Growing up, Mother’s Day was a day for dining out. He remembers, “For Mother’s Day at our house, that was the only day when my mom wouldn’t cook. That was the day we would go out and enjoy a meal at a restaurant. My brothers and sisters and I would make breakfast that day, and then we would go out for lunch or dinner so that way my mom had nothing to worry about.”
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF AWARD
* Nicole Plue, Redd, Yountville, California
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD
* Daniel, New York, New York
Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud; Owner: Joel Smilow
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE AWARD
* Jean Georges, New York, New York
Wine Director: Bernard Sun
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR AWARD
* Timothy Hollingsworth, The French Laundry, Yountville, California
BEST CHEFS IN AMERICA
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
* Jeff Michaud, Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsyvlania
Best Chef: Midwest
* Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Best Chef: New York City
* Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park
Best Chef: Northwest
* Jason Wilson, Crush, Seattle, Washington
Best Chef: Pacific
* David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California
Best Chef: South
* Michael Schwartz, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Miami, Florida
Best Chef: Southeast
* Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, South Carolina
A native of Spain, lauded culinary superstar José Andrés is chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, the team responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlántico and the critically-acclaimed minibar by josé andrés, as well as Los Angeles’ exciting award-winning destination, The Bazaar by José Andrés, part of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.
His passion for food began when he was but a child. Andrés says, “From the time I was a little boy, I always loved being in the kitchen. Growing up, my mother always cooked; we did not go to restaurants much as money was tight, and I was often at her side. She was a simple home cook, but at her side I learned the power of food to evoke memory — in my parents’ case, of Asturias and the family they left behind when we moved to Barcelona. I am no different. Today I prepare Spanish food not just at the restaurants but at home for my children. It is a way of reconnecting with home through food memory.”
His mother’s influence continues to be felt – and can be tasted at one of his restaurants. He shares, “I serve my mother’s flan recipe at Jaleo. It is my version of Proust’s Madeleine. One spoonful never fails to take me back to that apartment kitchen in Santa Coloma de Cervello.”
Continue reading for a recipe from Chef José Andrés.
Our exclusive series of interviews with famous chefs who are also parents concludes today with this advice from chef Charlie Palmer.
Celebrated chef Charlie Palmer has combined his creative cooking spirit and flair for business to open 13 notable restaurants across the country, including the highly acclaimed Aureole, a growing collection of food-forward wine shops, and award-winning boutique hotels. A James Beard Foundation honoree and the author of numerous cookbooks, Palmer continues to be one of the world’s most innovative and important chefs.
A father to four boys, Palmer knows a thing or two about dining out with kids. To make sure your children remain engaged, he recommends, “Remember to take something with you to entertain the kids. A fun activity between courses or after you order can really improve the overall experience. When my family dines out, we sometimes take ‘Table Topics’ with us, and then we each go around the table with a trivia card. It takes up the time between courses and everyone is entertained.”
Until you know your kids will enjoy an extended meal, Palmer says, “Don’t take them to a high-end restaurant when the experience will take multiple hours if your child doesn’t like sitting still for that long. You would be better off taking them to a restaurant that is loud, active, and a bit quicker.” Also, he adds, “If you know your child has certain food allergies, call ahead to the restaurant and see how flexible they can be with the menu to determine if it’s going to be a good situation for you.”
True to form, this chef serves food his offspring enjoy! He admits, “My kids love all of the dishes. They aren’t allowed to order anything ‘special’ anymore, they have to order off the menu and experience the food the way the chefs intended!”
With Mother’s Day and parenting on our minds, we continue our series of interviews with famous chefs who are raising children as they raise their reputations in the culinary world. Today, Boston chef Barbara Lynch discusses how she approaches dining out with her young daughter.
James Beard award-winning chef/restaurateur Barbara Lynch, whose newest restaurant is Menton, grew up in the hardscrabble neighborhood of South Boston, getting her first kitchen job cooking at a local rectory at the age of 13. Since then, she has become one of Boston’s most revered chefs — as well as a mom to daughter Marchesa, 6, and a proud stepmom to three grown children. It’s no surprise, then, that she advocates for parents to dine out with their children at an early age. She urges, “Take them out! The sooner they are taught table manners and included in dinners out, the sooner they will behave and maybe even become more adventurous eaters.”
For your first trips dining out with your child, “Start with places that you know the kids will love or that are particularly child-friendly and then work your way up to other types of restaurants. Eating together should be a fun experience and a chance to enjoy each other’s company.” Lynch and her friends would include her daughter in relaxing Sunday brunches with nearly a dozen of friends. She says, “Marchesa could color at the table while we chatted, and the fact that she absolutely loved the chocolate cake helped, too.”
Lynch says of her daughter’s developing palate, “From the time she was a baby, she adored gnocchi with Mimolette, which is like REALLY, REALLY good mac and cheese! These days she can’t get enough of the fried calamari at B&G Oysters…loves them!” If your child isn’t ready for these flavors, she suggests, “I think every child goes through phases where they hate all green things or will only eat macaroni and cheese, but they are usually just that — phases and short-lived. I think the trick is to encourage them to have a bit of everything—just try!”
