With restaurants spanning the country, Michael Schlow is one of the most influential and respected chefs in America today. His ability to capture a variety of global cuisines and techniques has led to appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Nightline, and The Food Network. Born in Brooklyn, now residing in Boston, Michael is not only an awesome Chef, but also quite the Father…
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
Like any parent, I’ll tell you my kids are the most amazing kids ever…in my case, it’s actually true!
I have 2 girls, one 9 and one that’s 1 1/2. Our 9 year old, Petra, is super smart and loves food, especially sashimi and sushi. She’s got a beautiful vocabulary, is great fun, and is excellent help when it comes to her rambunctious little sister, Axelle. Axelle is also a little “foodie”, wanting to taste everything from Pasta Bolognese to the wine we are drinking. I love being a father and a husband…my family is the most important and best part of my life.
Talk to us about your parenting style.
My parenting style? Um, follow my wife’s lead? I’d like to think that since I had kids a little later in life, I’m a little more mellow than my parents were, but I do hear myself repeating things they said to me when I was a kid. I’m on the road for work a lot so my wife ends up doing a lot of the parenting, especially the disciplining.
I want to give my kids the best of everything but my wife and I also want to make sure the kids grow up to be respectful, thoughtful, appreciative, and not spoiled.
What’s the one thing as a Father you cannot live without?
Other than my wife? Competent babysitters!
Let’s talk food and the kids. Any particular family favorite dining spots in Boston?
My kids love food and they love to go out…my 9 year old’s favorite restaurant (other than our places) is definitely Oishii on Washington Street. This is where Petra learned how to use chopsticks and the staff treat all of us like family. I think they have some of the best sushi in the country and it’s definitely the place everyone wants to go to most often, which makes me happy too.
Any favorite dishes you make at home for the kids?
My kids like lots of different foods and are big fans of al dente spaghetti with tomato basil sauce, grilled octopus, homemade tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce, Medium rare steak with steamed broccoli, homemade shrimp dumplings with dipping sauce, and roasted halibut…not all in one sitting, obviously and they don’t want fast food, ever.
You recently opened a new Tico in Washington DC. How is that going?
Tico DC is going incredibly well, even better than I could have imagined. My wife (who’s an artist) helped me a lot with the design of the restaurant and did a lot of the artistry herself and hung some of her work on the walls, so it was great to collaborate and work together on the look. I’m really excited that the restaurant just won EaterDC.com’s Best Design for New Restaurant; my wife deserves all the credit and I’m really proud of her and the work she did on the restaurant.
You are a busy man. How do you manage your restaurant empire with the demands of Fatherhood?
I am busy but luckily my wife and kids are very understanding about the demands of my job. My wife encourages me to continue to explore opportunities that are of interest to me; without her support and understanding, there’s no way that I would be successful professionally or in my personal life. I am also very lucky to have an amazing team that works on the restaurants which allows me the confidence to go from restaurant to restaurant and continue to grow the company.