|New Year’s Breakfast 2010
by Karine Bailly
| Photos by Antoinette Bruno
If 2009 is to be remembered by the swelled demand for “back to the basics” cooking and comfort food classics, then surely New Year’s breakfast is a great way for chefs to showcase their talents to hungry patrons in search of soulful meals as they exchange stories from the previous evening. Chefs are gearing up with breakfast beloveds and here’s a look at a few chefs that indisputably wear their hearts on the plate.
In Diana Stavaridis’s words, “we’re really trying to push the limits on breakfast and we’re definitely having fun with it.” Take, for instance, the Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes with Berkshire Maple Syrup served at BLD in Los Angeles. While simple in execution and presentation, the touch of ricotta enhances the sugariness and adds an almost custard-like center that packs a serious punch. The excitement in her voice is palpable as she details what makes her pancakes stand out, “the ricotta adds a beautiful sweetness to counter balance the tart of the blueberry and it also provides added texture and fluffiness.” This dish is everything a chef intends a breakfast pancake to be, and a new year’s breakfast at that. In fact, word on the street has it that BLD is one of LA’s most popular chef hangouts.
LA Pastry Chef Zoe Nathan also had a thing or two to say about her most darling breakfast creations. At Huckleberry, her Green Eggs and Ham dish pays homage to the adored breakfast sandwich. Chef Nathan enthusiastically explains, “the dish is the best version of itself. [My chef] Evan and I were both obsessed with breakfast at the time. It was fun! The most important thing is to use fresh ingredients. We bake the English muffins each morning.” Nathan also notes that all other ingredients are hand-picked from a host of local farmers markets. It’s a process that not all chefs are able to make time for but one that results in immeasurable returns. The zesty, basil pesto married to a crispy, fried egg and tender slice of prosciutto does a chef proud.
Tim Wiechmann is another chef who is known to invest himself in his work. At TW Foods in Boston, painstaking measures are taken to ensure that only the purest of ingredients are used. The proof is in the pudding: creamy scrambled farm eggs, served with sautéed wild mushrooms and scallion puree strewn atop, all neatly served in a martini glass. This comfort food dish is one to first be admired and later devoured.
Nothing says “soul” louder than when a chef serves you his childhood favorite. 2006 New York Rising Star Chef Makoto Okuwa served the StarChefs.com team a special, off-menu traditional Japanese breakfast of Kurobuta Sausage and Scrambled Eggs with Truffle Honey, Spinach and Japanese Potato Croquette. In his own words, “it’s really simple!” And it’s really good. A lick of nostalgia mixed with a smidgeon of possibility; it’s exactly what New Year’s breakfast should be about.