Where to Dine This Summer
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Happy Fathers’ Day

Submitted by on June 15, 2014 – 8:48 amNo Comment

fathers-dayFrom personality quirks and charms to beloved pastimes, these chefs have picked up a lot more from dear old dad than just hair color or height.

In honor of Father’s Day, these top toques and spirit experts reflect on everything from their dads’ life lessons to hobbies that have made them who they are today.

Jeff Tunks, Executive Chef / Partner, Passion Food Hospitality [Washington, DC]
“My father instilled in me the importance of a solid work ethic and punctuality from a young age. It all sums up to a specific word – respect.”

Brant Tesky, Executive Chef, Acadiana [Washington, DC]
“I’ve always been told that I have my father’s laugh. So with every happy or funny moment in life, you’ll catch a little bit of my father.”

Miles Vaden, Executive Chef, DC Coast [Washington, DC]
“My father loves Maryland crabs. I have fond memories of summer crab feasts with him and our family. To this day, we continue the tradition and gather together once a year for a family meal.”

Robert Wiedmaier, Chef / Owner, Marcel’s [Washington, DC]
“My father raised me close to the land while growing up in Germany and lending a hand on a working farm. Those experiences influenced my whole approach in the kitchen as a full-circle chef. When I take my boys hunting or fishing, I share these lessons and the importance of respecting the animal through whole-butchery.”

Andrew Evans, Chef / Owner, The BBQ Joint [Easton and Pasadena, MD]
“My father’s shortcomings have made me the man that I am today. Because of him, I am a rock for my two young daughters.”

David Guas, Chef / Owner, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery [Arlington, VA] / Host of Travel Channel’s “American Grilled” [Premiering July 2 at 10PM EST]
“My father, who emigrated from Cuba in his teens, was raised to indulge in the outdoors – hunting, fishing and grilling. He had me do it all at a young age and these rituals are ones that I continue on with my family. Beer in hand, shirt optional – just like my dad.”

Cory Bahr, Executive Chef / Owner, Restaurant Cotton and Nonna [Monroe, LA]
“My grandpa who raised me was the catalyst to everything I know about fishing and hunting. He taught me how important patience and accuracy were to each craft. In the kitchen, he had such a creative mind – I like to think I adopted some of his talent.”

Ralph Brennan, President, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group [New Orleans, LA]
“My dad was an avid golfer and my brother played the sport professionally. My dad taught me that in golf, just as in life, you have to follow your mis-hits. Unlike tennis or basketball where a second serve or quick rebound happens instantaneously, a poor golf shot teaches patience, perseverance – and win or lose – the joy and camaraderie on the 19th hole!”

Chris Montero, Executive Chef, Café b and Café NOMA [New Orleans, LA]
“My dad is an insanely passionate Saints fan. He is also early for everything. To this day I attend every home Saints game, and am in line when gates open, just like we were for the very first Saints game 45 years ago. The importance of being punctual and dedicated is my takeaway from watching his actions.”

Chip Flanagan, Executive Chef, Ralph’s on the Park [New Orleans, LA]
“My father was the kind of guy that thought he could build or fix anything, and passed that quality right down to me. He taught me that if there’s someone who can do it, then why not us! (We are also stubborn so we don’t quit even if it’s out of our wheelhouse.)”

Brett Gauthier, Executive Pastry Chef, Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group [New Orleans, LA]
“I share my father’s positive outlook on life. He is such an optimist and I’ve learned that everything has happened to everyone so it’s all about how you handle the situation. This piping bag is half full!”

Andy Nelson, Co-Proprietor, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery [Nashville, TN]
“I think a lot of my attention to detail comes from my Dad and his days of being an Oscar-nominated sound mixer. He always told me that it’s the little things that make a difference, and I certainly inherited a bit of that mindset from him.”

Charlie Nelson, Co-Proprietor, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery [Nashville, TN]
“My dad has always been known as a storyteller, and while I didn’t always love his stories (especially embarrassing ones about me), I have become somewhat of a storyteller with my words as well.”

John Ondo, Chef / Owner, Lana [Charleston, SC]
“My father loves antique toy train sets and would set up these elaborate tracks and run them around Christmas. It was one of my favorite memories. I’ve definitely picked up his sense of whimsy.”

Steve McHugh, Chef / Owner, Cured [San Antonio, TX]
“If you ask any one of my six brothers, they’ll tell you I’m most like our father. He is a retired schoolteacher who kept the house running while my mom worked long hours as a physician. He loves to entertain and make people feel at home and was also extremely frugal – and with seven boys, you had to be. I employ that same mindset and bring his love for hospitality and comfort to my restaurant.”

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