M Is for the Many Meals She Made You

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Photo: iStockphoto

Plenty of chefs source their cooking abilities along matrilineal roots, so it's no surprise that many menus carry recipes passed down by mothers and grandmothers. When it comes time for chefs to honor Mom (specifically Sunday, you ungrateful brats), there's no better way to do it than serving them a meal. We asked several chefs across the country about what they like to make for Mom. Get inspiration below, but remember it's not too late to make brunch reservations.

Sascha Lyon, Delphine, Los Angeles
"My mom loves eggs and bacon. It's what she calls a 'manly breakfast.' So without a doubt I would make her a soft herb omelette with a side of extra crispy bacon, served with a glass of Champagne. That would make her day."

Anita Lo, Annisa, New York

"My mother passed away this past year, so it's not possible for me to cook for her anymore. In theory, I would love to cook for her at Annisa, for her to see its rebirth. My mother was an omnivore; she loved food there were very few things that she didn't like. She was really happy with the foie gras soup dumplings at Annisa, which were based on one of her dishes I think that was exciting for her when she had it for the first time ten years ago. Every Mother's Day I do a special [at the restaurant] of her steamed fish, though I sort of make it fancier. She'd do a whole steamed fish with scallions and ginger, really simple with some soy sauce and sesame oil. It was so clean, it was just delicious. I do a filet of something, steamed exactly the same way, and this time of year Id do pea shoots with oyster sauce and a scallion oil. Something exactly the way she used to cook it."

Jason Santos, Gargoyles on the Square, Boston

Every Mothers Day I make my mom properly cooked eggs because she struggles with making good eggs for breakfast. Her favorite dish is my breakfast pizza, which is topped with eggs, potatoes, bacon, and Cheddar cheese. She loves that.

Ryan Poli, Perennial, Chicago
"My mom is real easy going for mothers day. All she wants is her boys (me and my two brothers) to get together for the day and go to brunch or come over to the house for dinner. Everything else is just an added bonus for her. I remember a few years ago, I had just got back from living in Spain, and got back the night before Mother's Day. I stayed the night at my parents house and in the morning just made a simple breakfast, Spanish tortilla, and pan con tomate (tomato bread). It took me about 15 minutes to make and was no big deal. She still to this day talks about it. I don't think it was the meal we had or the way I cooked it that was memorable, it was her son who was gone for a long time was home siting with her enjoying breakfast and each others' company.


Russell Jackson, Lafitte, San Francisco

"The last thing that I cooked for my mom was braised chanterelles with a poached egg. But I'm always changing it up, and if I were going to cook something for her now, it would be something from the Silver Palate cookbook that she just gave me."