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

Father’s Day Restaurant Deals: 2015 Splurges + Steals

Lobster Benny EssexFather’s Day 2015 is June 21, and restaurants are preparing to roll out the red carpet for dads everywhere. We’ve gathered Father’s Day dining deals to find the perfect place to celebrate, from splurges to steals — and something in between. Get inspired and book your reservations today.

ATLANTA

A bit more: Fogo de Chao awaits with 16 cuts of delectable fire-roasted meats and award-winning wine for $51.50.
A bit less: At Dantanna’s Downtown, dads eat free on Father’s Day! Purchase any menu item at regular price to receive a complimentary item of equal or lesser value.
A bit different: At 10th & Piedmont, dad can dine out and have his seared meats, too, at their “Meat Lover’s Cook Out” on a street-side grill featuring flank steak, Sweetwater barbecue chicken, sausages, barbecued pork, and more.

BOSTON

A bit more: Café Fleuri is ready to treat dad like a king with a $72 per adult (including one free mimosa) meal. It’s $40 per child 5-12 years old.
A bit less: Roberto’s Restaurant wants to show dad how much you love and appreciate him with half-price on his entree on Father’s Day.
A bit different: DeWolf Tavern is hosting a Bristol oyster festival, from 11AM to 4PM, featuring local food and beverage vendors and a fun silent auction.

CHICAGO

A bit more: North Pond invites you to celebrate the dad in your life with a special three-course brunch for $45 per person and $20 per child.
A bit less: May St. Steakhouse has a delicious brunch buffet for just $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids.
A bit different: Club Lucky is offering a $25 gift certificate (good on your next visit) to every dad in honor of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary.

LOS ANGELES

A bit more: The Hobbit offers a six-course, prix-fixe menu at $92 per person at 7PM. If dad’s an oenophile, bring in a bottle of wine, and they’ll waive the first corkage fee.
A bit less: Grand Café @ Omni Los Angeles features executive chef Simon Warren’s “BBQ Brunch Buffet” with “everything for everyone” at just $39 for adults and $20 for kids.
A bit different: At Perch LA, you and dad can float above the Los Angeles skyline while overlooking Pershing Square and enjoying live jazz performances!

NEW YORK

A bit more: Le Cirque invites you to celebrate your dad in classic New York style with a lavish three-course Father’s Day brunch for $65 per person and $35 for kids.
A bit less: Eric’s Italian Bistro is your way to save on steak. Choose from a $15 filet mignon, rib eye, or skirt steak for dad – and pair it with a perfectly poured draft beer at 50% off.
A bit different: Essex is serving up extra-manly cocktails, including bacon bloody Mortys and beer manmosas at their regular brunch, which includes lobster Benedict (pictured).

PHILADELPHIAContinue Reading