As Mother's Day approaches, we caught up with a few moms around Seattle on how they like to spend some of their downtime with their kids. And they also happen to be chefs and restaurateurs of some of Seattle's more distinguished restaurants. But with the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, when they have a moment to slow down with their kids, what do they do? See what Ericka Burke of Volunteer Park Café, Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes, JM Enos of Lark, Slab, and Southpaw, Angela Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, and Heidi McGill of the Hitchcock Restaurant Group like to do on their days off with their kids.
Angela Stowell, Frankie, and Adrian (Ethan Stowell Restaurants)
"Life with the boys pretty much revolves around dressing up as superheroes, Army rangers or firemen, and building a lot of Legos! Most mornings start with a half-ripped Lego manual and a request that I search for and reassemble roughly 800 pieces before breakfast…
Adrian is 4.5 and recently started playing T-ball and taking Aikido (in hopes he will redirect his punches and takedowns to the mat instead of on his younger brother!) We're looking forward to spending a lot of time on Whidbey Island this summer—Ethan's parents have a place there with a community pool nearby. Frankie is pretty fearless and at two and a half was already jumping off of the diving board.
We've done a ton of travel with the kids this past year. Sharing the experience of travel brings us closer as a family and has made both boys more aware and curious of the world. There is a pretty funny video of Frankie (our almost three-year-old) cleaning the anatomical parts of a statue with a wet wipe. He was very thorough! Adrian is our food connoisseur and discovered a love of mussels and shellfish while we were in London over Thanksgiving."
Ericka Burke & Finn (Volunteer Park Café)
"In the wintertime, we love to ski and spend time at our cabin at Stevens Pass. Finn loves the terrain park these days - all he wants to do is go fast and catch air. He’s always asking me: "Mommy, how much air was between my skis and the snow?" When we aren’t on the hill, we enjoy hanging out by the fire, having snowball fights, and sharing hearty meals like Spaghetti Bolognese.
In the summer we spend a lot of time at my parents’ house on Lake Washington, swimming, and riding bikes on the Burke-Gilman trail. We also enjoy our time with my siblings in the Bay Area. We love Marin County, where we slurp down oysters by the dozen - Finn loves ‘em.
A few years back we were shooting a piece for KOMO about cooking for kids, and right before we started in, Finn told me he didn’t like tomatoes anymore. I had to bribe him with popsicles to get him to take a bit on camera! But good news: now he loves them, especially fresh-picked from Volunteer Park Café’s garden."
Jennifer Shea & Fleetwood (Trophy Cupcakes, Café Trophy)
"Fleetwood and I love listening to pop music really loud and singing and dancing along! We also love going out to eat - every Tuesday we have “date night” and go to a new restaurant and talk about food, our week, and what new things we want to try. We also enjoy skiing and playing tennis.
Fleetwood loves decorating cupcakes together too. He’s always trying to convince me that because he’s the child of the owners he can legally start working at Trophy, even though he’s only 8!"
Heidi McGill, Sullivan, and Westley (Hitchcock, Hitchcock Delis, Verjus, Bruciato, Café Hitchcock)
"We love to travel and expose our kids to other cultures and food. We took the kids to Iceland for a couple weeks in August and our five-year-old fell in love. Because the island sits on giant geothermal hot springs, there are public pools with giant water slides everywhere. The kids also loved a culture that so deeply believes in and communes with fairies and elves. Of course, Sullivan keeps asking when we are heading back.
A fun thing to do on a day off is to take a ferry ride to the city and be a tourist. We like to go to Pike Place Market, the downtown public library, and the International District. It feeds our city souls after being on Bainbridge Island for so long."
JM Enos & Owen Sundstrom (Lark, Slab, Southpaw)
"Owen and I are such homebodies. Our big activity together is dog walking, ideally at the Arboretum near the ponds, where I beg to let the dogs off leash and he insists that they stay on leash and under control. Role reversal much?
I love real life with Owen—I like the ‘everyday’ good times more than the high-pressure times (you know: birthdays, Disneyland) although the photos are usually better."