Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cookbook Thursday: Big Bad Breakfast

Chef John Currence hails from New Orleans but he’s been tearing up Oxford, Miss., with his innovative restaurants — City Grocery, Nacho Mama’s and Snackbar. Now the James Beard Award winner has published a cookbook to match his breakfast eatery, “Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day.”

With a foreword by Chef John Besh of New Orleans and David Chang, the cookbook not only offers recipes for the most important meal of the day, but places the morning meal on a Southern-flavored pedestal. It’s jam-packed with cooking techniques, personal reminiscences (loved his experience working with a grumpy German chef), basics such as how to cook an egg and the “Ten Commandments of Breakfast” which include always using butter and cooking from scratch. The recipes ran the gamut, from the traditional and expected to the experimental and fun: homemade pop-tarts, North Mississippi eggs Benedict, pain perdu with rum sauce, grits and collard souffeé — even spicy boudin and poached eggs.

If there’s a breakfast lover on your gift list, especially one who loves to have a good time in the kitchen, this book is a must. In addition to Beard honors, Currence was a Top Chef Masters contestant, author and recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance Guardian of the Tradition Award. He lives in Oxford.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana. She is also the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at