What Chefs Eat for Breakfast Slideshow
August 29, 2017
The men and women who prepare your meals also know how to start the day right
Meg Bickford (Chef, Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, New Orleans)
I love breakfast! Unfortunately, during my work week breakfast usually consists of copious amounts of coffee and a granola bar, muffin, or a piece of fruit. Not a very hearty start to the day as I'm running out the door but, I think I make up for it during my weekend. Some of the favorites at our house are: peanut butter pancakes with local sugarcane syrup and white chocolate, corned beef potato hash with roasted piano peppers and over-easy eggs, or buttermilk biscuit sandwiches with local Chisesi ham, homemade fig jam, and eggs.
My husband prefers an alternative breakfast sometimes by turning our leftovers from dinner into breakfast, like chopping up leftover shrimp and folding them into grits to make griddled shrimp and grit cakes with poached eggs, or steak and cheese omelettes. We don't always eat breakfast right when we get up either. I'm a firm believer that breakfast is appropriate anytime, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Tatiana Rosana (Executive chef, Outlook Kitchen & Bar at the Envoy Hotel, Boston)
Breakfast is really important to me. It's the one meal during my work week where I can take a moment and fuel up before the hustle and bustle of my day starts. My breakfast varies according to the day of the week. If I'm working, I always make sure to eat a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast that I know will sustain me for the majority of the day. It's usually a combination of eggs, either soft boiled or over medium, a slice of whole wheat toast, and half an avocado. I also like steel-cut oatmeal with diced ham, cheese, and a sunny egg. At home, I like to make more lavish breakfasts. My wife and I love cooking together, and breakfast is our favorite meal on our days off. We are big fans of Savory Dutch Babies with smoked salmon and extra capers. Or sourdough waffles we make using our leftover sourdough starter, topped with lemon curd and berries or ricotta cheese and orange marmalade.
Keith Potter (Chef de Cuisine, Cindy’s, Chicago)
Depending on when I have to be in the restaurant, I like to make a simple smoothie for breakfast made from peach or plain kefir, Greek yogurt, banana, frozen peaches and strawberries , milk, and honey granola.
Erica Abell (Executive chef, Boneyard Bistro, Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
I normally wake up at 5:30 a.m. to feed my pups then myself. I am a simple lady when it comes to breakfast, especially before my workdays. I always try to start my day with fresh berries and cashew butter, followed by exercising and grabbing a quad shot almond cappuccino from my favorite coffee shop, M Street in Sherman Oaks.
Seth Levine (Executive chef, Estate Garden Grill, Penthouse 808, Hotel Chantelle, and The Regal, New York City)
I recently got engaged and hired a personal trainer, so my current answer is different now than the past 37 years of my life. My definition of breakfast was "My dessert of the day." My go-to was stuffed French toast coated in pecans or frosted flakes. If I was in a savory mood, eggs Benedict and some crispy bacon. Now that I'm healthy, I start with some avocado toast on seven-grain bread, maybe a bowl of quinoa. To feed my sweet tooth, an açai bowl with some fresh fruit and granola.
Jason Dady (Chef, Jason Dady Restaurant Group, San Antonio)
Every morning, I make soft scrambled eggs with avocado slices, raw heirloom tomato, cracked black pepper, and good olive oil. Other than an occasional chilaquiles breakfast taco, it’s truly the only breakfast I eat.
Jose Guerrero (Executive chef, (ViewHouse Eatery , Bar, and Rooftop, Denver)
For breakfast, on days when I don’t have to be in the kitchen early, I love to indulge in a favorite from my childhood — roasted chicken entomatadas. The ranchero salsa and queso Oaxaca give me that feeling of “home,” it’s the dish that my mother used to make me growing up. It’s always been one of my favorite ways to start the day.
Laura Bellucci (Bar chef, SoBou, New Orleans)
Not only am I a bartender, but I live with my boyfriend who is also a bartender. Since we are usually working during the night shifts and don't have a lot of time after work (at 1 a.m.) to prepare meals, we indulge and treat one another for the most important meal of the day.
Our breakfast game has gotten more and more elaborate over time: poached eggs over sweet potato hash; omelettes with peppers, onions, snap peas, and Brie; roast salmon scrambles; and bourbon French toast, to name a few! Whoever wakes up first (around 10 or 11 a.m.) prepares a special surprise for the sleeper and brings it on a platter for breakfast in bed. Every day. It's a really special time to be with each other, ease into the day, and relax before a crazy shift. But even when we are tight on time, we always, always, always make sure there is coffee!
Patrick Rodemeyer (Executive Sous-Chef, Ocean Prime, New York City)
My go-to breakfast is scrambled eggs, seasoned with soy sauce, then finished with Lao Gan Ma, a chili garlic condiment that packs a ton of flavor and a little heat too. I usually scramble the eggs nice and soft and serve them over toasted whole wheat bread to soak up the juices and keep me full for the day. Oh, and plenty of iced black coffee!
Michael Ehlert (Executive Chef, The French Room, Dallas)
Right now, we are still in research and development mode as we relaunch the iconic French Room, so I'm following more of an office schedule than a chef's schedule. That said, my wife and I have two young sons, ages one and three — they keep us both very busy. I get up around 6 and try to leave the house by 7.
The truth is most days I have a chef's breakfast of black coffee. I'll usually drink a sparkling water or juice as well on my drive in to work. As far as food is concerned, it's pretty varied. If I have enough time before I leave the house I do love a very simple avocado toast on multigrain. Sometimes I get to work and Darren, the culinary director of the hotel, has already ordered breakfast to our office. This is the best. Several of the ladies who work the room service / breakfast line in the morning have been there for 30 years and anything they make is pretty great. Lupe has been making us a very special plate of egg whites, spinach, and cheese over English muffins for about a year now, and it's pretty special. It doesn't happen every day but that's why it's so damn good when it does. Other days I'll jump into the kitchen right away and she sees that and makes me a couple breakfast tacos — very simple with egg, cheese, and pico, but very good.
If none of those things happen — and that is increasingly the case — I will grab two slices of bacon off the line and eat a whole avocado with a spoon and then a sliced apple. Chug a quart of lemon water and off to the races.
Troy Guard (Chef/owner, HashTAG, Denver)
I strongly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s what jump-starts your mind and body, and fuels you so you can have a productive day. I never skip breakfast! My go-to breakfast is two eggs, black beans, pico, grilled chicken, cheese, and then a side of fruit. Sounds like a delicious way to start your day, right?
Roy Wohlars (Executive chef at The VNYL, New York City)
I wake up around 9:30 or 10 a.m., when my wife has to get ready for work. I am not a big into breakfast so I usually make myself an espresso and catch up on the morning news. I then walk my dog, Winnie, and have another espresso.
After that, I'm off to work. I grab a bite to eat when I get there. Lately I have been obsessed with Superiority Burger, which is a few blocks down from my restaurant.
Justin Ottervanger (Executive chef, Street Taco, New York City)
After putting out all my early morning fires, I have a chance to relax around 1 p.m., which also happens to be brunch time. Considering my love for breakfast foods, the Torta de Huevo is my go to. The soft scrambled egg sandwich with sweet onions, Monterey Jack cheese, charred jalapeño aioli, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole is simply delicious. It also happens to be the perfect hangover cure.