Father’s day is coming, what does it mean to you and your family?
It is a special day for sure, and one of great reflection especially since my first son, Loland was born on Father’s day. It was the most memorable day of my life. I remember staring at Loland for hours in utter disbelief and gratitude. It also gave me a new respect and perspective with the relationship with my father and how important he has been in my life.
How do you balance your work life as a chef and home life as a father.
I will be working on this the rest of my life and is an ever evolving process. My family comes first in all of my thoughts, but being a chef and running multiple restaurants and outlets as well as having a wife with a corporate career means I am always needed somewhere...or perhaps I say something that should be getting done is not. I try to be in the moment when I with my boys, Loland and Winston, but that is challenging.
I try to be home or with my children when not at work. I choose not to market our restaurants via travel or anything that would take me away from my boys for a lengthy period of time. Although I am pulled away often times at night and weekends, I am there every morning at 6 am to make breakfast. Finding a consistent and regular time together has been important. Owning my business ultimately gives me the flexibility to prioritize and attend most of the boys pertinent academic, sporting, and personal affairs. The biggest change my family has had to make is to take more out of town vacations; if I’m in town, I’m working. The last few years we have planned one extended trip in the summer and a few weeks throughout the year.
Tell us about the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a father and how you have overcome it?
Trying to make everyone happy…...especially those outside of my immediate family such as extended family, friends, customers, business associates, and employees. I try to to focus on acceptance and accountability. As much as I want to have control over people, places, and things I only have control over myself and my reaction to things. I try to do and say the next right thing and if I don’t-which is often-I try and make an amends as soon as possible. Becoming a Father offers an excellent opportunity for self reflection and continual growth. The challenges aren't something to overcome but to accept.
Can you tell us about something that makes you happy as a father?
Re-experiencing the wonders of childhood through my boys’ eyes. I enjoy sharing with them what was passed along to me via my parents, family, wife, friends, teachers, and personal experiences. When I see my boys taking chances and failing, discovering/experiencing new things, or the revelation and joy I see in their eyes when something clicks inside them for the first time are the special moments of being a father.
How do you celebrate with your family? Traditions and meals?
We have family dinner every night possible. Sitting around the table sharing food, stories, tears and the meaning behind this action is why I became a chef and believe it is an important foundation for the boys.
Thank you to Patrick, Winston, and Loland for being such good sports.
Please visit Boke Bowl for amazing ramen and dim sum and his newest venture Boke Dokie!