Let’s be real, it’s 8am. Nobody likes feeling pressure to talk and be overly cheery, and that’s exactly what I like about the morning: there’s no time to be anything but who you are.
Ideas and conversations come out clearly and intentionally, and I’ve found this leads to the most lasting connections. Meeting someone for breakfast means the potential sacrifice of sleep, which means its reserved for only the most important people. You’re the first part of someone’s morning, and therefore have the ability to set the tone for rest of the day, or least the hours following.
So if someone makes the venture out of bed, out of their home, and into a BreakfastClub event (for example) at 8am, they’re rewarded with good food — not just a continental breakfast, but a thoughtful meal that the chef, myself, and everyone else at the event got up to enjoy together.
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Our first Impossible BreakfastClub in Austin, TX (PC: Chris Corona)
How it works
Guests arrive at the restaurant and are guided to the coffee/tea bar (caffeine has proven to be one of the fundamental factors in any morning gathering). Once the coffee starts flowing and food parades out of the kitchen, people get to talking and there’s a contagious creative energy that takes over the room. Food comes out on a rolling basis and is delivered to each guest in custom fast food-inspired packaging, with art by Amit Greenberg. There’s a main dish, two sides, and a very special BreakfastClub prize inside each bag.
The fun, artistic details in the packaging tell guests not to take themselves too seriously. Being in a creative field can be demanding and draining, so people need the reminder that ideas are electric and need to be unleashed, where they can collide, connect, and make pipe dreams seem less unattainable. Everyone leaves inspired and ready to take on the day.
How it all started
Four years ago, I founded my creative agency and home base, Trends on Trends, as a way to house all of the projects I had in the works — spanning food, travel, and design. I began by making long-form, global food forecasts with accompanying editorial shoots, I styled events for Lucky Peach, helped create content for brands like The New Yorker and Aesop, and crafted neighborhood guides for hotels like The LINE. Anything and everything under the sun that involved art, food, and a weird aesthetic — I was in.
About a year later, I was traveling the world, doing a lot of freelance writing on the side, meeting the most incredible people, and yet — terribly bored with the open-promises and grand ideas left unfulfilled at cocktail parties. The media events didn’t feel inclusive, connections were fleeting, and I wanted to a way to bring everyone I met into the conversation — farmers, chefs, writers, artists, photographers, designers — anyone who had something constructive to contribute to the conversation. So I kicked off a steady cadence of small invite-only morning-only gatherings (for reasons stated above), eventually signed a book deal with Phaidon (a connection made at an early gathering) to publish a global breakfast recipe cookbook — and officially found my niche. Breakfast Club was born.
PC: Chris Corona
With food, art, and community coming in as equal players (one without the other wouldn’t be a morning living up to its full potential), the goal for each BreakfastClub is to bring together chefs who don’t normally serve breakfast and about 40 creative people in each city, all through a shared morning meal. It’s had such an impact on my work that, today, all of the projects I work on and the brands I work with are displayed through a morning lens — to show just how delicious and productive sunrise can be: I host BreakfastClub events, am working on a breakfast guide and walking tour series called, DineAround, and do creative direction and consulting for various brands. To date, we’ve hosted over 30 BreakfastClub events around the world, and brought together hundreds of creatives, who always seem to be connected by a friend-of-a-friend.
And it just so happened that Jessica Appelgren (VP of Communications, Impossible Foods) and I had a mutual friend.
Jessica found out about the breakfast event I was hosting at Cala in San Francisco. (Cala doesn’t serve breakfast or brunch, which made the thought of Chef Gabriela Camara serving a morning meal all the more enticing.) We connected over coffee at the Cala bar and devised an Impossible plan.
PC: Chris Corona
Impossible Foods has always been intriguing to me.
I firmly believe there will be a day when meat won’t be as readily available, and the Impossible Burger — a much more sustainable alternative to a ground beef burger — will not only feed the world, but also provide a nostalgic feeling of biting into a burger. Impossible Foods, the brand, also an eye-catching aesthetic and clearly invests in creating art, making quality food, and cultivating community. (Sound familiar? It did to me too.)
Together, we (BreakfastClub and Impossible Foods) are challenging chefs across the country to rethink meat at breakfast and opt for the Impossible. We’ll give you an inside peek into the morning rituals of these lauded chefs — their practices, eating habits, thoughts, and beverage preferences — and connect chefs with creative people in each city through an inspiring morning meal.
Interested? Here’s the rest of our itinerary, and a recipe from our first event, below:
New York City, April 6th
LA, June 9th
Chicago, July 20th
March 16, Austin, Texas
Husband and wife duo, Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, of LENIOR, prepared: a country-style breakfast featuring an Impossible Burger patty topped with arugula and avocado aioli, sandwiched between a Lenoir salt bun, carrot tots with carrot top chimichurri, and Texas strawberry streusel bars.
Thanks! Chris Corona
Impossible Burger Patties
LENOIR finishing salt (a mix of dried Texas herbs, lavender, chilies, fenugreek and large flake salt), nutmeg, allspice, Kochikaru chili powder, salt, pepper
Mix all ingredients together and reform as patties. Sear hard on both sides on a hot pan, keeping the middle “medium-rare”.
Place on top of toasted bun slathered with avocado purée & spinach, then put a fried egg on top and go to town!
Shredded carrots, shredded onions, salt (to leach the water from the carrots), chickpea flour, water, chaat masala
Drain water from carrots and onions, then add in enough chickpea flour and water to create a batter.
Season with a little chaat masala to taste and fry in hot oil to taste.
Carrot Top Chimichurri
Chopped carrot tops, chopped henbit, garlic, dried chilies, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper
Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least an hour to overnight to marry flavors.
Egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt, neutral oil (like grapeseed)
Use a food processor to make your life easier, if possible, to combine everything but oil. Slowly drizzle in oil as you keep the food processor going, making sure not to go to fast or use too much or it will break and you’ll have to start over. Alternatively, you can do it by hand and whisk in the oil, which will you give you a lot of bragging rights.
Mix in chimichurri to taste and take your hot fritters for a dip!