The Reilly household is full of giggles, screams, and overall excitement. But what else would one expect with three little kids around? Paul and wife Shannon have built a home full of freedom and creativity for their kids. This comes across in an obvious way. From their imagination to their eagerness to help out in the kitchen to their willingness to eat almost anything.
This environment comes with work. "I think it's very important that we cook as a family. It teaches them where food comes from and what good food is. When you eat a meal, you have to make good choices about where it is coming from. Just the other day, Gracie asked me where her burger came from. And I straight up told her it was a cow. If she's going to eat meat, she has to know what it is and be comfortable with it," explains Reilly.
He continues: "I also think it's instilling a sense of memories. My mom cooked at home all the time: people were there and she cooked for them. Memories are made around a table. I think that's gotten me to where I am; it's how I found my passion."
With that philosophy, they cook a lot at home. It's how Paul decompresses. "The other night he made pasta. It was fun to have the kids helping and I think they had fun doing it," says Shannon.
And that seems to be the goal in the house: let's do everything together. And the time they have all together is precious as restaurants demand a lot of attention. "I love coming in the door from a long day and hearing, 'Daddy!' They drop everything and run and I get a huge hug. That, to me, makes everything worth it," says Reilly.
Paul and Shannon obviously enjoy their children. They laugh as they talk about the kids and their new imaginary friend or the games they make up or how they love Star Wars even though they have no idea what the movies are about. "They are coming into their own as little people. They are starting to take notice of the world and gain curiosity and a thirst for knowledge."
And watching his kids grow has changed him.
"Fatherhood has changed everything in my life. It's made me slow down, breathe, and take everything in. Life moves very, very fast, but when I'm with my kids, I'm better at slowing down and appreciating what's going on."
Paul Reilly is chef and co-owner at Beast + Bottle. He lives in the Baker neighborhood with his wife, three kids, and cat, Oliver. He makes homemade pasta on his nights off and pancakes in the morning. He will open the new restaurant Coperta with his sister Aileen later this year.