I’m obsessed with brunch. Obsessed.
Yes, I know as well as anyone else that’s ever worked in a commercial restaurant kitchen that brunch is a fire sale of the leftovers just on the verge of turning. It’s a cheap way to make an easy profit, filling people up with comfort and carbs.
But brunch can also be an indication of the mastery of the art of cooking. After all, anyone can fry an egg. Anyone can judge how an egg is fried, too. But it takes something truly special to make something as classic, cheap, and potentially mundane into morph into something joyful and remarkable. That’s the artistry. To be able to offer something one could make at home but elevate it.It can be classic and expected, yet at the same time, inspired and surprising. Technique is everything; ingredients are, too. It’s the elevation of simplicity, reimagination of basics. It’s comfort, it’s love, and it’s goddamn beautiful.
Also, to me, there’s no such thing as “breakfast food” versus “lunch food” versus dinner food. Food is food, and it’s all tear-jerkingly euphoric when executed well and better when it’s unlimited. So why should I be limited to certain times of day to eat what I love? Why can’t I start my day with protein-rich steak after a workout or something sweet like French toast after my palate’s been warmed up? Why not have something green like salad to refresh in the morning or filling eggs midday? Why should fried chicken be relegated to after noon while fatty breakfast sausage is permissible to put me in a food coma as soon as I get up?
These rules are silly, and brunch flouts them unashamedly–with sass and style. It combines the best of two meals and puts them companionably together in a time slot that lets you do what you have to do in the morning without being weighed down by a heavy meal so you can enjoy getting together with friends and family in a leisurely and (somewhat) guilt-free fashion. After all why must I be up, out, and about before noon if I want to eat breakfast’s arbitrarily designated foods when I’d much rather earn that meal’s decadence at the gym first without feeling rushed? And why should I be rushed to eat, chat, and get on with my day when company is just as meant to be savored and enjoyed as the food on the table?
The answers to all of these questions is that I shouldn’t. Plain and simple. And with brunch, I don’t have to answer them.
Cheers to that.