When spring rolls around, brunch just hits differently. Guests are excited to peel off drab winter clothing. Seatings for rooftop, terrace, and sidewalk dining are back in action. And, of course, there’s an abundance of fresh ingredients.
Easter brunch traditionally signifies the beginning of spring brunch season, and this year produce will command front and center. While some operators will opt for elaborate, yet conventional buffets where guests choose from an abundance of fresh offerings, look for others to get extremely creative with dishes and beverages to complement.
For Travis Peters, executive chef/partner at Tucson, Arizona-based The Parish, part of the thrill is keeping everyone excited, which is why his brunch menus are always unconventional.
“I’ve made an entire career of going outside the box, so we actually always try to do that with our menu and we encourage it from the kitchen staff,”
says Peters, who owns the restaurant with business partners Steve Dunn and Bryce Zeagler. “As far as the components, I think people are pretty adventurous, and we try to have a lot of silly fun with them.”
With a nod to New Orleans and other parts of the South, The Parish’s menu showcases hearty, familiar fare with fresh ingredients that pop. For example, there’s a mesquite-smoked salmon salad topped with a spicy green onion vinaigrette that’s made in-house. Also, the signature Brussels sprouts are tossed in a house-made blackberry-blueberry hot sauce.
Peters always showcases at least one rabbit dish for Easter brunch. For instance, he once created a white chocolate Easter bunny horchata-brined rabbit with mole blanco, chile-spiked carrot confit, and frijoles gigantes charro.
In similar whimsical fashion, Markon plays up a classic egg dish with a fun, Southern twist. Green Tomato Tarts may serve as a unique appetizer when they’re topped with a runny yolk and Markon First Crop Chives. Also consider Spinach Crepes stuffed with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or Beet-Dyed Deviled Eggs. A nice complement to these savory dishes is a refreshing light Strawberry Margarita Cocktail, made with chopped Markon First Crop Strawberries and Ready-Set-Serve Margarita Mix.
Sunday brunch is generally always busy for the Hotel Arts Group in Calgary, Alberta because they offer guests a buffet and a la carte dishes. Easter brunch is, of course, particularly hectic, which is why only the buffet is featured at the hotel’s Yellow Door Bistro. On it, guests will find an omelet station, where they’ll choose from fresh asparagus, spinach, onions, herbs, and other ingredients. They’ll also get to pick their favorite fruits as tasty toppings for pancakes, French toast, and waffles.
“We always highlight the freshest produce possible on the buffet,” says Quinn Staple, the executive chef for Hotel Arts Group. In addition to the seasonally fresh dishes, the Easter buffet will likely include some of the hotel’s “greatest hits” like eggs Benedict and a pork belly quesadilla, adds Staple.
Easter buffets are an opportunity to take it up a notch and feature dishes typically not served during regular service. It’s also a chance to have a little fun when you’ve got an abundance of produce.
For your Easter buffet, Markon has a few recommendations to consider. Try a spread of Roasted Vegetables with sweet bell pepper aioli. Or how about Vietnamese Summer Rolls? They’re certain to brighten up any table. And to satisfy those with a sweet tooth, the Key Lime Tart is topped with vibrant, seasonal fruit.
Markon Cooperative, Inc. brings a fresh approach and thinking to all of its premium farm-to-table produce so foodservice operators can bring the freshest ideas to their consumers. Based in Salinas, California, Markon serves as the produce purchasing, logistics, information, and marketing partner for its five member distributors (Ben E. Keith Foods, Gordon Food Service, Gordon Food Service Canada, Nicholas & Company, and Shamrock Foods) and their North American foodservice customers. Learn more about Markon’s commitment to providing the highest-quality, safest, and freshest produce at Markon.com.