Top Chefs on The Value of Family Meals

[ 0 ] June 19, 2011 |

Ming Tsai and genConnect's Randi Zucker

At the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, genConnect asked some of the world’s top chefs to talk about the importance of family dinners

When it comes to spending time with family, you can’t place enough importance on the value of sitting down together for a meal.

At the 2011 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, genConnect sat down with some of the world’s top chefs to talk about the importance of family dinners. Here’s what they said:

Ming Tsai @chefmingtsai - The host and producer of  American Public Television’s “Simply Ming,” now in its eighth season, has written four cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, Ming’s Master Recipes and Simply Ming One-Pot Meal. Ming, who is also the father of two children, is a James Beard Award winner for his expertise in the kitchen and is currently the chef/owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA. Watch genConnect’s interview with Ming here.

Ming cooks for his family two to three times a week. He takes a break from his Massachusetts restaurant, Blue Ginger, around 5:30 or 6 p.m. to cook for his family, then goes back to the restaurant later in the evening. It’s in the kitchen that his family reconnects after their day.

“That’s where everything happens in our family – that’s our meeting … that’s what I had growing up,” Ming said.

Ming acknowledged that some chefs he considers more successful than he, who work in more high-powered restaurants, often can’t afford to take time off at night to go home to eat with their families. It’s something he doesn’t take for granted.

“Your kid is 11 once, your kid is 9 once, you know? …For me, it’s a fair part of the day. It’s also the glue of the family – it’s when you discuss everything.”

genConnect's Nancy Spears with Claudine & Jacques Pepin

Jacques Pépin @jacques_pepin and daughter Claudine Pepin -  Jacques is the author of 26 books and has starred on 11 television series. He has won multiple James Beard Awards and is one of the most recognizable chefs in America. Daughter Claudine has appeared on three James Beard Award-winning shows with her father, including “Jacques Pépin’s Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine” and “Jacques Pépin’s Kitchen: Encore with Claudine.” For two years, she was the brand ambassador for Moöt & Chandon and Dom Pérignon Champagne. Watch genConnect’s interview with Jacques and Claudine here.

When you ask someone what their favorite moments or meals in life were, Jacques said, they don’t remember exactly what they were eating, but they remember who they were eating with – and that’s what’s most important.

Claudine says one thing she’s learned from her father is to love and enjoy food – not to make too much of a fuss – and eat with your family, “because when you cook for people you love, that’s when food tastes the best. And everybody’s sitting at the table and having a wonderful meal together – nothing’s better than that.

It doesn’t even matter if something is overcooked, she added, “as long as everyone is at the table together and you love each other.”

So recruit your kids or spouse to help in the kitchen and gather around the table to enjoy the food, the conversation, and most importantly – each other.

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Category: Food & Wine, Lifestyle, Views on the News

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