Let’s face it: most dads just have a different approach when it comes to cooking and preparing food. We are all familiar with the stereotypical father in the backyard, cooking on the grill and feigning general cluelessness in the kitchen (if for no other reason than to avoid having to get too involved in the clean up).
But when they display their culinary skills, somehow dads seem to bring a certain element of cool to the table and an air celebration to the meal. My father, for example, only knows how to make eggs, but we all know when he’s in the kitchen because those eggs are accompanied by the Sunday saxophone stylings of Stan Getz.
Dads usually have at least one specialty dish in their toolbox, so to speak, something utilitarian and simple in design, yet unique and untethered in its use of robust ingredients, a creation that embodies the vision and determination our fathers taught us as we took our first steps.
Somehow these inspired dishes usually end up being something you can eat with your hands. Dads, it seems, can make a sandwich out of anything.
Some fathers, like Senator Chuck Schumer, go old-school deli. Behold, the Chuck Schumer sandwich. This sandwich is piled high with mouthwatering roast beef and heavy on the pickles, peppers and onions. [Insert obligatory joke about politicians having big enough mouths for a sandwich like that.]
In contrast, Matisyahu brings the classic reuben into the New Age of Cool with his vegan tempeh ruben sandwiches. True to form, he makes the intricate appear effortless. There are a lot of ingredients to this recipe, but the result is on a throne of its own.
Here in DC, dads on the go want to eat healthy, but still enjoy the taste and convenience juicy burger. Fortunately, the vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of the Jewish Federations of North America (also known as King of All Social Media), William Daroff has inspired Char Bar’s William’s Burger, a veggie burger with roasted veggies on top. It’s kosher and healthy and brings unity to the community.
Not all dads are into sandwiches. Some fathers are just too hip to be boxed in by one meal. Lenny Kravitz, of course, likes to go his own way and have pizza for brunch and then hang out with Jeremy Piven for dinner.
But still other fathers are rooted in tradition. Mandy Patinkin remains loyal to his mother’s potato latkes recipe, for no other could there be. If it’s on his plate, he’ll clean it—it’s known to be his favorite dish.
For Jewish dads everywhere on Father’s Day, the real menu is: As you wish.