What Harrison Ford's Celebrity Chef Son Looks Like Today

We may recognize his father as Hans Solo in "Star Wars" or the whip-cracking, adventure-seeking star of the "Indiana Jones" series. But, as a successful man in his own right, it's now pretty clear that chef Ben Ford has never wanted to act. Instead, as he told Williams Sonoma, he fell in love with gardening, food, and cooking at a very young age. The son of longtime movie star Harrison Ford, Ben Ford is one of the actor's five children from his relationships with three wives (via Bustle). 

Ford has become a world-renowned chef in his own right with a cookbook, reality TV show, and multiple restaurants to his name. He also so closely resembles his dad in appearance that when you glance at him, you may just have to look twice. In fact, he and his father have always been close, and Ford often enjoys grilling and cooking for his dad. 

In turn, chef Ben encourages his own boys to cook meals at home. Clearly, Ben Ford has been on a fascinating and compelling journey, both in and out of the kitchen. Here's what Harrison Ford's celebrity chef son looks like today, along with some of his own personal and culinary history.

Ben Ford's beginnings

Per Fabiosa, chef Ben Ford is the oldest of Harrison Ford's sons, a sibling group that includes Willard, Malcolm, Liam, and a sister, Georgia. While Harrison Ford worked off-screen to make ends meet, he and his first wife Mary Marquardt raised sons Ben and Willard. Not long after Ford landed a huge role and became a star, he and Mary split. Ben has two additional siblings from his dad's marriage to his second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. That marriage lasted almost two decades before they also split. Harrison Ford then met Calista Flockhart, a fellow actor whom he married in 2010.

As an adult, Ben Ford admits that he looks quite a lot like his father. He is, by many accounts, a rather imposing man with big hands. Ben has stated publicly his dad would be more his size if he hadn't been an actor concerned about his physical appearance (via People). Harrison also reportedly follows a diet that largely bans dairy and meat, according to RTE.

Ben learned to cook from both his mother and his stepfather, TV show director Bob Becker, who also loved to spend time in the kitchen himself (via Daily Mail). Yet, that wasn't always Ben's intended path. Originally, he wanted to play baseball professionally, but a knee injury forced him to switch paths, according to Williams Sonoma.

From little boy to celebrity chef

More comfortable in the kitchen than in front of a movie camera, Ben Ford is perhaps best known now for launching his own gastropub, Ford's Filling Station, which opened in 2006 and closed in 2014 (via Eater Los Angeles). He also opened a second location at LAX, a rather posh place to pop by when waiting for a flight, as well as in the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles (though Yelp notes that this location is now closed as well).

Though he's not an actor, Ford has appeared on such TV shows as "Iron Chef America," "TODAY," "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern," and Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution." He also enjoys mentoring as a celebrity chef head judge for the Dole California Cook Off (via World Food Championships).

Ford first fell in love with the idea of cooking as a career while studying at the University of Dijon, Epicurious reports. Ben later pursued studies at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Once he was ready to enter the food industry, he landed a gig working under Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, before becoming executive chef at the Farm of Beverly Hills, followed by a series of restaurant ventures including the solo Ford's Filling Station.

Chef Ben's cooking style reflects his past

Traveling the world with his dad and being raised by a foodie mom definitely shaped the chef Ford's become, he told Williams Sonoma. Ford prefers to fix what he calls simple food with high quality ingredients. He believes in what he's deemed a "root-to-flower" process of using plants in all of their various growth stages. Ford also prefers use locally grown produce and products.

As if that weren't enough, Ben Ford has volunteered with L.A. Mission and helped to feed thousands of homeless individuals, according to Tokyo Journal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ford also launched an e-market called Doorstep Market, which sells food and beverages, and also sells products from different regions of the United States.

As a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Department of State, Ford has traveled around the world. One of his favorite trips as a culinary ambassador was to the Republic of Georgia, reports Tokyo Journal, where he learned long-held Georgian winemaking methods and dined on traditional regional foods.

Chef Ben has penned a cookbook

Ford's love of grilling comes through in his cookbook, "Taming the Feast: Ben Ford's Field Guide To Adventurous Cooking." There, Ford shares how he prepares and cooks gigantic meals, though most of the recipes in the cookbook are designed to feed eight to 10 people. They reflect the style of cooking he has best become known for: hearty, full of flavor, and with a distinct twist on the traditional.

Ben's cookbook also captures his long-standing respect for the farmers, ranchers, and animals involved in the farm-to-table process. According to Williams Sonoma, he has even developed a relationship with a rancher who routinely brings whole animals to Ford's restaurant, prompting Ben and his team to fix meals using as many parts of the animal as possible. That's also pushed Ford to expand his cooking horizons, moving to wood-fired outdoor methods that can better accommodate larger portions of meat.

Ben Ford has shown up on television

Though he's not an actor like his father, Ben Ford has still ended up in front of the camera on two wildly popular reality TV cooking shows. Per 2Paragraphs, fellow chef Gordon Ramsay requested that Ford accompany him on an episode of "Hell's Kitchen" in 2017, in order to judge the winner of that episode. It was the perfect competition for Ford to oversee, because the chefs on that episode were challenged to work in pairs cooking different types of fish atop cedar and hickory wood planks, in line with Ford's oftentimes rustic cooking methods.

Ford also faced off against Chef Bobby Flay in season 5 of "Iron Chef America" (via Food Network). In that episode, Ford divulged some tidbits about himself and what goes on in his kitchen. For example, his secret weapon as a chef is seemingly humble vinegar. That said, he avoids raspberry vinegar at all costs. And, accordign to Food Network, Ben Ford's all-time favorite food is "a great steak cooked over a wood fire."

