- Brunch has become a weekend ritual for many people to socialise with friends and eat Instagram-worthy food.
- To many people, however, brunch has become overrated.
- INSIDER asked 10 chefs which brunch dishes don’t live up to the hype.
Restaurants around the world have spent recent years transforming brunch form a basic morning spread to a true gourmet experience.
However, according to these chefs, a few brunch favourites aren’t worth the cash or the calories.
We asked 10 chefs which brunch staples they’d prefer to never see again, and they chose these six dishes as the worst offenders.
“Over-the-top” waffles might look great on Instagram, but the resulting sugar rush isn’t the best way to start your morning.
If you’ve glanced at a foodie Instagram account over the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly caught a glimpse of a sack of waffles smothered in dessert toppings. These over-the-top waffles may be easy on the eyes but are far less easy on the taste buds and stomach.
“Most times, these waffles are nothing but ice cream sundaes with powdered sugar and a $US15 price tag. A real waffle needs little else besides butter and real maple syrup, not two pounds of whipped cream,” Kalamazoo, Michigan chef Jim Mumford of Jim Cooks Good Food told INSIDER.
Omelet stations are a brunch-buffet classic.
Although omelet stations are a brunch-buffet classic, you’re probably better off leaving the omelet design to the professionals.
The stations, which allow you to customise your egg folds with any fillings that strike your fancy, are a constant at hotel breakfast buffets. However, due to the need to provide a high volume of ingredients at a quick pace, quality generally takes a hit.
Chef de Cuisine, Crystal “Pink” DeLongpre of Root 246 in Solvang, California, said she believes that omelet stations deprive guests of the ability to enjoy flavour profiles created by experienced culinary professionals. “[Omelet stations] take the fun away from the chef being able to create something beautiful. It’s just the same old floppy mushrooms and gross Swiss cheese! Yuck,” she explained.
Anyone can cook an over-easy egg.
If you ask any brunch detractor for their top complaint about this mega-popular meal, more than a few will tell you that paying restaurant prices for eggs is a waste of money. Although egg dishes like quiche and frittatas require kitchen skills beyond the basic, it’s easy to understand why people don’t want to shell out $US12-15 for a plate of eggs and bacon that they could easily make themselves for just a few bucks.
Chef Martial Noguier of Bistronomic in Chicago agreed with this sentiment telling INSIDER that “[eggs over-easy] isn’t very flavorful and can be easily made at home for much less money. When dining at a restaurant, brunch dishes can definitely be simple, but if there is no recipe involved [and] mediocre produce, it should not be on a restaurant menu.”
Stuffed French toast is a calorie and sugar bomb.
Bulging with sweetened cream cheese and covered with powdered sugar, stuffed French toast falls into the same category as fully-loaded waffles. Namely, they’re desserts masquerading as brunch entrees, and many chefs take issue with their rampant popularity.
“I would love to never see another Stuffed French Toast. For the amount of calories (upwards of 800-1,000), it would be better to just eat a piece of cake for breakfast. You are going to feel awful afterward as your blood sugar spikes, which is no way to start your weekend,” cautioned Executive Chef Linh Aven of B.Good Restaurants.
Executive Chef David Danielson of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, agreed, telling INSIDER, “I love French toast, but when it is filled with what usually amounts to some overly sweetened processed fruit and cream cheese [and is then] topped with a glop of additional sweet, fruity something-or-another, I have to just ask: Is there something wrong with good old-fashioned pure maple syrup? I think not.”
Eggs Benedict may not deserve the hype.
In its purest form, Eggs Benedict consists of an English muffin topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and a deluge of creamy hollandaise sauce. Using this recipe as a starting point, chefs have plenty of liberty to get creative, using different meats, different bases, and different sauces to jazz up their versions.
Some chefs enjoy inventive twists on the classic Benedict and would prefer to see these replace the traditional version altogether. Executive Chef Ryan Zeigler of Line & Lure in Ridgefield, Washington, explained that “English muffins and Canadian bacon have the potential to be so much more. The options are endless … smoked salmon Benedict with green olive bread, sous-vide egg, and Bearnaise sauce is a much more creative use of ingredients for eggs Benedict.”
Chef Sergio Preciado of Spoonfed in Los Angeles calls the dish “lazy and uninspired … there’s no thought, no inspiration, no love.” However, if you’re dead set on a Benedict variation, Preciado has a suggestion: “Perhaps serve pupusas with pickled Brussels sprouts, carnitas, and a brown butter chipotle lime sauce.”
The avocado toast trend doesn’t show any signs of going away.
The trendy brunch favourite may or may not be preventing millennials from buying houses. We all know it, many of us love it, but some chefs don’t think that this ubiquitous item is long for this world.
“Avocado toast is the most overrated and cliché item currently on brunch menus everywhere,” declared Chef Cory Hoekstra of Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Ridgefield, Washington. “It’s a mediocre-at-best- use of the glorious avocado. Whose idea was it to get a piece of toast, smash an avocado, and charge $US12 for it? Ridiculous.”
Chef A.G. Warfield of Juan Tequila in San Diego, California, also takes issue with the high price tag, telling INSIDER that “just because you have thick-cut rustic or artisan bread does not give you the excuse to pile one piece of bread full of quasi-brunch ingredients and charge $US15 for glorified toast.”
Chef Bobby Hodge of Oak Steakhouse in Nashville, Tennessee gives avocado toast a hard pass because of the many execution issues he’s seen with this particular dish: “When ordered at restaurants, [avocado toast is] usually under seasoned and the garnish seems to be an afterthought. The bread always ends up soggy. Simply put, no one can seem to get it right, so [it’s time to] stop trying. Why waste a good brunch on some toast?”
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