Fatherhood and Fine Dining

This Father’s Day, we honor the dedication and passion of two extraordinary Chef dads who have masterfully balanced their demanding careers with the joys and challenges of fatherhood.

Deepanker Khosla, Haoma

Father to 11 month old Ari, Chef Deepanker Khosla is chef/owner of Thailand’s first urban farm and zero-waste restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. He is equally big on sustainability as he is about reimagining authentic Indian cuisine in fine-dining settings — Neo Indian as he calls it. Haoma was awarded the Sustainable Restaurant Award winner at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant in 2024.

I’ve had Haoma for 7 years and after we got our first Michelin star in 2022, I thought that since I’ve achieved my professional goal, it was time to work on being successful personally. Both me and my wife wanted a child and we went for it.

Our daughter Ari is now 11 months old and it has been constantly challenging and time consuming. I’ve not been able to put her to bed except for Mondays since I only get home at midnight. But ‘quality over quantity’, I try to make the most of the 3 hours I get with her every morning. 7am is when she usually wakes up, and then the day starts with a little walk. After, I watch her eat her food, which is a spectacle of its own. While she naps in the morning, I do a quick workout. We would play together after, she enjoys independent play too, fiddling with the learning tower and other things. 11am, it’s a quick shower for me and I’m off to work till the end of service.

“How do you and your wife distribute parental roles fairly and does this change from tie to time?”

My wife is amazing when it comes to taking charge of parenting. It is a conscious decisions that we made when we decide to be parents – I push my career forward and she dedicates more time to Ari. When she needs a breather, I’ll step in.  Since March this year, I’ve started taking Sundays and Mondays off for the first time in my 15 years in the kitchen. I want to be able to help with whatever I can and just be present for the both of them.

“What is your best advice to chef moms of little kids?”

You will never have enough time. Jobs and careers will stay but your child will only crawl once for the first time, only say dada and mama when they are this young. So be there and enjoy it. It will stick with you for a life time.

Zor Tan, Restaurant Born

Zor Tan is the owner and culinary maverick at Restaurant Born in Singapore. Chartering his own path after working under the mentorship of Chef Andre Chiang for 11 years, his restaurant has garned a whole slew of accolades including a Michelin star and No. 36 on Asia’s 50 Best restaurants. He is currently performs daddy duties (which includes the night diaper changes ) for his two children: Zelda, 5 and Zayle, 2.

Having children was always on the agenda for my wife Grace and I. After 2 years of marriage, we decided to dig deep. Taking care of Zelda and Gayle whilst running the restaurant can be challenging at times, and I often regret not being to spend more time with them. Grace is more focused on their daily activities whilst I’m in charge of their nourishment. Since restaurant Born currently only has dinner service, I’m usually at the restaurant from noon to midnight. This gives me the opportunity to share some of the parenting responsibilities at night – diaper changes or bottle feeds.

Come 7am, my wife takes over. I can’t say that this distribution of parental roles is entirely fair, but we make it work and I do the best that I can.

“What are your secrets to overcome being overwhelmed?”

Always prioritise which issue is more important and then fully commit to resolving it.

“What is your best advice to chef dads of little kids?”

Enjoy the little moments. They grow up too fast.

“What is your favourite go-to recipe that’s easy for a busy parent?”

Braised chicken with soya sauce. It goes really well with rice.

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