Family Life

Daniel Thompson

Occupation: Chef at Yes Chef Foods
Wife: Charlene Thompson
Children: Douglas, 13, and Daniel, 11
Hobbies: hunting, fishing, cooking, going to concerts

Daniel Thompson is a great chef, and an even better dad. When he is not cooking dinner for his family, he is taking on catering events and selling his own dips, chicken salad, and other delicious foods in Baton Rouge. He has stressed the importance of respect and good morals in raising his two boys, and in the process, the boys have taken on big roles in Daniel’s business. They have even started their own successful business making tasty treats. You can find Chef Daniel Thompson at Main Street Market on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon, and in the parking lot at Pennington Biomedical Research Center from 8 a.m.-noon.

What does a normal day look like for you?
I cook all day long before I get the kids from school and help them with after-school activities. If I’m not helping out with the kids, I’m at catering events.

What are some of the joys and challenges of raising your children?
The joys are that they work with me a lot. I teach them about work and money. They make chicken salad and dips and sell it at the farmers’ market, where they’ll run the booth for me and do everything from taking credit cards and helping out customers. They’ve even opened up their own business making treats and sold $2,000 worth. They’ll buy a share of Amazon when they get to $3,000. As for struggles, I’d say it’s been difficult helping them grow into young adults, but it’s part of a normal process.

How would you describe yourself as a father? 
I’m their best friend, but also, they respect me and listen to me, so it’s a thin line between joking around and making sure they know I’m serious when I say something.

What do you like to do as a family?
We watch movies, and we have a tradition where we go to New Orleans, eat turtle soup at Palace Cafe, and then go to the Audubon Zoo. The boys also like to cook on the barbecue with me. 

What’s your favorite thing about being a dad?
It’s rewarding to see them use their manners and know that came from my wife and me. My children are very respectful; they say “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir,” and they open doors and pull out chairs. That’s the way I was brought up.

What is your favorite food to make?
I enjoy making chicken salad the most. From a work perspective, I love to see the joy people have for something I created. At home, I love being able to make it with my kids. Not only do we get to spend time together making chicken salad, but in the process, they are learning to cook. My children have picked up on my love of food and cooking. It’s a hobby we get to share together.

What has parenthood taught you?
That I have to grow up and not be the child anymore. It teaches me things every day, and it’s a new experience. I’ve never held a baby until I had my own!

What are some things you hope to teach your children?
I hope they learn how to watch their money and how to be great hunters and fishers.

What is something your job has taught you about parenting?
For my last chef job, I was working 60-65 hours per week. My only time off was Sunday afternoons. Then, I wound up working so I could be at home with my family more. That meant more to me than following my career. Now I work for myself, and I get to cook dinner for them every night.

What has been your biggest challenge in parenting during the pandemic?
Getting them off the computers and making them go outside. I try to convince them to ride bikes or shoot basketballs, or something.

What has been your biggest challenge for your job during the pandemic?
I haven’t had as many catering parties, but on the other hand, I made up for it. People come to the drive-thru farmers market because they have nothing to do but to buy chicken salad and cheese spreads. It has made me sort of lazy, though, because now I don’t want to work catering jobs until 11 o’clock at night.

How do you make time to relax?
Since I work at home, my time to relax is usually when I get the kids from school or when I’m waiting for them to finish their after-school activities. 

What personality trait of yours do your children also have?
They are respectful, polite, loving, giving, and they love dogs.

What do you want to do that is still on your bucket list?
I’d like to leave the country more for vacations. The vacations we take can be a lot more fun now that the kids are getting older.

Do you have any advice for other parents?
Teach your kids to treat others the way you want to be treated. If you teach them the right way, they’re going to have great morals. 

Quick Q&A
Before I go out, I always check to make sure I have…
my wallet.
In my fridge, you will always find…coffee.
My favorite dessert is…chocolate cake.
My favorite food is…lamb.
My guilty pleasure is…pasta salad.
The first thing I do when I wake up is…get a cup of coffee.
I’m always laughing at…my kids.

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