Food: Book Review: Big Bad Breakfast

Food: Book Review: Big Bad Breakfast

I love the library. Love checking out books. The only problem is when you check out a cookbook that begs you to cook from it with pages filled with food porn, asks you to splash fat on a delicious recipe and serve a feast up. You can’t risk butter touching the pages. You have to return it even as your fingers cling to the cover. Yep some cookbooks are temptations in the making.

Big Bad Breakfast is such a book, promising you a breakfast like you’ve never had with no apologies for the, let’s call a spade a spade, delicious combinations of fat, sugar and salt served along with your veggies and proteins. He starts off with the “Welcome Basket” saying “Imagine a basket being set in front of you before a special breakfast and you really had time to nibble and enjoy it” and then scoots over a picture of Sausage Cinnamon Rolls to you off.

You can see the smile as Currence doles out advice in the form of 10 Breakfast Commandments like “4. Thou shalt slather with butter”, “8. Thou shalt seeketh local whenever possible”, and “3. Thou shalt get thy mind right” reminding folks, “This is fun, damn it.” He cusses a bit, cajoles and worries that you’ll overcook your ingredients. He loves his food, his friends and breakfast and it shows.

Born in New Orleans and now in Oxford, Mississippi, Currence is a Southerner and his recipes reflect that with such offerings as Louisiana crab cake benedict, shrimp breakfast enchiladas and Breakfast “succot-hash”. He takes on France, Canada and Italy saying, “One of the few things the French know absolutely nothing about is the beauty of smoky pork belly. As a matter of fact, good people, bacon is our and ours alone. Sorry, Canada, with your unsmoked imposter “bacon” — you lose. Italy, you’re close with your pancetta, but no cigar. American smoked bacon, simply put, kicks ass.” All this while he slides bacon, asparagus, and thyme into an omelet topped with grated Gruyere cheese. You have to love his food. It shares with the chef both class and attitude.

The book is peppered throughout with the memories that food bring. From childhood memories, sharing food with friends, to the discoveries of the flavors of locally grown produce, stone ground grits and running a restaurant, his stories spice up the recipes with humor and love. There is so much I want to try in here: Peach Lassi, The Idiot’s Champagne Cocktail, Raspberry Butter, Garlic Cheese Grits, Crawfish Etouffee, Brioche French Toast, Creole Skillet Scramble and Sourdough English Muffin made with my own Sourdough Starter. But I have to return the book unsplashed so it remains food porn while I wait for my own copy.


Big Bad Breakfast
by John Currence, 2016
photographs by Ed Anderson, 2016
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California

Disclaimer: I have signed up as an Amazon affiliate  a few weeks so I may get a small payment if anyone buys anything by clicking the booklink. The sheet said 4.5% if it’s a book. They haven’t accepted me yet. I’ll let you know if I get accepted. I think this next quote is required but I’ve noticed on some sites they have written their own personal text so I’m not sure. “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

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