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For years the experts have been telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, a fact that many of us decided to turn a blind eye to. But as the years go on, breakfast has risen in popularity, making it one of the busiest times in the kitchen for chefs.
A 2017 report by NPD Group in the US revealed that breakfast was the only sector that had seen a growth in traffic within the hospitality industry. The shift towards breakfast has also been picked up from venues around Australia, with many now offering an all-day breakfast menu.
Group Executive Chef from Trippas White Group, George Diamond explained to Goodman Fielder Food Service that his venues, Centennial Homestead and Botanic Restaurant, has seen more people opt for the breakfast option over lunch over the past months. “Breakfast has opened up a whole variety of different options for out diners, first and foremost,” he said. “It is a really exciting time… because it has really opened so many different opportunities to try in the kitchen.”
While the popularity of breakfast leaves chefs working earlier in the day than usual, Chef George explained it has been a positive shift for the industry because it allows chefs to explore their creative side. “There are no rules when it comes to breakfast, you can do whatever you want. Chefs are creative, we’re creative beasts, so to be able to use that creativity and open up and explore the boundaries of what we can do with the normal breakfast and what we can offer…it’s exciting for us.”
Despite being able to show off their skills and creativity, Chef George said chefs are still restricted to needing to work amongst the current trends in the market. The experienced chef dived deep into the trends for 2018, explaining customers are now wanting more healthy options on the menu around the clock, not just at breakfast time.
“We are becoming very, very health conscious as a nation,” he explained, adding: “Keeping the food really healthy, with different vegetables is important.” Chef George went on to list green leaves, kale, avocado and grains as the go-to for any breakfast menu creation.
“Superfoods are a big thing,” he said. “Ensuring we are putting kale on the menu and different types of grains, pulses and seeds. Avocado is also huge and using those kinds of unsaturated fats in our dishes is important,” he added. “The beauty with breakfast is that it can transition over into lunch. So, you can have a piece of steak with potatoes and a fried egg on top, and you have a nice breakfast menu, as well as a lunch option.”
When deciding what goes on the breakfast menu, Chef George said you must always keep your options “simple, fresh and value for money.” He said: “Everything needs to be fresh and the key to doing that is keeping it really simple and uncomplicated. It’s all about value for money, using great ingredients and doing it simply.
“What chefs should also consider when creating a breakfast menu is, there needs to be comfort food on there. Something that can link back to maybe a childhood memory, like grandma’s pancakes for example. There should also always be a good big breakfast with an offering of different varieties of eggs and vegetables like kale, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.”
Muesli has also become a breakfast menu-must have, with many venues now incorporating a granola-style dish on their lists. Botanic Restaurant in Sydney has followed this health-trend, incorporating granola, mixed berry compote and natural yoghurt. Henry Lees has also followed, adding a dish to their menu called The Farmer (quinoa granola, charred seasonal stone fruit, early grey jelly, Manuka honey flakes and strawberry dust with yoghurt).
Chef George continued to explain it is important to cater to all customer’s needs, including those who prefer a light breakfast or a breakfast on the go. “It is really important to have some nice light options. You also have to make sure there are things on there for a bit of grab and go, some people are very time poor in the morning,” he said.
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