Do you ever wonder how you can up your brunch game? You don’t have to be a professional chef to make your Sunday brunch look like something straight out of Food & Wine magazine. A carefully curated menu, a few quick plating techniques and beautiful decor can turn your average weekend meal into a best buds worthy spread.
Here are my tips to level-up your brunch game. Start slow and incorporate some or all of these suggestions.
Be thematic. Choose a central dish and build-out your meal from there. For example, choose to go light and fresh with elevated avocado toast made from fresh sourdough and topped with apple and blue cheese paired with crudités and arugula salad with radish and pea pods. Or choose autumn flavours and make apple cinnamon waffles with maple bacon and sweet potato hash. Whatever you choose, stick to a style or theme so that the dishes all work well together.
Be organzied about the little details. This is a great tip for food photos and dinner parties alike. Parsley, cilantro, microgreens and green onions are your dishes' BFF! A sprig of something green can help the food pop and balance the colours. Not sure how to incorporate greenery into brunch? Think of fresh cut chives on top of poached eggs or green onions on oven baked hashbrowns. Also, show the same level of care in your plating as you do with your cooking! Smudges, unintended dribbles and misplaced crumbs can really take away from the elegance of a beautiful brunch.
Pay attention to décor. Sure, you can place your mushroom, spinach and gouda quiche on your countertop beside you oven mitt and butter crock, but wouldn’t it be striking if it was laid-out on top of a crocheted tablecloth surrounded by candles and a bottle of cava chilling in an ice bath? Add little touches such as hand sketched doodles place settings for your pals with or paper punch-outs, search-out rose gold toned or wooden utensils, and source cloth napkins in bold prints. These unique touches turn the meal into a visual experience too.
Take your time. The beauty of brunch is its pace! Don’t rush your dishes or your guests. Have extra bubbly, juice and great coffee on hand in case the morning meal turns into a late afternoon visit. Plan to serve something light like fresh berries and plain yogurt with a honey drizzle if guests are sticking around and emptying a glass or two.
Last, don’t worry about not properly capturing the moment! With a smartphone or base level DSLR in a well-lit area you can show-off your brunch spread with confidence. Trust me, after nearly five years of food blogging and food styling I’ve learned that plating techniques and lighting make a bigger difference to the snap than the equipment you have! Maybe choose to set the brunch table up near a large window to help highlight your amazing hosting skills!
Above all else, sit back, enjoy and relax once the food is served. You did it!
Amanda Bibeau is a Winnipeg-based food blogger who is passionate about affordable food for all and ‘food without judgment.’ Amanda enjoys hiking, exploring Winnipeg's craft beer scene and working her 9 to 5 as a sr. recruiter with RBC.