When the shift is over and the apron comes off, the country’s top chef dads trade their toque blanch for another hat—one that’s just as challenging, if not far more fulfilling. Being a father in an industry that can bring out the best and worst in people is a tough balancing act. The kitchen is a hard place to survive, but perhaps it’s the countless challenges that chef dads must overcome that have equipped them with wisdom to pass on to their kids.

So we asked six chef dads what they hope their children will learn from the lessons they’ve gained in and out of the kitchen, and this is what they had to say:

Gerd Gendrano

Program and faculty director, Global Academy
Father of Juice, 8, and Max, 5

“Nothing is easy in life and career. You should always have a dream of what you want to be in life. If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, but never settle or lose focus. I also wish my two boys courage and the strength to persevere. Be courageous even if we fall; in the end we can always pick ourselves up again and make it better. Win or lose, their dad and mom will be there for them all the way.”

Gerd Gendrano and his family

Vic Barangan

Executive chef, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel and HRCAP board member
Father of Claire, 2

“Love God above all. Kitchen life is hard, life is hard. The world will always break your heart, especially when you fail. But when we know who we belong to and who we serve, it gives us the assurance that He who began good work will be faithful to complete it. Don’t pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. Thank your mom for cooking good meals because she will always be the better cook.”

Vic Barangan and daughter Claire

Rolando Laudico

Executive chef, Chef Laudico OK Cafe / Chef Laudico Guevarra’s / Tribu Babaylan
Father of Orlando, 14, and Keona, 12

“Whatever you do in life, make sure you enjoy doing it and at the same time make other people happy. The main reason I cook is it gives me the opportunity to satisfy not just my patrons’ stomachs but my creative side as well, same with music and television. It’s the best feeling in the world to know you’re putting a smile on someone’s face through hard work and doing something you absolutely love!”

Rolando Laudico with children Orlando and Keona

Kit Carpio

Executive chef, St. Luke’s Medical Center – BGC
Father of Brie, 4, and Pio, 6 months

“First is for them to value the gift of time—cherish every moment, may it be good, challenging, or bad. Sometimes these moments will help you come up with a goal and work hard for it. Second, to be reminded that we live in an imperfect world, but you can always paint, sizzle, and put fire on it to make it more meaningful. Failure is the key to learnings, never stop until you get it right.”

“Third, is to value self-respect and respect for others, know your worth, and never look down on others. This world may seem unfair but being truthful and choosing what is right leads you to a path that you truly deserve. Another is to value the gift of service, whoever and whichever form it may be, be grateful. Not everyone gets the same perks as you do. Lastly, be humble, always listen, and honor simplicity.”

Chef dads: Kit Carpio and his children Brie and Pio

Carlo Miguel

Executive chef, Foodee Global Concepts
Father of Megan, 8

“Having started working as a chef at a very young age and basically growing up in the kitchen, I have learned many things that I would like to pass on to my daughter. Firstly, the work ethic I learned in the kitchen is something I see rarely in other professions so if I can instill this work ethic in her, I believe she will go very far in whatever field she chooses. Secondly, the importance of team work. If you cannot work well in a team setting, you will have difficulty succeeding in any endeavor.”

“Thirdly, communication. For a kitchen to run smoothly like a well-oiled machine, good open communication is essential. This is important not only in your professional life but also in your personal life. Lastly, dealing with the stress and pressure of immediate deadlines. This is something that is quite unique to working in a kitchen. I have learned that keeping calm when the pressure mounts will be the best chance at success no matter what field she chooses.”

Chef dads: Carlo Miguel with daughter Megan

Buddy Trinidad

Pastry chef, Park Avenue Desserts
Father of Christopher, 29, Marti, 26, and Andre, 18

“My prayer is for my kids to find their own north star. I hope that over the years, they witnessed the passion, discipline, honesty, and integrity that I put into my work. I hope they find the same joy and fulfillment in their life and career choices as I did as a chef.”

Chef dads: Buddy Trinidad with his family