In a recent video interview on Jimmy Fallon’s show, Anthony Bourdain said that brunch is a “horrible, cynical way of unloading leftovers and charging three times as much as you ordinarily charge for breakfast.”
This is not the first time he’s scrutinized the intermeal, stating in his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly that “brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights…brunch is punishment block for the B-Team cooks, or where the farm team of recent dishwashers learn their chops.”
I get it. Brunch, for the consumer, is a pretentious mealtime in between legitimate meal times for rich people and seemingly rich people to meet and drink mimosas and giggle over the latest gossip and eat artisanal French Toast with puréed brambleberry sauce. For a chef, brunch is a great way to bring in these consumers and, as Bourdain put it, charge three times as much as you normally would.
I see why Bourdain would hate it. He’s a practical guy, and he doesn’t like the fact that there’s a meal in the middle of breakfast and lunch for people who are lazy and snobby. He doesn’t like that it’s more expensive than breakfast, despite serving the same food. He doesn’t like that it doesn’t serve a real purpose other than for monetary gain on the chef’s side and an opportunity for gossip on the consumer’s side.
I also see why there’s such a fascination behind brunches and why there has been such an increase in demand for this undisputably legitimate mealtime.
- It’s a time for women, especially women with children, to come and enjoy a meal with her friends. After the kids leave for school and before they come back. It’s casual and brunch serves really good, although expensive, food.
- People nowadays have this obsession with living like how they imagine the upper class to be living, and eating brunch is one step closer to this dream becoming a reality. It is, as the young kids say, “bougie.”
- Going back to number one for a bit. Brunch food is honestly really tasty. Yeah, whatever, it’s expensive, but usually only people who can afford it will go anyways.
Who doesn’t like Eggs Benedict and fancy French Toast anyways?