Mother’s Day Meals

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked four of our favorite coastal chefs to share memories and recipes inspired by their moms.

Michelle Bernstein

Photo: Graciela Catarossi

Michelle Bernstein, Miami

Michelle is the chef/owner of Michy’s and Sra. Martinez restaurants, and she operates Michelle Bernstein Restaurant at the Omphoy Ocean Resort in Palm Beach. She has also received a 2007 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the South.

The Story of My Life Chicken Soup

Photo: Graciela Catarossi

Michelle's Recipe

“My mom is Brazilian and an amazing cook. I can remember waking up to the smells coming from the kitchen, and the dish that is most my mom is her chicken soup. I have adapted it and made it my own by adding Asian elements, which I love, and some Latin touches. When I want to feel warm and comforted, it’s still my mom’s recipe that I crave.”

Suzanne Groin

Photo: Matt Armendariz

Suzanne Goin, Los Angeles

Suzanne is the chef/owner of A.O.C., Lucques, and Tavern restaurants and received a 2006 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in California.

Devil's Chicken Thighs with Braised Leeks

Photo: Matt Armendariz

Suzanne's Recipe

“Picking at the piping hot breadcrumbs that had fallen onto the baking rack from my mom’s devil’s chicken thighs—and trying not to burn my fingers—is my first food memory, and that recipe reminds me of her the most. She never ‘cooked down’ to us. We ate what the grown-ups were eating, which trained me to be open to new flavors. My kids already love to be in the kitchen. I love that it’s together time for us, just like it was for me and my mom.”

Rebecca Charles

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Rebecca Charles, New York City

Rebecca is the chef/owner of Pearl Oyster Bar, where she debuted her modern take on the lobster roll in 1997.

Split Grilled Lobsters with Herb Butter

Photo: Quentin Bacon

Rebecca's Recipe

“My family summers on the southern coast of Maine, so we’ve always eaten a lot of seafood. We walked the beach and watched the lobstermen come in with their hauls. Grilling is my favorite way to prepare lobster—I love the sweet, smoky meat against the caramelized shell. Mom and I would go to the fish store for lobsters, pour some Champagne, and chat while we cooked.”

Beth Biundo

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Beth Biundo, New Orleans

Beth is the pastry chef at Lilette Restaurant and is also a 2010 James Beard Foundation Best Pastry Chef semifinalist.

Caramel-Fleur de Sel Ice Cream

Photo: Jennifer Davick

Caramel-Fleur de Sel Ice Cream

“My mom was ahead of her time. She grew her own vegetables and herbs, composted, and made most things from scratch. We both have an incredible sweet tooth, and the food I most associate with her is ice cream. Every year our family rented a beach house, and mom made homemade ice cream all summer. She loves caramel, so I created this recipe for her.”

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