The most decadent meal of the day? Absolutely. If you’re having brunch you’re not working, and you’ve generally been lazing around in bed most of the morning – this means it is a Good Day. By its very unnecessary nature it seems luxurious. An extra meal! Crammed in round the traditional three (by this rulebook I also love afternoon tea, but that’s another story). And if you’re a proper eater it doesn’t mean forgoing two meals so you can have this one, it just means more judicial use of timings, and possibly putting things back a little. Brunch in place of breakfast and lunch is not my idea of a good time.
Being the brunch chef for both Metrodeco and Beatnik Breaks, and in a previous life the owner of a gourmet B&B, it’s a subject very close to my heart – and the hearts of the hungry (and sometimes hung-over) people I’m cooking for. Where to have it? What time to have it? And most importantly what to eat. Sweet or savoury? Or (my personal favourite) a bit of both? More than one course – hell yeah!
I’m of course happy to come and serve a delicious fry-up, if the night before has been a long one. Sometimes (many times) only crispy bacon will do.
But my favourite brunch to cook, and the one that always goes down a treat with my clients is my 3-course spectacular. Honed over the years into a decadent feast that no-one (and yes that is a challenge!) has ever managed to finish…..
We begin with homemade Granola – I usually make an Almond, Apple and Cinnamon version, but this changes depending on what’s in the pantry. Cocoa and Sour Cherry also works very well, and I often make a Gluten-free, nut-free Buckwheat and Goji berry version for if people are feeling virtuous. I serve this with fruit compote, which changes weekly depending on what’s fresh: Plum and Star Anise was a favourite in Autumn, whilst Rhubarb and Ginger is currently very popular. Lashings of Greek yoghurt finish the first course.
We then move onto the pastries – three kinds, freshly baked and warm from the oven. From Croissants to Pecan Cinnamon Danish pastries, Brioche loaves and Pain au Chocolat. Don’t fill up too much however, as there’s still the main event to come…
A choice of hot main course, booked in advance to client’s specifications and desires – choices range from Baked Blueberry and Pecan French toast (pictured) to the perennial favourite Eggs Benedict, which I usually serve on hand carved ham and warm corn muffins. Perhaps a stack of Buttermilk Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup and served with homemade caramel yoghurt? Or if you’re feeling adventurous, maybe a Sweet Potato and Chorizo Rosti?
I hope I’ve tempted you….