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Brunch Life

Brunch Life

Comfort Classics and More for the Best Meal of the Day
tagged : breakfast, brunch
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BREAKFAST IS A MEAL, BUT BRUNCH IS A CULTURE. It’s talked about, craved, and lined up around the block for. People will sit in bed and scroll through Instagram until a brunch picture so over-the-top egg-oozy, sugar-rush-inducing, and completely over-baconed pops up and has enough suggestive smell and taste powers to get them out of bed. Have you ever heard someone talk about their favourite brunch spot? It’s almost a political debate—passion and conviction for all things covered in cheese, baked, then fried, and finally topped with a sunny-side-up egg. Brunch is something people get behind and believe in. It’s habitual, it’s comforting, and it has the power to let you indulge, allowing you to be you in the most liberating kind of way. You want to crush a bacon doughnut and two mimosas and wear track pants? Sure, why not! It’s brunch, after all. So much more than just toast, or juice, or the godforsaken protein bar. It’s happiness on a plate.
About seven years ago, before Ky and I started the Fidel Gastro’s food truck or opened up Lisa Marie, I used to have this thing called a weekend. It was glorious, from what I remember. I rarely made plans ahead of time, but one thing was always set in stone: Sunday brunch. For the better part of a year, I would wake up every Sunday and walk on over to my local brunch spot in Toronto, The Stockyards. I would often go alone, sit at the bar, and order a cup of coffee, a basil lemonade, a bacon doughnut, and fried chicken and waffles. It was a two-hour window in my week that was reserved for me. I didn’t have to say much to anyone. I could just shut out the world while I sat and ate. It didn’t matter how long I waited or how long it took me to finish. It was about being immersed in my brunch life.
Monday to Friday I sat in a cubicle watching the sands of time fall very, very slowly. No matter what I had to deal with during the week, I knew that I had brunch to look forward to. It’s practically all I talked about at work. We would have Monday morning status meetings and my turn would come. “Matt, what did you get up to this weekend?” The flurry of emotions this question unleashed. “Oh man oh man oh man, I had chicken and waffles for the first time ever. You mix hot sauce in the maple syrup and melted butter and you just cover it all and . . .” You get the idea. I took over the meeting with my brunch excitement, trying to get people to understand how much I loved brunch, trying to get them to share my excitement. I know this may seem pretty deep for a bacon doughnut, but it’s true. Brunch became my way of understanding myself better, and then bringing people who were equally excited into that world.
When we opened our restaurant, Lisa Marie, we made sure to have a brunch that really captured my enthusiasm for this favourite meal. We wanted a menu that made people say, “What the fudge?” Five years later, we have a lineup every weekend, and I still get a rush from working the line in the kitchen. The only thing that makes me happier than waiting to eat this meal is watching a full restaurant of people eat our brunch.
Brunch Life brings together amazing brunch stories and recipes in one place. There are chapters completely devoted to eggs Benedict (pages 50–66) and chicken and waffles (pages 78–95). Whether you want to learn how to make OG Hollandaise (see page 50), how to jack up a dish with chimichurri sauce (see page 12), or how to whip up the crispiest fried chicken (page 76), it’s all here. We have fun with all things bacon, indulge in a crap-ton of over-the-top pancakes (pages 126–146), and of course there’s everyone’s favourite brunch buddy, booze (pages 204–216). But brunch isn’t just a blanket word for eating breakfast in the afternoon. It’s a culture that’s embraced differently everywhere you go. Throughout the book we’ve homed in on specific brunch cultures embraced by such cities as Toronto, Nashville, and San Francisco.
Page after page, Brunch Life aims to be just that—a showcase for everything and anything that makes brunch culture, a window into a food phenom that is all-consuming and radiant with fanfare. It’s about the people who make it and the people who eat it. It’s the eggs on your plate and the story of the chicken that made them possible as well as the rustic sourdough toast casually placed next to them and the story of the twelve-hour labour of love that went into baking it perfectly. It’s being okay with waiting in line and finding hidden gems in your city. It’s about snapping and filters and double tapping and tagging and all the other things cool kids do nowadays to let you know that brunch just happened. It’s about being epic, being happy, doing it solo, or sharing that moment with others.
Brunch isn’t just a meal—it’s a way of life.

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Fabulous Fairholme

Fabulous Fairholme

Breakfasts And Brunches
tagged : breakfast
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