With a little more than a week until Mother’s Day, we continue our series of interviews with famous chefs who are also parents. Today, Artisanal’s Terrance Brennan talks about dining with his three children and navigating their unique appetites.
Known for introducing the traditional European cheese course to American diners through his restaurants and Manhattan’s Artisanal Premium Cheese Center, Terrance Brennan’s growing restaurant group also includes the Michelin-starred Picholine, a longtime favorite of New York’s gastronomes. As he expands his restaurants in Seattle, this ambitious chef has still managed to find time to be a dedicated dad to his three children, ages 11, 15, and 17.
Chef Brennan emphasizes the importance of manners when introducing children to the world of fine dining. “My number one piece of advice would be to teach your children manners.” Modeling good dining behavior is also helpful. He says, “Lead by example. Parents should show respect to waitstaff and other members of the service team, so children can see how to handle themselves in a restaurant.” Interacting with each other during the meal is important, too. “Whether dining at home or dining out, it’s valuable time at the table meant for conversations, checking in, and not just playing video games and playing on iPhones. That being said, don’t be overly strict with too many rules!” He admits that his children eat too quickly. “Remind your children to enjoy and chew and really experience the food…this is something I am always encouraging.”
To help create a successful dining out experience, he recommends trying to find a restaurant at which your children will be able to eat something they love. He shares, “I have three kids and each of them likes different things. So, make sure you pick a restaurant that’s flexible and has diverse options. My daughter is adventurous, and my two boys are not so adventurous. The boys won’t eat fish, but my daughter will; she loves lobster bisque.” As for their favorites at his restaurants, Brennan says, “At Artisanal Bistro, my children love the gougeres, Jamón Ibérico, steak frites, profiteroles and chicken under brick. They also love the pizza at Bar Artisanal.”
Going on for nearly two decades, Dining Out for Life is an annual fundraiser during which more than 3,500 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from this one special night of dining to the licensed AIDS service agency in their city. Each year, nearly $4 million is raised to help support the mission of these most worthy organizations.
Participating cities include Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Francisco, and many others. Find a table in your town, and dine out for life today and tonight to join the fight against AIDS!
In honor of Mother’s Day, our series of interviews with famous chefs who are also parents continues, with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony sharing his exclusive tips with OpenTable diners for raising adventurous eaters who enjoy dining out.
Chef Michael Anthony has his hands full, figuratively and literally. As the executive chef for the award-winning Gramercy Tavern, an advocate of local foods, and an educator for children about where their food comes from, he’s also father to three daughters: a newborn, an 8-year-old, and a soon-to-be 11-year-old. On dining out with kids and getting them to be adventurous eaters, he says, “We’re in the thick of it, as much as any parents. Being a chef doesn’t take away the challenges every parent faces in terms of introducing new foods and dining out.” He advocates making food fun. “Take them to local farmers markets or farms. Play with your food, in terms of presentation. I once served my daughter long beets presented to look like a mouse. She let out an enormous scream, but she ate it!”
“When we take our daughters out, my wife and I talk to them about the experience going into it and the table manners they’ll need that are different than at home.” Once there, he notes how many stimulating things there are to see at a restaurant. “Engage your kids in the restaurant experience. Have them try to guess what each staffer does by uniform – what the jobs of the people in the restaurant are,” he says. You might also ask to if the kids can take a peek into the kitchen.
You might not guess it, but Chef Anthony was a fussy eater as a child – and his kids can be, too. “My eldest daughter has decided that artisanal cheeses are not for her. She likes the kind that comes in individual slices! The little one doesn’t like fish.” He admits, “I have resorted to bribery at times. It is a never-ending battle, but don’t cave in. If my children don’t like a certain dish, I ask them to tell me why. If they can say they don’t like the aroma or the texture, then that’s okay. It’s cool that they’re learning to articulate their preferences.”
His daughters do agree that they enjoy the chilled cucumber soup served at Gramercy Tavern. “It’s a delicious, refreshing soup made with herbs and yogurt. We put a drop of honey in to hide the slight bitterness that offends some people, and my kids love it!”
Mother’s Day is mom’s day off, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the busiest dining out days of the year. Diners seeking to enjoy a more leisurely dining experience should consider dining at a time other than noon, according to the results of a recent survey of OpenTable diners. The survey revealed that 12PM was the most popular time to dine on Mother’s Day. Diners also told us that almost 50% of moms make their own Mother’s Day reservations. Dads, who are probably busy figuring out what to buy their lovely wives, only do the reserving 31% of the times. Kids reserve, too, but just 15% of the time.
The size of most dining parties is small, with most people spending Mother’s Day at a table for two to four people. However, nearly 44% will dine in a larger group of more than six.
Curious about mixology for moms? Mimosas remain her cocktail of choice (42%), with Champagne coming in at a distant second (19%).
Moms will enjoy lots of love from restaurateurs this year, with free cocktails and other goodies available at many restaurants. Read more about interesting offers and additional survey results in our press room, and find a table today to make this Mother’s Day the best yet.