Memories of Mom


From the moment we arrive in this world we begin making memories with our mom. Our mothers shape how we grow and what we know. Whether we are born to them, or find them along the way, these exemplary women add to our lives in every way. With Mother’s Day approaching we asked several of our luminaries to share with us on the subject of mom. While their responses may vary, one thing remains constant; motherhood is the ultimate extraordinary experience for good.


Sometimes the littlest things remind us of our mom.


“I remember the smell of CHANEL No. 5,” executive food and wine editor and restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle Michael Bauer recalls. “There was always a bottle next to the sink in her bathroom, and it was the only fragrance she ever wore.”


Even as adults, it seems like no one can make it quite like mom. “My mother was the best cook ever, half French half Italian,” Margrit Mondavi, Vice President of Cultural Affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery remembers.


For restaurateur and chefs Cecilia Chiang and Mourad Lahlou watching their mothers inspired what would become their life’s passions. “My mother taught me everything I know about food, culture and entertaining, basically how to enjoy life,” Chiang said. “Mom for me is all about trust, comfort, lineage and storytelling through food,” Lahlou explained. “It’s simply unconditional love.”


And sometimes our life’s passions are an acquired taste. Debbie Zachareas, Managing Partner and Wine Buyer at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant fondly remembered the first time she served her mom red wine after becoming a wine professional, and her mother commented that it smelled like the fruit rotting in her fruit drawer. “I told her maybe it was time to clean her fruit drawer. Over the years I persuaded her to drink great sweet wine, her favorite was Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris, Clos Windsbuhl, and so we made some progress.”


With so many unique memories and lessons it is impossible to summarize what motherhood means to everyone, but portrait photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank describes it eloquently: “Motherhood is the most beautiful human experience of all,” she said. “It breaks your heart wide open and leaves you forever changed."