Chef Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland on Motherhood + Running a Restaurant

naomi headshot - alicia roseOn the heels of highlighting the Top 10 Mom-Owned Restaurants in America, we’re pleased to bring you a series of interviews with the talented women on the list. First up is Naomi Pomeroy, the chef-owner of Beast. Beast opened in 2007 and is one of Portland’s most acclaimed restaurants. Not surprisingly, chef Pomeroy took home a well-deserved 2014 James Beard Award for Best Chef. She is mom to daughter, August, who is 13, and, two years ago, she joyfully acquired two step kids, 8 and 6. 

Which came first for you — motherhood or owning a restaurant?

I had August before I opened my first restaurant, but I had already started catering at that point, which can be similarly stressful. I never really had to choose.

Did you have any role models who inspired you to pursue both parenthood and culinary entrepreneurship?

I remember hearing about Alice Waters raising her daughter, Fanny, around the kitchen at Chez Panisse. I don’t necessarily think that was at the forefront of my thinking. Nowadays, as far as a current role model goes, Suzanne Goin of Lucques and AOC is a huge role model. She and her husband are both in the food industry and have three relatively young children. They’re always doing charity events, and I have no idea how they find the time to balance all that they do!

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in attempting to balance family life and owning a restaurant?

I don’t know, but my daughter laughed when she heard that question asked! It was hard for me when August first started going to school, specifically when she was about 5 or 6. She started needing me a little bit more at that time, which coincided with the opening of my first independent project, so the timing was the most difficult part of it all. When your kids are in school, their off-times are your busiest times, so, occasionally, it’s hard to find the time to spend together. That’s specifically why I haven’t worked brunch on Sundays for a long while now, and I’ve established certain times for us to be together.

Honestly, I was blessed with having the right kind of kid. She has a great temperament and is happy wherever she is, so it was much easier for me to get the help I needed when it was needed. I think that if I had a different kid who was more demanding, it would have been much more challenging for me.

Obviously, as all moms do, I’m sure you’ve experienced guilt and felt pulled in two directions. How did you handle those moments? Continue Reading

James Beard Awards 2014 + Michael Murphy’s Annual Rosé Bowl

In celebration of the James Beard Foundation Awards, Michael Murphy hosts the Annual Rosé Bowl at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto restaurant in Manhattan. Nominees, celebrity chefs, and culinary luminaries, including Daniel Patterson (Coi), Mario Batali (Babbo), and Ruth Reichl, were in attendance. Sneak a peek at the fun in our slideshow below.


And, congratulations to the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award winners, including:

Outstanding Chef
Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles, California

Outstanding Restaurant:
Slanted Door, San Francisco, California

Outstanding Restaurateur
Barbara Lynch, Menton, Boston, Massachusetts

Outstanding Service
The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, California

Best New Restaurant Continue Reading

On Our Plate: Mother’s Day Reservations; #NobodyMakesItLikeMom Giveaway; James Beard Award Winners; Best Dining Cities for Moms + More

Don’t miss these steals on meals in Cincy!

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* Mother’s Day is Sunday. Book your reservations now!

* Want to win $200 to take your mom for dinner on Mother’s Day? Enter our Twitter #NobodyMakesItLikeMom giveaway!

* Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week reservations are open. Book now for 3-course lunches and dinners for $33.13,  May 13-20.

* What are the best cities to be a mom and a foodie? Here are the top 25!

* The 2013 James Beard Awards were held on Monday night. And we’ve got some snaps for you to see.

* Looks matter. A few words on emerging design on OpenTable.

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Congratulations! 2013 James Beard Award Winners

Last night, the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards, otherwise known as the “Oscars” of the food world, were held in New York City. New York OpenTable team members Vince Chiaramonte, Mark Cornell, Samantha Cleaves, Alicia Gomes, Brian Maiorana, and Matt Touron were on hand to cheer on the nominees. You can peep a few pics below and view a list of winners after the break.

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Winning chefs and restaurants include:Continue Reading