While it’s true that moms are rock stars in their own right, we think dads are pretty cool too. They drive carpools, whip up dinners, and host play dates. In honor of dad, we found eight of Southern California’s coolest dads who successfully balance their family lives and day jobs, all while making it look effortless. Click through our gallery to meet eight cool SoCal dads.

Brian Malarkey

If there’s anyone who has a full plate (pun intended), it’s Brian Malarkey , executive chef and partner of the Fabric of Social Dining Restaurant Group. Aside from being the cool dad of three kids, he was also a Top Chef Finalist and is a judge alongside Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Leferbve on ABC’s reality cooking competition, The Taste. While Brian’s certainly accomplished professionally, his greatest personal accomplishment is his kids who amaze him every day with their personalities. And whether it’s personal or professional, what’s this cool dad’s key to work-life balance? “Surround yourself with a great team,” said Brian. “Whether it’s your family, spouse, friends or co-workers. No one can do it alone, and if you are doing it alone that means another piece of your life is suffering.”

We know there are dozens of cool dads out there. In fact, we bet you know several of them! Who else do you think deserves a spot on our list?

– Leah R. Singer

All photos courtesy of the featured dads