Cooking with Dad: Mark Cuban, Chris Ryan, Eric Nystrom and More Share Their Memories

Categories: Interviews

Is there a better father-ish-food-memory movie scene than when Clemenza teaches Mikey how to make tomato sauce in The Godfather? No way.
We tracked down a few locals, and asked them about their dad's cooking choices and what they remember the most about breaking bread with the family. Here's who shared their food memories of cooking with Dad with us:

Mark Cuban: Savior of the Greenville St. Patrick's Day Parade and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, among many other things.

Chris Ryan: KEGL's program director and mid-day host.

Eric Nystrom: Dallas Stars' left wing.

Mark Hayes: Co-anchor of NBC 5 Today from 5 to 7 a.m.

Jody Denton: Executive Research Chef for Frito Lay North America's Flavor Kitchen, which is one of the company's key flavor development centers. We can only imagine the things this man has tasted.

Chef Kent Rathbun: Executive Chef and owner of Abacus, Jasper's, Shinsei, KB's and Rathbun's Blue Plate Special.

Did your dad cook? If so, what was his best dish?

Cuban: Yes, my dad made hot dogs and salads. The salads were HUGE with every leftover we had in them. He used his own special salad dressing concoction that was an acquired taste.

Nystrom: My dad is Swedish, so he was famous for his amazing Swedish pancakes. Growing up we'd beg him to make them. They were thin and we'd fill them with our grandma's homemade jelly, roll them up and eat them. I still make him make them when I go home.

Hayes: My favorite meal of my dad's is his fried fish. It's a favorite of many family friends and always very good.

Denton: There were only two things my dad cooked, other than grilling, and he absolutely considered them his specialties. One was his spaghetti sauce, which was very Americana with lots of ground beef, onions and peppers, and not too much tomato. The other was something he and my grandfather would get together and make (and were the only ones who would eat): Hot Open-Faced Sardine Sandwiches. They were a disgusting combination of sardines, red onions, tomatoes and Swiss cheese that really stank up the house.

Rathbun: My dad was a fantastic cook and many of the philosophies and practices I use today were things he taught me and my brother. My dad was a big outdoor cook so smoking meats, grilling, etc. were his thing and he was damn good at it.

Up next: Dad's special dinners and food memories.

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Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

The Kergie dad would come home from a hard day in South Boston, and have a (or ten) nice "highball(s), and then whip up a vicious, scent laded batch of one, or all, of the following: chicken parmesan, veal cutlets, homemade pizza, Priazzo, housemade pasta's, fagiolo, stovepot sauce, wilted salad, eggplant parmesan, beef tips in rice, etc.  Some dad's came home from a hard day's toil, and sat and read the paper....mine cooked.  He always told me sitting was useless, and that he'd sleep when he was dead.  Last time I saw old "chickie" was when we were leaving our New Hampshire compound in 1996; the world was a better place with him in it. 

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