The Most Important Meal of the Day

We are, we admit, not a breakfast person. Beyond indulging in the occasional bowl of oatmeal, it’s rare to find us eating before noon. It’s not that we dislike pancakes and waffles, but it is more that we are resolutely on the savory side of the sweet–savory continuum, and not always really in the mood for eggs, and really would just prefer, please, to have a burger or biscuits & gravy or last night” s=”None” pizza=”None” or=”None” (be=”None” still=”None” our=”None” heart!)=”None” Japanese breakfast.

So while on one hand we rejoice at institutions that serve not only breakfast all day, but lunch and dinner all day as well (and here we’re not counting Burger King’s have-a-whopper-at-9am gimmick), on the other hand we really kind of wish that the culinary energy that’s applied to stretching the parameters of lunch and dinner was also going to the development of the first meal of the day. We weirdly remain in the tyrannical grip of the same breakfast foods that’ve held our attention for the past, oh gosh, century? If eggs have moved from the breakfast table to the dinner table, why can’t a nice roast chicken with fries move in the opposite direction?

Of course, we’re not the only one who ponders this kind of thing. Hungry Magazine has rounded up some serious dinnertime luminaries — John Bubala (of the late, great Timo), Grant Achatz (of Alinea), Homaro Cantu (of Moto), and Graham Elliot Bowles (who’s he again?) — and asked them the two hard questions:
Why has innovation at breakfast been so slow, and what would your vision of breakfast look like?

The answers are more or less in keeping with the profiles these food luminaries have cultivated. Graham Elliot Bowles falls into the trap of thinking that “more expensive” means “more delicious,” which is something that tends to raise our hackles:

When I worked at the Mansion on Turtle Creek we’d do maple beurre blanc and smoked salmon. I’d like to do lobster quesadillas, savory bread puddings and warm, smoked sturgeon with truffle butter. Maybe the ultimate Eggs Benedict, or foie gras with chocolate and orange essence.

Meanwhile, Grant Achatz paints a picture of a morning meal that’d certainly have us feeling wide awake. Or, maybe, like we hadn’t woken up at all, and were still stuck in some strange, tripped-out food dream:

I can see the Alinea breakfast… French toast with a shell of maple-syrup sugar skewered on cinnamon stick on the squid [Alinea custom-service piece]. Pick one of our already existing steelhead or caviar dishes… [We could do] a tricked-out version of “steak and eggs,” wagyu and fried/puffed/sous vide eggs with a pillow of coffee-scented air, and a hydrocolloid-thickened version of cereal “parfait.”

Breakfast at Alinea? We’d be there.

Breakfast of the Future [Hungry Mag]

[Photo: big breakfast, via NicnBill’s Flickr]


The Most Important Meal of the Day