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The Essentials You Need to Host a Perfect Luxury Brunch

Essentials for the Perfect Luxury Brunch at Home

What’s your favorite meal of the day? For us, it’s not even close: breakfast! Or on a lazy day, brunch. Hot off of updating us on the best gourmet artisanal local honeys, our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy is sharing the inside scoop on how to make your next brunch with family and friends at home the best. These are the essentials you need to host the perfect luxury brunch at home.

how to make a perfect luxury brunch at home

Memorable summer meals typically center around the outdoor grill and dining al fresco. And while we’ll never say no to a burger with all the fixings, let’s not forget about the luxury of a weekend brunch.

We’re not talking about that kind of brunch where you wait for an hour or more with a throng of strangers at the newest hot spot. Hot and hangry is not a good summer look. No, dear reader, we’re talking about you hosting brunch at home.

Essentials for the Perfect Luxury Brunch at Home

Whether you’re hosting overnight guests at your summer home or simply want to throw together a casual get-together, the weekend brunch has the ability to satisfy all palettes. Even people who don’t want to eat can sit and converse over a nice warm cup of coffee.

And for those who can never choose between savory or sweet? Brunch to the rescue! The combination of a warm, spongy buttermilk pancake chased with savory eggs and hash browns? Transcendent! Plus, it’s the only socially acceptable meal where you can come to the table in your pajamas. We’re. All. In.

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the essentials you need to host a perfect luxury brunch

So how do you host the perfect breakfast or brunch at home without making yourself (or anyone else) crazy? It’s actually not hard. All that is needed is a modest collection of breakfast specific culinary tools and you’ve got the equipment to open a veritable Sarabeth’s or Babette’s outpost in your own home.

Here’s our list of the top 10 kitchen equipment and other related products that will help you create an elevated and comforting brunch that is easy on effort but big on impact.

Essentials for the Perfect Luxury Brunch at Home

1. A cast iron skillet

If you don’t already have one, a cast iron skillet (starting at $120) tops the list of our must-haves for a luxury brunch at home. This is a brunch workhorse and it can take care of all your mainstays from frittatas, omelettes, pancakes, hash browns, and my personal favorite, Dutch baby cake.

Why not just use a regular pan you ask? A skillet gives you that professional looking and beautiful browned crust. And Le Creuset’s colors are so gorgeous, you can serve your dish straight from the pan. If you’re worried about the maintenance, rest assured. The interior surface of a Le Creuset skillet is finished with a matte black enamel that eliminates the need for the traditional seasoning and cleaning methods of raw cast iron.

2. A top-notch blender.

A top-notch blender (starting at $349.95) is another multi-purpose tool that can significantly expand your repertoire and save you time. Obviously, you can whip up icy fruit smoothies for the kids and the health conscious.

But also, consider all the trendy non-dairy milks: almond, cashew, oat, rice and coconut. We’ve also made pancake batter, fruit compote. And not to brag or anything, but we’ve even made smoked salmon spread in ours. Hey, we’re New Yorkers; bagels and schmears are its own food group.

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch: Cast-Iron Skillets and Blender. Courtesy Photos.


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Essentials for the Perfect Luxury Brunch at Home

3. A Waffle Iron

If you’re serious about providing a brunch with all the options, a waffle iron ($129.95) really ups the game and gives guests something to do while you’re bustling around. We recommend having it ready to go with a bowl of batter for guests to spoon themselves.

On the side, provide a variety of fresh berries, sliced almonds, and don’t forget freshly whipped cream! Your guests won’t know if they’re at your humble abode or a luxury vacation resort. And should you decide to serve pancakes that day, the waffle maker can still be brought out to make crunchy hash browns in minutes. You’re welcome!

4. A Silver-Dollar Pancake Pan

Speaking of pancakes, they can be pretty stress-inducing to make for a large party. Trust me, I’ve done it. It feels like a Sisyphean task. No matter how many you make, they will be taken. And how can you just stop when your best friend’s son carries his plate over to you and asks, “Please, sir, can I have some more?” You can’t! You’re not a monster.

This silver dollar pancake pan whips up 7 at a time and at an affordable price ($29.26), you might as well double up and make 14 at a time.

