Father’s Day is coming up this Sunday, June 17. So in keeping with what I suppose by now can be considered a Taster Tots tradition, I’ve again asked a different group of local food pro dads who deserve to take a break, unwind and maybe NOT cook for once (although a lot of them wind up doing that anyway) what they’re hoping and planning for Sunday. Sorry to hew to stereotype, but definitely expect some talk of BBQ meats, pizza and a bit of booze, as well as fresh simple brunches and visits to Din Tai Fung. One dad is even willing to spend part of a rare day off at an Elmo concert with his toddler. Now THAT’S love.
Andrea Cavaliere, Executive Chef, Cecconi’s and Soho House
My ideal Father’s Day is anything that allows me to spend time with my family. We will be celebrating Father’s Day this year by attending the Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music concert. After the show, I will be preparing lunch for my wife and daughter at our house. My daughter will be two in December, so she’s not quite ready to cook for me yet. We are in the middle of construction for our next Soho House property in Toronto, so I leave that night to keep my eye on the kitchen in the Great White North.
Josiah Citrin, Chef/Owner, Mélisse
My favorite Father’s Day is waking up on rare Sunday in June by the beach and having a triple macchiato, and after sitting in my backyard with my kids and wife, having a BBQ with my closest friends and dads, barbecuing thick dry aged steaks and drinking tequila.
Randy Clement, Co-Owner Silverlake Wine, Everson Royce
The best Father’s Day would be a little bit of work, sunshine all day, ice cubes, white wine on the rocks, SportsCenter. Done. And grilled stuff — not barbecued stuff — grilled stuff from Cookbook and McCall’s.
Bez Compani, Chef/Owner, Mother Dough
Nothing can beat a Father’s Day that starts with waking up to my oldest jumping on me in bed and ends with a sunset hike on one of our favorite trails at Griffith Park. I’m out of the house most days before my two boys wake up, so just spending time with them and my wife is all I’d want. My son and I also have this special thing where we pick apricots from a tree in our yard. We sit next to each other and chat while we bite into fruit after fruit, and for me, this is when I learn who he’s becoming in the time I’m away. Unfortunately, I’m working on Father’s Day this year, so I’ll have to take a rain check on the quality time. This day, like every other day, will involve pizza, because they’ll come to the restaurant and I’ll celebrate being their dad by making it for them.
Gabriele Corocos, Under the Tuscan Gun
Because we do not have our extended family here in L.A., our life is made of daily celebrations of Mom and Dad. However, when father’s day comes around there is only one thing I really care about: riding my motorbike. I remember the first time that Debi asked me what I wanted to do on Father’s Day, I responded “Go on a playdate with the girls!” She looked at me wondering if I had gone nuts “Really? It’s your day, you really want to dedicate it to your girls?” “No Deb, I want you to plan a playdate with one of your girlfriends and bring the kids along, I won’t be available.” She laughed and understood exactly what I wanted, she just looked at me and said, “Alright, just be careful, I will make you dinner for when you’re back.” Since then, on Fathers’ Day I drive my motorbike no less than 300 miles, up the mountains or on PCH up north along the coast. I have no special recipes for my Father’s Day, I ride my bike and don’t eat until dinner.
Mark Gold, Chef/Owner, Eva Restaurant
Being a chef-owned restaurant, I will unfortunately be working! Fortunately I live right behind the restaurant so I can run back and forth to the house during service when it slows down. As far as what we will be eating, whatever the kids feel like. Hopefully it is a Vito’s large cheese pie!
Andre Guerrero, Chef/Owner, The Oinkster, Maximiliano, Little Bear
My favorite memories as a dad were when my sons were little (Fred was 12 and Max was 7). I would always have Sundays off. That was the night we would all have dinner together. Some nights I would bake an apple pie (straight out of Better Homes and Gardens cookbook). The pie would come out of the oven just as dinner was served. It needed 45 minutes to cool down before you could eat it. We would get a little giddy as we anticipated eating the pie with Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. I feel blessed that I get to work with my sons and that they actually enjoy the business as much as I do. We rarely ever get to have dinner that I cook anymore, but we do dine out often at other restaurants. And on Father’s Day, we always try to go somewhere nice. Last year we had dinner at Cecconi’s.
Jim Little, Culinary Director, Burger Lounge
Making raspberry and blueberry pancakes from scratch with my son is a peaceful way to start the day. Passing along my love of cooking while sharing time with him is one of the greatest pleasures of fatherhood. His excitement for food brings me joy.
Mark Peel, Chef/Owner, Campanile
The perfect Father’s Day would be to wake up late, after a good night’s sleep, then have a simple brunch in the back yard. We would have fresh juice, coffee, homemade pork sausages, soft scrambled eggs with pecorino, tree ripe peaches and cherries, and the New York Times. I would play with our kids on the tire swing and in the sprinklers till we are filthy and tired. Then we would take showers, have a light dinner, and fall asleep watching cartoons. Then [wife] Daphne and I would wake up, tuck the kids into bed, and have the rest of the evening to ourselves. No presents.
Chris Simms, Founder, Lazy Dog Cafe
My favorite way to spend Father’s Day is grilling curry-marinated peel ‘n eat shrimp and garlic crusted rib eyes in the backyard with my wife, three little girls and a great bottle of Napa Cabernet!
Joachim Splichal, Chef & Founder, Patina Restaurant Group
I would take my sons to the farmers’ market and buy vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, and peaches. Then get dumplings at Din Tai Fun Dumpling House on Baldwin Ave. I’d have a BBQ with a few friends and sons at home, where we’d make steaks and a simple summer salad with ingredients from the farmers’ market. We’d drink Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir (Jim Clendenen is his friend) and also Rose by Soter Winery, from Tony Soter in Oregon. June is warm, so these refreshing wines would go nicely. For dessert we’d enjoy Harry’s Berries with vanilla whipped cream on the side.
Tony Yanow, Owner, Tony’s Darts Away, Golden Road Brewing, Mohawk Bend
Hopefully Amy, my wife, and Marley, my 9 year-old, will take care of the little ones (13-month-old twins Chloe and Hudson) and let me sleep in a bit. Then we’ll all meet my dad and Linda his wife, and go to Mohawk Bend for brunch.