Big Bad Breakfast

John Currence. Ten Speed, $30 (272p) ISBN 978-1-60774-736-9
If the title is not enough of a hint, the very first recipe in this mega-hearty Southern-style collection tells you all you need to know about what chef Currence has in mind: it’s sausage cinnamon rolls, a salty-sweet belly bomb topped with cream cheese icing. Big Bad Breakfast is also the name of a Currence restaurant, one of six he oversees in Oxford, Miss. Though Currence later settled in Mississippi, his New Orleans upbringing is evident throughout the 75 recipes presented here. Across nine chapters, covering everything including omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and morning cocktails, Currence brings on the flavor and forgoes the calorie count, with choices such as a Creole skillet scramble, a cheese-and-fried-chicken biscuit, and the Decatur Street gutter punk, with equal parts gin, heavy cream, and espresso. The section on pancakes offers two extremes side-by-side: peanut butter and banana pancakes, and shrimp and pickled onion crepes. Perhaps the ultimate gastronomic collision, though, comes in the Breakfast for Dinner chapter, in the form of a meal called the pylon (for pile on). It’s a Belgian waffle, topped with hot dogs, chili, sweet slaw, cheddar, and a squadron of condiments. As filling as the foodstuffs, the pages themselves feel stuffed, with ingredient lists, directions, and the chef’s entertaining stories all thrown together. This approach leaves room for the irresistible full-page color close-ups of each dish from photographer Ed Anderson. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/06/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-60774-737-6
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