For These Chefs, It's a Family Affair

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
February 25, 2014

Chef Marc Forgione will publish a cookbook in April, reports the AP, reminding us of 1) his existence, 2) his Michelin star, awarded days before he planned to sell his eponymous restaurant (he didn’t), and 3) his father. Larry Forgione “is regarded as an American culinary icon” for having helped pioneer the farm-to-table movement by serving only seasonal, local foods in his restaurant, An American Place, since 1983. (Life magazine called him one of the 50 Most Influential Baby Boomers.)

Like father, like son, it seems, for the Forgiones. (Lucky Forgiones.)

This pair isn’t the only one keeping it all in the family. Here are some other junior-senior restaurant-world duos:

Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter, Elena. Photo credit: Getty

Juan Mari and Elena Arzak: Called the patron saint of Basque cuisine by the Washington Post, Juan Mari Arzak has inspired the likes of Ferran Adrià and José Andrés, two other Spanish giants of the food world. And, of course, there’s his daughter Elena, who will inherit the family’s restaurant, Arzak, just as Juan Mari did from his parents, and they did from theirs. (It’s just under 120 years old and has held three Michelin stars for almost 25 years.) Known for their experimental approach towards cooking that simultaneously makes the most of classic Basque ingredients, the two opened a second restaurant in London last year. Back in San Sebastián, Arzak’s wine room was designed by Elena’s architect husband. Sister Marta, who works at the Guggenheim in Bilbao, consulted on the art. Truly a family affair. 

Sumitra, Prakas and Kris Yenbamroong: Kris Yenbamroong, 31, opened micro-restaurant Night + Market inside Talésai, his parents’ 20 year-old Thai restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. (Seriously, you enter Night + Market through a pair of red curtains hung to separate it from the space that is, otherwise, all Talésai.) In the room that serves as his restaurant, he dishes out Thai street foods such as pork satay and larb gai, and projects his favorite films on the walls. While we’re fans of his ultra-spicy food, we’re super-fans of his menu-writing style. His printed notes include: “DO NOT FORGET TO ORDER SOME STICKY RICE to enjoy with your food”; “No blabbing on cell phones”; “MAXIMUM of 4 credit cards per table. No exceptions. (It’s logical, really. The more time we’re tied up splitting a bill 9 ways, the less time we have to take care of your fellow diners.)” His second restaurant, Night + Market Song, opens soon in Silver Lake and will not be attached to any other restaurant. He’s all grown up!

Joe Bastianich his mother, legendary chef Lidia Bastianich on “MASTERCHEF.” Photo credit: Getty

Lidia and Joe and Bastianich: What to say about Lidia Bastianich? She’s an Italian-American chef, she’s an Emmy award-winning TV host, and she’s the author of books that have become foundational to many home cooks. She’s also a mother, to son Joe, who helps her run her restaurant empire: Felidia, Esca, Del Posto, Becco, and Eataly market in New York, and Lidia’s Italy, of which there are locations in Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Joe’s had a nice stretch on TV himself, and he also makes wines. And writes. And runs marathons. And the both of them are friends with another Italian-American power family…

Armandino and Mario Batali: We all know who Mario Batali is. His father, Armandino, though, was an engineer at Boeing for 30 years, until he retired and got to do what he really wanted: cure meats. His Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle has grown from small store to wholesale retailer that supplies restaurants with its goods. Yes, including some of Mario’s.