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch

5. An Egg-Poaching Pan

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who order French toast and those who go for the Eggs Benedict. Sometimes the two intermarry, and we have no idea how they make it work.

We consider ourselves pretty respectable home cooks but we’ve never bothered with poaching eggs. This handy poaching pan ($49.96) can change that. We like that it can be used as a regular pan, in addition to having 4 compartments to produce perfect poached eggs every time. If your friends don’t leave impressed, you need to get new friends.

6.  A Milk Frother (to go with your top-of-the-line coffee maker)

We’re all about creating the wow-factor when we go though the trouble of hosting. Previously, we shared our top picks of home coffee makers. To kick it up a notch further, check out this compact and convenient milk frother ($40.58).

It’s a small gadget that goes a long way. People can be pretty particular about their coffee. But once you top it off with a dollop of foam, everyone will treat you like their favorite barista.

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch

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7. A Juicer    

Fresh, hand-squeezed juice is one of life’s most wonderful micro-luxuries. This is another tool we love to help guests mingle and be hands-on if they want to be. This version from Hurom ($149) is our go-to for its nostalgic good looks and the effortless automatic squeezing once the handle is pressed down.

8.  A Flat Griddle   

Don’t worry, we did not forget about the bacon! The conventional wisdom for how to cook bacon for a crowd is to put it in the oven. But if you’re serious about achieving that satisfying crunch, followed by a bouncy chew of fat, this baking steel griddle ($189) is a must-have. It fits over your burners and sears all your protein with a nice, even heat. This particular model flips over and can be used as a pizza stone if you’re inspired to make a breakfast pizza.

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch

9. A Great Recipe (or Two)    

Though we get plenty of recipes off the internet, nothing beats a good cookbook with compelling photography to inspire us. Here are three that make our list of essentials for the perfect luxury brunch at home.

Breakfast: Recipes to Wake Up For ($25) by George Weld, owner of Williamsburg breakfast institution, Egg, contains Southern influenced morning foods like Cornbread and Tomato Salad and Country Ham Biscuits. Yum!

For an international flair, check out Breakfast: The Cookbook ($31.42)-by food writer, Emily Elyse Miller. In addition to well-loved classics, her cookbook includes recipes for common breakfast offerings throughout the world like Chinese rice porridge, Egyptian stewed beans, and Mexican Chilaquiles.

Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking ($40) by Sarabeth Levine is a must if you’re hosting a brunch to showcase your baking skills. Morning cookies, coffee cake, sticky buns without the morning lines? Count us in.

Essentials for a Perfect Luxury Brunch

Best Cookbooks for a Perfect Luxury Brunch. Courtesy Photos.

10. Artisanal Condiments     

There are some things you can’t make yourself even with all the right gadgetry. Two vital condiments come to mind: butter and maple syrup. Both are key to the perfect luxury brunch at home.

Yes, you can churn butter yourself but will it be as good as the butter from Vermont Creamery? The cultured butter contains live bacterial cultures in fresh Vermont cream. The cream ferments overnight and by morning, it’s thickened and has savory notes of buttermilk and hazelnuts.

Of course you haven’t had butter until you’ve had European butter. Échiré is made in Normandy and has the requisite high fat content and lightly salted taste.

For maple syrup, we love Slopeside Syrup, an organic syrup made in Vermont. Choose from three variations of intensity: Golden/Delicate, Amber/Rich and Dark/Robust.

Canada’s Escuminac maple syrup brand is produced in very small quantities, and exclusively with sap harvested during the first days of the run. It has a subtle caramel flavor with hints of honeysuckle and cinnamon.

the essentials you need to host a perfect luxury brunch

Those are our our picks for the top 10 essentials necessary for the perfect luxury brunch at home. Now, if you want to be even fancier, by all means, splurge on wonderful flowers for the table. Or a premium bottle of champagne. Take the party outdoors. It’s your call.

Just remember, like our parents and teachers always said when we were kids: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And we think it (and brunch) can be the most fun. So delicious and fun that you might as well throw a breakfast for dinner party the next night! Bon Appetit!

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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years. They include fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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