Boquete Gourmet “Host Chef” Alie MacArthur, presented three (3) complete brunch menus to sixteen (16) eager folks wishing to hone their culinary prowess, even if it meant attending a 10am class on a Sunday morning. Fifteen (15) new and different dishes were prepared using techniques that inspired participants to stretch their imaginations and to create delicious, zestful and eye-opening flavors.

“Eye-opening” is the original meaning Guy Beringer, back in 18th century England, put on the phenomenon of the modern day portmanteau word; “brunch”.

Mr. Beringer wrote that this new meal would be taken late on a Sunday morning, it would be cheerful, sociable and exciting, and it would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers. Brunch would promote human happiness, be talk-compelling, put guests in good temper and sweep away worries and cobwebs of the week. This sounds like exactly the type of event that I would want to promote!

The “rules” include offering a variety throughout each dish. Keep in mind the flavors, spicy, sweet, tangy and mild. Watch for brightly-colored foods, some hot and some cold, and dishes with snap, as well as smooth textures. Remember, this meal is meant to “brighten life”.

After doing quite a bit of research, I found that the possibilities for designing and making a meal that would meet Mr. Beringer’s criteria were endless. Following a few simple rules, Alie developed three such menus, and this is her first design.

Jennifer is setting up her colorful Omelet Bar for guests wishing to design their own omelet, exactly as they like it, including a bit of spicy hot sauce.

Proper shaping and forming of the potato cakes is demonstrated by Cynthia in the photo below. Her cakes were as tasty as they were beautiful!

“THE GRILLE ROOM BRUNCH”

Boquete Strawberry Champagne
Designer Omelet
Brunch Potato Cakes
Toasted Ring Bread
Rumtopf with Yogurt

Probably the easiest recipe on this menu to prepare is the toasted bread, made with local Rosca bread.

TOASTED RING BREAD

1 loaf of ring bread (Rosca)
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ stick butter

Slice bread horizontally, making 2 thin rings. Butter cut side of the bottom of the loaf and place the buttered side on a skillet. Mix the sugar and milk to form an icing. Frost the bottom of the loaf, which is now facing up in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top the frosted bread with the other half of the loaf, cut side up. Butter the top of your “sandwich” and toast until both sides are golden brown. After Jack perfectly toasted the ring of bread, he served it on a vintage plate and cut a piece for everyone. It was hot, crunchy and delectable.

After cooking and sampling this “Grille Room Brunch”, everyone agreed that each dish on the menu was a winner, especially when so much of the preparation could be prepared ahead of time. This menu, if served buffet-style, allowed more time for the hosts to share fun times with their guests and less time in the kitchen when the guests arrive.

Alie got a huge round of applause for sharing so many of her recipes and techniques with us. Thanks, Alie for making learning so much fun!

Please check back for the second in the series of three brunches entitled, “The Kitchen Brunch”.

Thanks also to Betty Dabney for her “eye-catching” photographs. You may see more of Betty’s photos at www.bettydabneyphotos.com.