What’s it like to be a Chef and a family man? I interview Chef Brian Malarkey, a finalist in season 3 of Bravo Top Chef and restaurant owner.

Brian Malarkey has made quite a name for himself.  He was a finalist on Bravo Top Chef Season 3, co-host of TLC's Kick Off Cook Off, he opened his first restaurant Searsucker in the San Diego Gaslamp District in 2010, and more recently opened his second restaurant Burlap in Del Mar.

A little while ago when the Cheap Sally Dance Party was still in the planning phase I was invited to dinner at Searsucker.  We tried quite an assortment of dishes that night (enough for me to not eat the next day) and to say that the food was mouth-watering, is an understatement.  I never thought I would eat brussel sprouts, but after trying them there, I am a believer that they can taste delicious.

Last week we attended the grand opening party of his latest restaurant Burlap – you can see a photograph of Elizabeth and I there on DiscoverSD.  We sampled some of the dishes Brian will have on the menu, and we stood in awe at the glassed-in kitchen.   This is an impressive venue.   I have already heard rave reviews from friends.

Brian Malarkey interview

Brian was a guest at our Cheap Sally Dance Party last Friday night.  I had a chance to sit and informally chat with him for a bit about Burlap, but what I really wanted to know more about was how a chef and father of 3 children incorporates his love of food into his home life and how he gets his children involved.

Chef Brian Malarkey

Brian and his wife Chantelle have 3 children, a son 2 1/2 and boy/girl twins aged 10 months.  There was the mutual 'ahhh' followed by 'nodding' when I shared that I too was a parent of multiples, it's a little something that most parents of multiples do – the 'I know how that is' response.

I asked Brian if he does most of the cooking at home.  He shared that he is always home to make and enjoy breakfast with his family. 

His kids favorite dishes:  like most young children his son loves hot dogs and mac & cheese, however when he was little he loved things such as olives, which apparently Brian's younger son (one of the twins) has taken a liking to now.  A lot of us though seem to experience this change with what our children will or will not eat around 2-3 years old.   Brian cuts up dried papaya for him which he refers to as 'candy' and they make guacamole which is son calls 'making avocado'. 

Does he have plans to get his kids involved in cooking and learning from him as they get older?  Brian knows how much work goes into being a successful chef and with that in mind he jokingly stated that his first two children (including his little girl, one of the twins) will be able to decide whatever it is they want to do, but he was blessed with another boy and in Brian's words 'he's all mine'.   However his 2 1/2 year old does love to watch him in the kitchen and they recently planted strawberry and basil plants together.

As for me, I am looking forward to going back to Burlap for a meal.

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Dawn Sandomeno August 9, 2011 - 6:38 pm

Great interview. I love how how he is instilling his love for food and cooking in his children.

Mel August 26, 2011 - 5:34 am

Great twist on the interview; love it that he makes breakfast for his family every day….would love to go to Burlap. Maybe some day.


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