Did you know?
Every month at her restaurant, Lisa honors mothers with a Mother of the Month — M.O.M. — menu. She serves dishes based on recipes from a different mom, and features that particular woman’s story.
Lisa Schroeder is a restaurateur, chef and cookbook author who celebrates home-style food in her award-winning restaurants in Portland, Oregon. Before she opened her restaurants, she decided that what the world needed was a place where people could go to enjoy what she calls “Mother food.”
Lisa’s cookbook, Mother’s Best, is filled with the food she likes to cook at her two restaurants and also contains cooking tips and techniques to help novice cooks who may not have learned to cook at their mothers’ side.
Lisa was working full-time in marketing and also catering on the side in the early 1990s when she realized no restaurants served the kind of food she liked to make. She spent the next eight years training and traveling. She enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America and once she completed her studies, she worked in New York at Lespinasse and Le Cirque before leaving the country to apprentice in Provence, France, at Roger Vergé’s Moulin des Mougins, and at Mark Veyrat’s L’Auberge de L’Eridan in Haute Savoie.
Once she completed her apprenticeships, she traveled through Europe and Morocco, studying the local ingredients and cooking styles of the regions with a particular eye to how the local dishes were prepared in private homes.
Upon returning to the States, she relocated to Portland, where she worked as the chef at Besaw’s Café. Two years later she was ready to open Mother’s Bistro & Bar in downtown Portland. The restaurant was so successful, she opened Mama Mia Trattoria four years later in 2004. Lisa grew up in Philadelphia and in her newest restaurant, she serves the kind of food she knew as a child living in Philly’s Little Italy. She describes this food as “southern Italian soul food.”
Lisa was on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Restaurant Association and the Chef’s Advisory Board for the American Dairy Council, co-chair for the Portland Business Alliance’s Downtown Retail Council, a member of the Chef’s Collaborative, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Slow Food, and IACP, an educator for Share our Strength’s Operation Frontline, honorary chair of the Our House Dinner Series and a founding member of the Bridges of Hope Campaign for the Bradley Angle House, an organization committed to helping survivors of domestic violence.
Her restaurants have been recognized by Food & Wine magazine as well as Portland Monthly Magazine, Willamette Week, Citysearch, and AOL.
Lisa lives in Portland. Her website is http://lisaschroeder.com/.