For any chef, it can be difficult to balance time in and out of the kitchen. For moms who are chefs, the challenge is twice as hard. Chefs Marcela Valladolid, Michelle Bernstein, and Christy Vega share how they envision their perfect Mother’s Day with their families, and how they spend their special day off.

For Christy Vega, celebrity chef, owner/operator of Casa Vega and mother of three young boys, a low-key Mother’s Day is the perfect way for her to relax.

“Just hanging out and spending time with my family, my kids, husband and mom, that’s the perfect day for me,” says Vega. “We always go to Benihana,” she says. “It keeps my boys happy and entertained. It’s like a show during dinner!”

Vega is a mother to Jackson, 8, who she deems the leader of the pack; Rafael Palmer, 6, the jokester of the family; and Ryan Jr., 4, is her “little king.” As food is an important part of Vega’s life, she makes sure it resonates with her family as well.

“My kids are definitely a part of the kitchen when we all cook together,” she says. “All of them, especially Palmer, loves to make tamales with me,” she continues.

Vega describes herself as a loving, fun and compassionate mom, who although balances a busy schedule, is looking forward to her day of relaxation. “From one mom to another, enjoy each day because being a mom is the best job there is!” says Vega.

Michelle Bernstein, chef and owner of Michy’s restaurant in Miami, also plans to relax on the day.

“My idea of the perfect Mother’s Day is spending the day with my family, good friends and celebrating the moms and women around us is also nice,” she says. But Bernstein would actually prefer to stay in her kitchen on Mother’s Day. “In my kitchen at home, I can give thanks and appreciation to all the people I love and spoil everyone rotten,” she says.

Bernstein is the self-described overbearing, emotional and affectionate mother to her one-and-a-half year old son Zachary.

“He is energetic, smart as a whip, smiles 24/7 and is finicky about food, ironically,” she says. “He’s the love of my life.” Since Zachary is so young, he can’t participate in the kitchen yet, but Bernstein plans on introducing him to the culinary world as soon as she can.

Next up, we’re talking to chef Marcela Valladolid about her perfect Mother’s Day. 


[ pagebreak ]

A day in the kitchen with the kids, including her eight-year-old son Fausto, is just how Marcela Valladolidhost of the upcoming American Baking Competition, describes her perfect Mother’s Day.

“Fausto is the most ambitious eater I know,” says Valladolid of her son’s appetite. “We celebrate our motherhood year-round, but on the day we’ll do a potluck, most likely at my brother Antonio’s house,” she says.

Although her mother has now passed on, Valladolid is very close with her father, sister Carina, and brother Antonio, and the entire family gets together to celebrate the day. “Good food, good wine, good music with the kids all running around is my idea of a perfect mother’s day.” 

For this one-time magazine editor, family is everything, especially in the kitchen.

“Fausto used to cook with me, but now he’s eight and too cool for me, so my nieces love to jump in there with me,” explains Valladolid. “In my family, the women run the households and my best memories are of those events when three generations of women are all cooking together,” she says.

Out of the kitchen, Valladolid relishes in her other passion, shopping. “I can’t lie, it’s my therapy and of all the vices I could have, shoes are the healthiest one,” she laughs.

If Marcela could pass on one piece of wisdom from one mom to another, she believes that letting your kid be a kid is the greatest thing you can do for them. “As a mother, I am loving, protective, and a little nuts, but I try my best to let Fau be Fau,” she says. “He knows with every inch of his being that the only thing I expect him to be when he grows up is happy,” says Valladolid proudly.


Leave A Comment