works:

* Make a reservation and dine June 15-June 21 at a restaurant that accepts OpenTable mobile payments.

* Add the promo code lovedad in the top right when you view your check in the app. (You can only use it once!)

* Voilà! There’s your $20 credit toward your bill. Cheers to dad — and you!

View participating restaurants in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. View all participating restaurants here.Continue Reading

Six Super Satisfying Soul Foods to Celebrate Soul Food Month

Though the term ‘soul food’ wasn’t introduced until the 1960’s, this heritage cuisine has roots extending back to African slaves in the 14th century. Its original dishes were forged out of the off-cuts and leftovers they were given by their owners, supplemented with whatever produce they could grow or forage and the wild game they hunted. Over time, it evolved to include a broader variety of ingredients and has become the backbone of what most people consider Southern cuisine. Traditionally, this comforting cooking was served mainly below the Mason-Dixon line, though now you can easily find it to the north in New York City and beyond. To honor Soul Food month, we’ve assembled six super satisfying soul foods that will stick to your belly and give you a little taste of history.

Blujeen, Harlem, New York
Chef-owner Lance Knowling is a master of elevating rootsy cuisines to new heights. A perfect example is his smothered pork tenderloin, which comes spangled with sweet potato succotash and a dappling of pan drippings. No wonder Chelsea Clinton hired him to cater her wedding.

Blujeen pork blog copy

Café B, New Orleans, Louisiana
Mac ‘n’ cheese may well be the ultimate comfort food. This winning rendition is made with Irish white cheddar, Gruyere, and Parmigiano-Reggiano – plus a Parmesan topping. Gloriously gooey and über-rich, it’s the perfect kickoff to a meal or a satisfying side.

Cafe B MacNCheese blog copy

Macon Bistro & Larder, Washington, D.C. 
There are few more satisfying sides than a basketful of warm biscuits. These butter-rich rounds are flaky, fluffy, and filling. Split one open to spread on your choice of sweet honey butter or piquant pepper jelly.

Paschal’s Restaurant, Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, and Aretha Franklin have all made pilgrimages to this soul food mecca. They came for the restaurant’s blue ribbon fried chicken, which has been made with the same recipe since 1947. Each order comes with a breast, leg, and wing, plus your choice of a side (go for the collard greens or black-eyed peas).Continue Reading