We team up with Don Rowe to give you the latest on Fatherhood with Ben Bayly.
Tell me about Ella, Mila and Bowie?
My kids are so beautifully different when it comes to personalities, Ella is my Princess, Mila is my Viking Warrior and Bowie is 2 year old bam bam.
Hospitality is a famously time consuming industry, especially for chefs, how did your life change when you had children?
Hospo is notoriously hard on families and relationships, if you let it be. I keep it simple and think to myself when you have kids, you just put yourself last in everything. I also I have Cara, an amazing wife (hopefully she reads this for brownie points), she doesn’t begrudge my work timetable and understands what it takes to give hospo a good crack.
Hospitality is also famous for thinking about children last, why was it important for you to be a part of something like Woah! Studios, which is family focused but objectively awesome?
All my life I have done fine dining – and I wanted to have some variety in my work life. Fine dining is super demanding, however you gain a deep understanding of food and how different ingredients work together and of course great techniques. I thought I would be cool to use that experience to create a menu that would hopefully appeal to family and kids, that would be accessible financially, balanced and tasty. A place that the parents could relax a little while the kids entertain themselves. This had not been done before properly, I guess it would have been easy for me to open another fine diner.
Do your kids have advanced palettes?
They are getting there, I’ll give them a 5/10 for this. But we always cook together, I make them set the table and help clean up, and they come to work with me if I am working Sundays at the Grounds at Whoa! Studios and muck around and try things and annoy the staff. So fingers crossed!
Do you have any tips how to get children to eat exciting food?
I make my kids try everything, kids always say at the beginning that they don’t like something. Parents can be soft in this area. We don’t cook kids meals a home they have always had to eat what we eat. Monkey see, monkey do.
What’s the difference between your relationship with your daughters and son?
Yeah, it’s funny thing, after having two girls - then the boy comes along, his personality starts to take shape. I think the thing I have seen the most is when I am home, my boy Bowie kicks my poor wife to the curb and he sticks to me like glue. I love it.
We shot Ben and the kids at his establishment The Grounds Modern Family Eatery. Be sure to check it out here!