Happy Mother’s Day

At Chef Works, we love, love, love our moms! Our mothers and grandmothers were our first fans, supporters and givers of love, kindness and guidance. For many chefs, their relationship with food and cooking was first introduced and nurtured by their mother or their grandmother or a combination of both. The paternal bond that is developed around food and family is undeniable. It is timeless, it is a universal language, and it is present in all countries around the world. That is why for this Mother’s Day, we asked our chef family to share with us what their moms mean to them or what it is like to be a mother who is also a chef. Please enjoy their stories below and have a Happy Mothers Day.

P.S. If you’re able, call your mom!



“The only reason I’m in this industry is because of my mom and grandmother. They are the foundation for my love of cooking. They taught me how to cook; not so I could learn how but so I would appreciate food and love the experience of the craft. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women before me in my family.”

Chef Moira Hill | @redshortchef of @nolitahall



“Every kitchen has a mom watching over it” “My mom refused to let the kitchen be another boring room, she always made sure that it was magical. She also never let me leave the kitchen with a burned taste in my mouth. There were a couple times when I started cooking that I wanted to quit but she didn’t let me. I can always thank her for giving me a passion for cooking.”

Chef Logan | @logan.jr.chef



“My mom used to cook out of Julia Child cookbooks when I was growing up and we watched her on TV and laughed and learned a lot!”

Chef Elizabeth Falkner | @cheffalkner





“Coming from a large family on both sides (Moroccan jewish dad & French Canadian mom) the Kitchen was a center-point in family gatherings! Wonderful female influences in my life that passed down from the Generations- grateful for having time with both grandmothers in their respective kitchens and learned some of their tricks and tips that most people don’t think apply today and I think still do! I am also very grateful to have grown up with a mother who cooks extremely well. We grew up on healthy cuisine and it sure does make a difference in the way that I look at & prepare food to this day.”

Chef Kimberly Lallouz | @labluesy


“I owe every bit of my culinary journey  and beyond to the single family mom who taught me to more than cook but to dream beyond my limitations and that transforms into my daily life especially in the many kitchens I have graced… Moreover, the love from her is felt in every bite my guests take…  Where would I be without her guidance!”

Chef Charles Webb | @chefcharleswebb



“I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for my Fierce and Strong Madre, Julia. It’s her sazón and techniques that have taken me from Amateur home Cook to MasterChef, but let’s face it, our Mama is the reason we all can cook with such love! Love you Mami! Or Growing up in a Mexican household like mine, meant you always worked hard, you always remained humble, and you always cooked with love. These are all things I employ in any kitchen I walk into. It’s why I have the success that I have had, it’s all thanks to her.”

Chef Claudia Sandoval | @chefclaudiasandoval


“Being a working mom is going for a 2-mile run to the store after you drop off your daughter at gymnastics to secretly buy her the Paw Patrol figurines that she’s been asking for, and running back with it in your hands because you didn’t bring a reusable bag with you because, well… you were trying to get a workout in while she was at gymnastics.”

Aya Leslie | @aya.leslie




“My mother was and Will always be my inspiration for everything delicious. I truly believe her hands must have tasted good because every single ingredient she touched and manipulated was addictive. From a simple roast chicken dinner to her gnocchi with lemon cream; when it came to cakes, none could compare to hers; It was about texture layered with flavors layered with love. She taught me you always strive for the absolute best, never ever accept mediocrity and always be determined and inquisitive. I miss her every day, her advice, her food and her honesty.”

Chef Michelle Bernstein | @chefmichy


“El que no pregunta no come” -Oneyda If you don’t question/ask then you don’t eat! When I was younger she would always say this to me when I wanted something particular to eat and never said anything. I was the type of child to order from the chef’s special but hated the waiter questioning my choice of food so I’d shy from asking, She would say this and then say apply this to everything in life trust! If you do not seek or question then you will remain hungry in your desire. Since then I have made sure that if I’m curious to see if something works and I don’t know, I go out my way to ask and seek to feed the hunger of my kitchen curiosity!”

