Review of “Brunch!” by Gale Gand with Christie Matheson

As some of you know, breakfast is my favorite meal. Why? It has the potential to contain all my favorite food groups: cholesterol, sugar, chocolate, and peanut butter. If you extend the category to breakfast/brunch, you can even get pizza in there, in the form of a galette.


This book, subtitled “100 Fantastic Recipes for the Weekend’s Best Meal” has it all. But that’s not the best part. The recipes are very short and uncomplicated, yet they turn out great. The author, who is an award-winning chef and – here’s the important part – “recognized as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation” really surprised me. I expected recipes from a chef to involve hundreds of ingredients and thousands of hours. Instead, these are simple, and yet as good as can be.

Some of my favorites are: Gooey Camembert In a Box With Cranberry-Black Pepper Compote, Cheesy Cheddar Grits, Quick Pear Streusel Coffee Cake, Salmon, Scallion, and Goat Cheese Frittata, and of course, the Cheese and Tomato Galette.

She even includes a recipe for Gougères. I had them the first time at a winery tasting room, where I embarrassed Jim by eating almost the whole basket. They are incredibly good. Her recipe uses garlic, which I would probably omit, so I am including for you a recipe that is almost identical but also omits it.



Most of the book’s recipes are shown with beautiful photographs by Ben Fink.

If you check the author’s website, you will find that she now has a new book out, Lunch! and that she also posts some recipes and photos online, so you can get a taste of what she is about. She even includes a recipe from Brunch!, “Almond Cabbala French Toast.”


Evaluation: In spite of loving to eat, I don’t like to cook or, especially, to clean up. This book is not taxing in either way. If I can make these successfully, I think anyone can!

Published by Random House, 2009


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15 Responses to Review of “Brunch!” by Gale Gand with Christie Matheson

  1. Belle Wong says:

    I love Gougères! The first ones I tried were from a recipe in one of Ruth Reichl’s books – it might have been Garlic and Sapphires, but I’m not positive. I did not bake them myself, of course. The handy-dandy baking and cooking husband did that part of the chore. I handled the task of eating them, and they were so good.

    Sadly, I’m on a low-carb diet right now, so the delights of Gougères (and also Cheesy Cheddar Grits, which I think I could swoon over) are forbidden to me.

  2. BermudaOnion says:

    I wonder if Carl would cook some of those dishes for me if I bought him that cookbook?

  3. Rachel says:

    Yum! Now I’m hungry…

  4. Beth F says:

    I too love Gougeres! Now what’s with all you women who have baking, cooking husbands??? I try to grill as much as I can b/c that’s Mr. BFR’s only cooking talent. Anyway, how come I never heard of this book (or the new one). Must track down.

  5. Tina says:

    Sounds like. Winner, any cookbook that isn’t complicated is for me.

  6. Louise says:

    Brunch is certainly one of my favourite meals too. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had Gougeres, but the concept really appeals…

  7. These look delicious! I like to cook but don’t like the clean up part – especially not in the morning. This looks like a great cookbook to try.

  8. Topazshell says:

    Hmmmm, I enjoyed reading about the Brunch! cookbook.Those Gougeres look delicious. Have never heard of them. I like grits. I’ve not tried cheese grits. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh yum! I love brunch and rarely get to partake anymore b/c I have young kids. But, this book looks yummy especially that picture on the cover…what is that?! My brunch go to is generally a frittata (because they’re so easy and good for groups) or some sort of breakfast casserole.

  10. Laurie C says:

    I love brunches and big weekend breakfasts, but don’t get much of them these days due to all those pesky calories that come with them. But, I would love, love, love, a plate of that almond French toast right now, and damn the calories!

  11. Carole says:

    Thanks, now on my library list. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter!

  12. Breakfast is my favorite meal too. These recipes sound so good!

  13. Claudia says:

    Brunch, oh yes, otherwise known as your really late breakfast after a good sleep in. Love it.

  14. Gale Gand’s cookbooks are all wonderful. She lives here in Chicago and also runs a great restaurant, Spritz Burger, and frequently teaches cooking classes.

  15. sagustocox says:

    Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day too! This sounds fantastic.

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