Lisa Schroeder is Executive Chef and Owner of Mother’s Bistro Bar. She is a mother, grandmother, chef, restaurateur and author devoted to providing better-than-authentic renditions of traditional home-cooked dishes at her popular, award-winning restaurant.
In 1992, while juggling a marketing and catering career and raising her daughter, Schroeder realized there was no place that served the kind of food she would make if she had the time. She concluded what the world needed was a place which served “Mother Food” – slow-cooked dishes, such as braises and stews, made with love. From that moment on, Lisa was determined to open such a restaurant and spent the next eight years working toward that dream.
Schroeder soon gave up her business career and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America. While there, she was selected as one of the Top Ten Student Chefs in America by Food and Wine Magazine. After graduating with honors in 1995, she continued honing her skills at two four-star restaurants in New York City – Lespinasse and Le Cirque. Her education continued with apprenticeships in Provence, France at Roger Verge’s Moulin des Mougins and at Mark Veyrat’s L’Auberge de L’Eridan in Haute Savoie.
In addition to this invaluable training, she toured France, Italy, Spain, Morocco and Switzerland where she gained an understanding of regional cuisine and indigenous products, affirming her belief that some of the best regional meals are not found in restaurants, but in homes, made by mothers. Searching for a new beginning, Lisa returned to the states and relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1998. She was the Chef at Besaw’s Café for two years while continuing to plan her restaurant-to-be.
In 2000, Chef Schroeder’s dream came true when she opened Mother’s Bistro & Bar in downtown Portland to rave reviews, receiving the “Restaurant of the Year” award from Willamette Week. In 2009, Schroeder released her critically acclaimed cookbook, Mother’s Best, and appeared on the Today Show, QVC and more. She is the recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award, IACP Chef/Restaurateur Award of Excellence, National Restaurateur of the Year from Independent Restaurateur Magazine and the Woman of Achievement Award from the Oregon Commission for Women. Chef Schroeder nurtures her community as well as her guests. She participates in numerous charities and causes including Share Our Strength, Basic Rights Oregon, Americans for Gun Sense, Our House, the Raphael House and the Bradley Angle House.