He's raising his sons to be comfortable in the kitchen

Ford's first marriage to Elizabeth Winkler brought about his oldest son Ethan (via Daily Mail). Ford's wife Emily — with whom he has another son, Waylon — also works in the restaurant industry. He and his wife have always encouraged their adventurous boys to work in the kitchen and garden so they grasp firsthand the connection between the earth and food. The boys also can fix entire meals on their own, starting at surprisingly young ages, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The Fords clearly love to select themes for their dinners and throw passion into executing the meals. They also presumably enjoy sampling wares at an array of restaurants and expanding their palate. Ford has shared pictures on Instagram of his son Waylon baking a pie by himself and even snapping pics of his plate full of food with a toy camera. The family also enjoys traveling together and soaking up the sights as often as they can, especially now that Ethan is away at college.

Dad Harrison is proud of Ben's accomplishments

Harrison Ford and wife Calista Flockhart used to frequent chef Ben's restaurant often and would bring in Calista's son Liam. Harrison would rave over the different dishes and his son's cooking. In fact, a trip Harrison took his son on to Hawaii when he was a teen is another experience that inspired him to spend more time in the kitchen.

While in Hawaii, Ben watched as an entire pig was roasted on a tropical beach. This meal is now one of his famous dishes that dad gives two thumbs up to. He became fascinated with roasting in general after visiting his dad in Hertfordshire, England while Harrison was shooting "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Together, they rotated through people's homes on Sundays to enjoy a meal together, which always seemed to include something roasted.

But he still credits his mom's skills in the kitchen as the real inspiration for his career path. His favorite dish of hers remains a seemingly simple roast chicken, a dish Ford admits that he still can't get quite right.

Ford credits both parents for his creativity in the kitchen

Before Harrison Ford made it big, he was a carpenter. As a craftsman, his dad's attention to detail impressed Ben, who admired his dad's work ethic and talent (via Williams Sonoma). In fact, the chef also has tapped into his own carpentry skills by building projects such as tree houses and, in his words, "big boy houses." He even built a dedicated structure just for curing meats.

Ford believes being around creative people is what helped him become the creative chef he is today. He recalls being encouraged to explore his ideas in an open, welcoming environment. Indeed, he'd rather be around artists than chefs still, saying that these associations help to encourage his creativity today. He fondly recalled a trip to Japan with his dad when he was just 12, "where I lost my inhibitions surrounding food," he said (via Williams Sonoma).

But don't overlook Ford's mom, Mary, who is also a whiz in the kitchen and who made sure to always have a garden growing at home. This ultimately sparked his passion for cooking when he was still a child, per Life+Times

Ford used his culinary skills to help with family health issues

Ford's mother, Mary, was diagnosed with the chronic disease multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive illness that impacts the nervous system. At first, as California Life HD reports, the family had little idea what was wrong, as the symptoms were constantly changing. Mary, who was diagnosed when Ben was a teenager, has now lived with MS for decades. The diagnosis brought many challenges, like weakness, numbness, and other nerve issues associated with the disease. He watched her adapt to life with MS and adjust to entertaining. 

People with MS struggle with heat intolerance and dexterity issues, and since his mother loved to cook and entertain, he sought solutions to this challenge, such as opting for a menu that reduces the amount of time his mom spends over a hot cooking surface (via Living the Gourmet). He also found relatively low grills that were easier for her to use and other cooking adaptations to help Mary continue her time in the kitchen. They also enjoy frequenting farmer's markets together.

Inspired by his mother, he became active in a program called Reimagine MySelf. It's designed to help people living with MS reimagine life with the chronic disease and make adaptations like the sort Ben has helped his mother make over the years.

Ford has a few favorite recipes

Naturally, some of Ford's favorite recipes are featured in his cookbook, like his paella recipe that won a few cooking competitions (via Williams Sonoma). For a clambake meant to draw on the resources of southern California, Ford substituted Dungeness crab for lobsters and included chorizo, corn, and artichokes, all cooked inside a large wooden wine barrel. He was blown away by the results.

Some of Ben's favorite ingredients include ramps, a wild relative of the oniony leek, along with morel mushrooms, figs, and avocados. If these may seem a bit off the wall, Ford would likely disagree. According to Food Network, he's also eaten a hot sauce made with termites prepared by indigenous Pimones people in Venezuela, as well as some smoked scorpion.

This isn't to say that Ford doesn't enjoy going out and dining on other chef's work, too. According to ChefsFeed, some of his favorite restaurant dishes include the steak burger from The Apple Pan in West Los Angeles, where he and his family ate every Sunday growing up. He also the samosa with green chutney from the Samosa House in Laughlin, California, as well as octopus carpaccio from K-Zo Restaurant in downtown Culver City. "I am a sucker for octopus of every kind," he admitted to ChefsFeed.

Harrison and Ben Ford cook together

Even though his parents were no longer married and Harrison Ford's movie career had skyrocketed by the time Ben was a teenager, he continued to enjoy cooking and supporting his son in the kitchen (via Williams Sonoma). They even took on a Father's Day cookoff challenge with Food & Wine, where both showed off their favorite chicken preparation techniques. The younger Ford has also taken to Twitter to share an inspirational photo of his dad grilling with him. Even though the elder Ford typically avoids eating meat and dairy, according to The Beet, he clearly loves cooking with his son.

According to Williams Sonoma, Ben Ford's first big feast he ever prepared was for a whopping 80 people, including his dad. The teenage Ford had plans to simply roast some duck and originally intended to feed only his family. But word got out that he was and before he knew it, a considerable crowd of people showed up. Amazingly, Ford prepared the final meal out of a tiny kitchen in a Wisconsin cabin. He joked that the meal was amazing but the poor oven "had seen better days."