Features Holiday Baking 2008
New Year’s Breakfast 2009
December 2008

Diners indulge in extravagant culinary endeavors at their night before parties and day of dinners, but when it comes to New Year’s breakfast, updated versions of straight-forward, filling food is what brunch-ers want on their plate and what generates profit for a chef’s bottom line.

“I really enjoy finding creative ways to keep costs low,” says Executive Chef Angie Roberts of BOKA Kitchen+Bar, the modish 100-seat restaurant and bar-lounge adjacent to the lustrous Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle. In designing a special menu for New Year’s Day breakfast, she featured her most profitable dishes while incorporating some new, heart-warming, recovery food for Day 1 diners.

Last year, BOKA did over 200 covers during New Year’s brunch service and Roberts is expecting even more this year. Her menu demonstrates an approachable yet versatile style of hotel cuisine that keeps cost in mind.

“Brunch is about comfort food,” according to Roberts, and it’s an opportunity to incorporate inexpensive dishes into her menu that are high-sellers, like sumptuous Nutella-Stuffed French Toast and baked-to-order Cinnamon Roll Bites. An order of five “bites” arrive to the table in a Staub escargot cast iron dish with a side of cream cheese frosting for dipping and costs $10.50.

All of Robert’s dishes are playful, edgy examples of modern-American cuisine. One of her best-selling and most profitable brunch items is the Corned Beef and Sweet Potato Hash. “It’s the kind of comfort food dish that people love,” she explains. Roberts gets brisket at a rock-bottom price from local Painted Hills Farm and cures it in-house before braising then hashing it with other inexpensive ingredients.

When designing any new menu item the exec chef takes a head-to-tail approach: the corned beef yields considerable servings and Roberts utilizes the trim of the meat as filling for Ruben sandwiches, also on the menu. She also offers a Potato Rosti with Smoked Salmon, grander than the standard bagel and lox, but still using basic breakfast ingredients. And since brunch ingredient costs are on the rise (mainly eggs, milk, and flour) Roberts relies on precise measurements in her kitchen. She wastes little food by serving different preparations of items offered throughout BOKA’s daily menus, which limits her staff’s prep work.