The days when we take a break and celebrate something special for the holidays are usually the days when people in the restaurant industry are the busiest. So, for chefs or restaurateurs that are also moms, a leisurely primetime Mother’s Day brunch isn’t usually in the cards. However, they’ve figured out other ways to celebrate, whether it be with a quick walk on the beach or recreating a delicious family meal (or just thinking about a meaningful one!).
We chatted with four moms in the food and beverage industry to hear about their ideal Mother’s Day.
Michele is a busy mom of two boys, but she feels like her close-knit staff at her restaurant (along with partner Joey Fortunato), Extra Virgin, where she manages the front of house and bar menu, is also her family.
“We have 30 employees at the restaurant – 15 in the front of house. I feel like they are all my children, as well,” she says. This Mother’s Day is extra special for Michele as she’ll get to spend it with her mother, who hails from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.
"This is the first time I'll spend Mother's Day with my mom in a year, so we will definitely prepare one of my favorite recipes that my mom has mastered!” she says. That usually involves a special curry made with shrimp, goat, or chicken.”
Michele shared her Caribbean Curry Shrimp dish with us, perfect to make in
2 tbsp oil (for sautéing)
1.5 large shrimp
4 minced garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme
2 chopped scallions
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can coconut milk
1 bell pepper
2 cups of broth or stock
optional: Scotch Bonnet Pepper (if you want to add spice)
Season shrimp with salt, pepper, and curry seasoning
Sauté onions, garlic, green (red or yellow work too) peppers, and fresh thyme
Add tomato paste and chopped green onions.
Add coconut milk and broth, Michele prefers shrimp stock
Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 10 minutes
Add the shrimp to the sauce until pink
Serve with rice, beans, and veggies.
(photo courtesy of
Chef Barbara Lynch is very specific about what she wants for her Mother’s Day meal. Running restaurants across the Boston area has kept her busy, but she loves being a mom and has nurtured her daughter, three step-kids, and two grandkids over the years.
“I would have boiled lobsters with melted butter, a fennel citrus salad, and boiled, smashed potatoes with rosemary, a pinch of salt and pepper, and drizzled in olive oil. Vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge and black olives (grated on a microplane and then dried) and a saffron butter cookie for dessert,” she says. This meal also doubles as her last meal on earth pick.
Barbara’s daughter, Marchesa, learned to eat lobster when she was four years old (she’s now 17). “Lobster brings back so many childhood memories from growing up in New England,” she says. “Whenever my father hit the lottery, he would bring home lobsters and let them run around our kitchen, which was always a lot of fun for me as a kid.”
is the perfect way to get that melted butter ready for dipping.
“I’ve worked so many Mother’s Days over the years; it’s lovely to be acknowledged,” says the Chicago restaurateur who currently owns
in Evanston, amongst other spots. Her girls over the years have done special things for her, but this year she has a perfect plan, even down to the outfit.
“I would like to wear the pink crumply hat that my daughter made me when she was in Pre-K,” says Morton. Her plan is to head to the beach nearby with her whole family and the dog. She’ll make her favorite breakfast – a green smoothie and watch the sunrise. “If I can have this, my year will be made.”
Want to make Morton’s smoothie? The recipe is below. (If you’re not on the go, try it in our
1 frozen banana (peel bananas before freezing)
1-2 heaping teaspoon of green meal
1 good squeeze of flax oil
1 tsp lecithin, if you like a fluffy, milkshake-like texture
Apple juice (
just enough to create the consistency that you like
Combine in a blender.
*Amy uses part water/part apple juice as after years, the apple juice was just too
(photo courtesy of
Debbie has worked with Amy over the years and currently serves as executive chef for her restaurants. Being a chef, she’s had very few breaks for Mother’s Day, but when her kids were young, she’d have them come into the restaurant to spend a few minutes with them now that service has slowed. Her daughters are older now and both chefs, so a traditional Mother’s Day brunch can’t happen.
However, Debbie wants nothing more than “to sit at a restaurant and have someone else cook for her,” she says.