Chef Marcus Meacham (you may know him as the executive chef at Bodega) and his sous chef Charles Umland prepared a four-course brunch in my kitchen last Sunday. And the best part is, he can do the same for you!
See, Marcus is playing around with a new Guerilla Brunch concept and I happily volunteered my place as a location for one of his very first off-site pop-up brunches. I think the 10 guests lucky enough to attend would agree -- it was an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience.
Interested in hosting a Guerilla Brunch of your own? Read on to the end of the post, where you'll find all the info.
Here's how it works. You set the date with Marcus and, if you'd like, choose a theme. We went with a gospel brunch as an excuse to pick up a bunch of gospel records and force our guests to dress in their Sunday best. Marcus designs the menu, which we didn't see until the day of. We didn't give any input at all, and that's what he loves best: full creative freedom. (But I'm sure he'd also take some special requests.)
As the host, all you have to do is decide who to invite. Let me tell you, as a person who does a lot of entertaining, it felt really freeing not having to worry about the food one bit.
Marcus and Charlie arrived at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday to get started. They brought all the ingredients, plates and most of the cooking equipment they'd need for the day. My fiancee and I peeked in on the progress, but otherwise got to chill out until our guests arrived at noon.
Hosting brunch at someone's house means your guests can BYOB. We asked friends to bring fixings for mimosas and bloody marys plus whatever else they felt like drinking.
Shortly after everyone arrived, the first course was served. Here it is: the aptly named Dreams Do Come True. At the center is a cube of unbelievably tender and smoky braised Benton's Bacon. It's served on Blue Corn Grits made with Moody Blue Smoked Blue Cheese, with a beet vinegar-poached egg on the side (plus a slice of seasoned and cooked apple). This dish was perfection.
Next up, pancakes! This dish's given name is OMG Pancakes, and I think you can tell why just by looking at the photo. These things are almost indescribably good. They're thick, fluffy buttermilk-ricotta-mascarpone(!) pancakes drizzled in a rosemary-bacon maple syrup. Oh, and topped with crumbled bacon (OF COURSE). At about this point, we started tagging our Instagram photos #porktoberfest.
On the side? An Orange Duck Sausage link with Mandarin Orange compote.
Those pancakes were pretty decadent. But it was the next dish that nearly did all of us in.
Course No. 3: Lamb McMuffin...Came From a Farm...E I E I O. From the top, it doesn't look all that daunting. This angle also shows the Capicola, Braised Pork and Leek Hash served on the side, which was a unanimous crowd-pleaser.
OK. Here's the Lamb McMuffin. I think only one person actually finished the thing. On a butter-soaked English muffin, it has a thick slice of Canadian bacon topped with a ground lamb patty, toped with an egg, topped with a French cow's milk cheese called Creamy Delice.
So meaty. So good. So so so filling.
At this point, I think everyone was relieved there was only one course left to go. Dessert: Drunken Blueberry Beignets, served on warm vodka-soaked blueberries. A sweet and simple treat set off by the pop of those fresh blueberries.
And the aftermath.
By the way, when you tell your guests they can bring what they'd like to drink for brunch, you may end up with Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas. And then you may regret not being more specific.
Would you like to host a Guerilla Brunch catered by Chef Marcus Meacham? Of course you would! For all the info, shoot Marcus an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can provide a cost estimate per head and answer any other questions you may have.