Chef Fabiola Fuentes | @fabiolafuentes


“The earliest influences on my career came from both my mother and grandmother. Learning the smells and flavors of my grandmother’s Chinese kitchen and my mother’s Thai kitchen taught me not only the stark contrast between the two cultures, but the symbiotic influence between the two cuisines. Coincidentally, my absolute favorite and most significant food memory as a child is a very popular Thai dish that has Chinese origins. Today, I incorporate many of the flavors of both my mothers and grandmother’s kitchens on a regular basis to honor them and to remember them.”

Chef Penelope Wong | @penelopewong


“Motherhood is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. That said, the work/life balance is the most challenging aspect for me. I want to put work down and be totally present when I’m with the kids, which has been tough this year with us all working more from home. So you’ll find me parked in my car emailing before pick up time to cram it in. I have to get more creative!”

Chef Ali Tila | @alitila



“My Mom taught me everything I know. Her voice is in every recipe, Her grit sees me through every long day, Her courage is in every experimental dish, Her curiosity demands that I learn more, Her care defines the culture of my line. Her craft has become mine. She is my kitchen. She is my heart. My mom is my Chef.”

Chef Stacey Poon- Kinney | @spkcooks



“All mothers are our first support system, our first fans. My mother was there at the start of my career when I first made my decision to become a chef. Seen me through my worst and best. Seen my dreams turn into a reality. She definitely has seen my career grow one dish at a time.”

Chef Allison Fasano | @allisonfasano


“Every day I’m grateful for you, but today I scream it to the world! You hold my hand every step of the way and encourage me to be myself, you believe in me like no one else. Every day with a simple good morning mi niña you help me and inspire me to achieve my goals and dreams. I couldn’t do it without you. Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful warrior, I love you with all my heart mami linda.”

Chef Karina Rivera | @karinarc_5


“When I was pondering changing careers from architecture, I consulted my mother. Her words of wisdom were, ” You live here in the US where there are many opportunities. Before you retire you’ll probably have 2 or 3 different careers.” My mom was a hard worker and did many different things in her lifetime. One thing was constant. She was the best cook. She was consistently great. Never saw her with a recipe book. She was always trying new things, new dishes, new flavors. Thanks mama.. Mrs. Maudlyn Sinclair . Keep watching over us.”

Chef Andrew Sinclar | @iamchefirie


“I couldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for my Grandmothers. Both of them have been amazing cooks since I know myself as a person. My Dad’s Mom is the daughter of Italian Immigrants and she made a living of making homemade lasagna and she taught me to make bechamel sauce at a very young age! I’ll never forget what she said back then “a good cook NEVER uses the blender to smoother their sauces” ? My mom’s Mom was an extraordinary home cook and she even had some of her recipes published in cook books back in the day. The most valuable heritage she left me was a handwritten cookbook with all her recipes – more than 100 pages. My favorite part of summer vacations was when I would spend time at her house and she would open that recipe book and tell me to choose what I would like to cook that day. She would put a small step ladder over the stove so I could stir whatever we would cook. I have two roses tattooed on my right Arm that represent both of my Grammas. Whenever I’m in the kitchen I feel their presence with me and I’m sure they would be very proud of me today. (They both have passed away unfortunately) Of course I need to also mention that my mother is my biggest fan and supporter! She is so proud of me and she also feels that her mom would be so happy to see me cooking. Thanks for letting me share my story. Hope that works! ?”

Chef Yara Lamers | @yaralamers


My grandmother was the most important person in my culinary career  Without her there no me as a chef  Her love to our family showed everyday with her cooking and inspired me to follow her steps. Everyday of my life I wish she could be next to me to keep the inspiration going.”

Chef Katsuji Tanabe | @katsujitanabe


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