These Celebrity Chefs Credit Their Mothers For Their Love Of Cooking

As Mother's Day rolls around, the time has arrived to start considering all the ways our mothers have helped support and guide us through life. While we start to plan our celebration with brunch reservations and picnics, notable chefs around the world have also spent time reflecting on all the ways their mothers have impacted their lives and helped them attain their goals (via Good Housekeeping).

Whether these household personalities made it big on TV or started small and rose through the ranks, each figure has special memories attributed to their moms. Thanks to years of warm memories of cooking in the kitchen, these celebrity chefs formed a lifelong love of food that took their lives in a new direction. After their mothers changed the way they approached home cooking, they've changed the ways we now think about it. Mothers have influenced the movers and shakers of culinary culture — from Alex Guarnaschelli to Aáron Sánchez.

Alex Guarnaschelli learned the joy of cooking from mom

Alex Guarnaschelli came to prominence thanks to her appearances on "Iron Chef America," "Alex's Day Off," and "Chopped" (via Alex Guarnaschelli). Guarnaschelli, the daughter of famous cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, experienced her parent's deep passion for food from an early age. She recalled how her mother would constantly test out recipes that she had to edit for her job (Maria edited a revision of cooking tome "Joy of Cooking," per The Seattle Times). 

Her mother would constantly get Guarnaschelli involved in the cooking process, making the future chef peel potatoes, knead dough, and assemble trifles. From these beginnings, Guarnaschelli found a passion for cooking and would go on to inspire all of us at home to push the limits in our kitchens. "I think I became a chef so I could take her work in the other direction," Guarnaschelli told the New York Times of her mother.

Aáron Sánchez's mother taught him representation matters

As a former judge on "MasterChef" and guest judge on "Chopped" and "Chopped Junior," no one knows good food like Aáron Sánchez (via Zagat). This esteemed restaurateur shot through the culinary ranks due to his skill and hard work, and he thanks his mother for being the role model that helped guide him through his life as a chef. Sánchez always looked up to his mother and her restaurant as an example of what Mexican cooking can do. His mother opened her own Mexican restaurant in the 1980s and helped introduce diners to a world of flavor beyond burritos and tacos. Her influence on the local food scene helped bring attention to dishes like moles, ceviche, and more, and helped inspire Sánchez to pursue high-end Mexican cuisine.

Marcus Samuelsson's grandmother believed in homemade ingredients

Sometimes, the only real challenger to a mom's cooking comes in the form of meals prepared by grandmothers. Marcus Samuelsson, a "Top Chef" Master, learned about cooking through his adoptive grandmother (via Pop. Bop. Shop.) The Ethiopian chef, who eventually found his way into a loving Swedish household after his biological mother died when he was two years old, recalls how his grandmother made every ingredient herself, down to the jam and pickles. As he detailed in his memoir "Yes, Chef," his Mormor would spend hours pouring love into each one of her dishes. The experience of cooking with his grandmother taught Samuelsson how to properly respect each ingredient, and how to pragmatically approach each recipe he tackled.

José Andrés learned from the best

José Andrés ranks as one of the biggest food stars around and served as a worthy challenger to Bobby Flay on "Iron Chef America" (via Food Network). This highly influential Spanish chef couldn't have made it to the pinnacle of culinary fame without a bit of help from his mom. According to Open Table, Andrés grew up cooking with his mother and learned the ins and outs of the kitchen by watching her. Since the family didn't go out to eat, all the delicious meals had to come about at home and the necessity of delivering simple, satisfying meals made a great impact on Andrés' approach to food. "She was a simple home cook, but at her side I learned the power of food to evoke memory," Andrés recalled to Open Table.

Emeril Lagasse begged his mom to teach him to cook

Emeril Lagasse helped pioneer the way we approach spices and modern home cooking, but he wouldn't have gotten his start without a bit of help from his mother. According to Britannica, Lagasse begged his mother to teach him how to cook at the age of seven, and wanted to learn her vegetable soup recipe. After several attempts, Lagasse succeeded, and decades later, still remembers how much patience and kindness his mother showed him as he learned how to make the simple dish. Without this figure, we might have never had Emeril's big personality to inspire us to kick it up a notch.