Alix Verrips has cooked on yachts, mansions and everywhere you can expect the 1% to live.
Cooking for the wealthy, has given her so many great recipes, that she decided to share them with the world in her book, Brunch Across 11 Countries.
Brunch has been enjoying a major moment in the culinary world, as the meal of choice, especially for many millennials. What is it about brunch that makes it so popular?
Brunch is gaining popularity because the way we eat, interact and live is changing. Brunch is most popular amongst the demographic where time and disposable income is more prolific and as millennials seem to have more flexible time schedules, they are more inclined to forego breakfast and enjoy the practice of mixing alcohol with juices and other drinks. It is only natural that they would gravitate towards a meal that offers them all of the above, namely Brunch!
It’s a bit of everything- sweet, savoury, bubbly and some mimosas. How do you get a perfect brunch spread?
In my definition of brunch on page 4 I say that the perfect brunch should include something eggy (for the breakfast element), something meaty (for the lunch element), some veggies or salad (for colour), a pastry or something sweet (for dessert) and of course bubbles (for the fizz) and each of my chapters includes examples of all the above elements.
I’ve always regarded brunch as the perfect summer holidays meal- do you think people are more keen to have brunch when they have more time to themselves?
People are definitely more inclined to enjoy brunch when they have more time on their hands, as the very nature of the meal is languorous and unhurried; ensuring that every delicious morsel can be devoured without being rushed!
What would you say each country does differently, when it comes to brunch?
In the 11 countries or cuisines represented in my book I would say the Americans enjoy the fanfare, the Brits like their classics and the Caribbean brunch is like a food carnival. Chinese Dim Sum is often encased in delicate wrappers, fluffy dough or golden pastry.
The French showcase simple yet refined flavours, where in Greece the food has bolder notes of garlic, lemon and green herbs with warm spicy undertones.
In Italy the sun drenched fruit and vegetables pair well with cured meats and cheeses bound together with golden strands of olive oil whilst the fare of Mexico is characterized by spicy salsas that give kick and colour to every meal.
In the Middle East the age-old cooking techniques and ingredients are still employed to produce the food of their ancestors which explode with blends of ancient spices whilst bursting with fresh notes of mint and citrus. In South Africa we have a mixed bag of tastes and flavors gifted to us by our assorted ancestors who settled here, whilst in Spain every meal is a fiesta!
You’ve worked for some high flying clients- what’s the one thing they always insist on when you prepare a brunch menu for them?
Usually my “high flying clients” trust me implicitly to conjure up the perfect brunch spread as their minds are often pre-occupied with plans for world domination or which destination to visit next! I do think every brunch spread should include eggs in one form or another.
Where is the most interesting place you made a meal for a client before?
The most interesting place I’ve made a meal, was probably on the shore of Lake Sibaya, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal.
I travelled off road in a 4x4 for 31/2 hours to this remote spot, from the private game lodge my former boss owned.
Once there I set up a “skottle braai” and a makeshift veld kitchen and was cooking peri-peri prawns when the helicopter delivering the guests landed.
Brunch Across 11 Countries is available for R339 on Loot.co.za. Click here to purchase