When it comes to dreaming about a perfect Mother’s Day, Los Angeles’ top chefs turn out to be just like working moms everywhere -- sleep and perfectly behaved children are at the top of the list.
Suzanne Goin is chef and owner at Lucques, AOC, Tavern and the Larders at the Tavern and on Burton Way. Married to Hungry Cat chef David Lentz, Goin has three kids – 4 1/2-year-old Charles and 6-year-old twins, Alexandra and Jack.
What does she want for Mother’s Day? Goin summed it up succinctly by email: “Sleep in, big breakfast, nap, massage, play with kids, dinner with David, sleep (did I mention sleep?)”
Lunch on a Gjelina couch with a glass of rose
As for food: “Late lunch at Gjelina on those couches on the patio with bottle of rose and my kids behaving perfectly.”
Karen Hatfield, pastry chef and co-owner with husband Quinn at Hatfield’s and Sycamore Kitchen and mom to 5-year-old Paige and 2-year-old Bennett, writes:
“My dream Mother's Day would be Quinn waking me up with a cappuccino in bed. He would then walk me to the car where our perfectly dressed and well-behaved children were already buckled into their car seats and our bags for the weekend were packed by their side. Then we are off for a beautiful weekend in Yosemite. For hiking and campfires."
Marbled grass-fed beef from Lindy and Grundy
“In reality I am sure there will be quite a bit of work involved and we plan to have dinner with the whole family in the Palisades. I would love some heavily marbled grass-fed beef from Lindy and Grundy.”
Brooke Williamson, “Top Chef” finalist and co-owner with her husband, Nick Roberts, of Hudson House and Tripel in the South Bay, is mom to 5-year-old Hudson.
“My ideal food experience on Mother's Day if it were actually a day where I could be in a restaurant in Los Angeles and have it not be super crowded (I hate crowds).”
Croissant, spaghetti with sea urchin, cake
What would she eat? "A croissant from the Larder at Tavern in Brentwood or the salmon toasts from Gjelina Take Away on Abbot Kinney. Followed by lunch at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia that includes marinated cucumbers, tapioca cakes and soup dumplings. And then a late-night dinner at Bestia for a salumi board and some spaghetti with sea urchin. Rounded out with a slice of Costco's 'all American chocolate cake' in bed with a movie. Done."
Moms with older kids can dream, too, even if those dreams are likely to bring an “Awww, Mom!” from their children.
Border Grill co-owner and "Too Hot Tamale" Mary Sue Milliken has two sons -- 20-year-old Declan and 15-year-old Kieran.
“My ideal Mom’s Day would be breakfast in bed cuddling with my sons. They are both good cooks and love to eat, so I’d leave the menu and tray décor (FLOWERS) up to them. But I’d hope they might enlist my husband’s expertise making the best yeasted waffles I’ve ever tasted. We call them Schweggos (Josh Schweitzer’s Eggos)."
Octopus carpaccio at K-Zo
Milliken wrote: “For mother’s day this year (MY mom will be in town) I’d like to take her out for sushi, which she adores and is scarce in Arizona. Maybe we’ll go to K-Zo, in Culver City, for their spectacular octopus carpaccio. And they have a lovely private booth where we like to hide out, ordering everything on the specials page of the menu. I guess I’d better book it now!”
Suzanne Tracht, chef and owner at Jar, like so many parents of older kids, would just like a little time: “My ideal Mother's Day would consist of spending the day with my kids. It doesn't have to be a full 24-hour day, but we would get together to enjoy the outdoors and cook an early dinner at home.
“We would probably invite a few of our closest friends over, but usually within a two-hour period it ends up being 20 guests. My son Max, who is 20, would start the fire for the barbecue (once a pyro, always a pyro) and my daughter Ida, who is 19, would hopefully set the table.
Huge porterhouse steaks on the grill
“Maybe we'll grill some great porterhouse steaks and jumbo asparagus from the farmers market. A relaxing day at home with the kids, the dogs, and a nice glass of wine would be the perfect Mother's Day for me. There is one strong request though: absolutely no cell phones at the dinner table. And since Mother's Day falls on a Sunday, we'll need complete silence to watch '60 Minutes.'
“By the way, the porterhouses would be bigger than life.”