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The Breakfast Bible + David Lebovitz

As I crossed the Pont de l’Archevêché I could see the soft lights of Shakespeare and Company through the rainy mist. This venerable bookshop is a delight at any time, but this rainy night it was the place to be to talk breakfast. Specifically, it was a collaboration with the beloved author and food blogger David Lebovitz to discuss a new book; The Breakfast Bible by Seb Emina {a.k.a. Malcolm Eggs}, one of the creators of the food blog The London Review of Breakfasts. I arrived just as the shop became standing room only and just myself and a couple others let in. I quickly claimed a spot by the register, but after a polite inquiry I was able to score a prime seat to the right of David Lebovitz.

I must admit that I do not eat breakfast. I fast daily and only eat a late lunch and dinner, so I was very curious how this talk would go. How much can someone say about eggs, toast and coffee? As the talk begin, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this cookbook goes way beyond the expected breakfast, as it covers breakfast foods from all over the world.  It was quickly apparent that the author has a true love for all things breakfast. His passion began when he and a group of friends started the The London Review of Breakfasts, using food related nom de plumes {Grease Witherspoon is his favorite and I wholeheartedly agree} to review the best and the worst breakfast spots in London.

After the author read a few amusing bits from The Breakfast Bible, he expanded on his love for breakfast, explaining that at every moment someone somewhere is eating breakfast. This realization led him on a search to find out what types of breakfasts are eaten where, along with what constitutes a breakfast; is it the time of day or the foods? With these thoughts in mind, he set out on a cookbook that would run the gambit from the traditional British fry up, to the American love for McDonalds’ Egg McMuffin {which he explained is McDonalds version of Eggs Benedict}, all the way to the Middle Eastern Za’tar and everything else in between. My favorite part of the cookbook? An entire page dedicated to the perfect song to play dependent upon how you want to boil your eggs, from soft to hard.

Seb Emina’s dedicated love for breakfasts foods is also shown in his desire to discover what makes a beloved food the best. After learning that New York bagels are renowned all over the world, he had a friend fly him over a liter of New York City water, so that he could make a batch of bagels with NYC water to compare with bagels made from British water.  Another baking endeavor involved trying to perfect the croissant, during which he discovered that making a croissant is time consuming, exhausting and requires vast amounts of butter. In fact he made so many attempts to successfully create the perfect croissant that he worried the Waitrose checker would become suspicious of the vast amounts of butter he was consuming. He and David Lebovitz quickly agreed that this is a food that machines make better than people do.

An interesting question posed to the author by David Lebovitz was the recent phenomenon in Paris for brunch. He also jokingly asked when it would stop. I had noticed the brunch preference cropping up throughout Paris and in food blogs, and as someone who is not a morning person I welcomed it. I find brunch to be the perfect way to get together with friends, hash out your comings and goings and indulge in sweet treats. One rather hungry sounding American who has been in Paris for 45 days, desperately asked why there is so little protein served for breakfast. The standard French breakfast {le petit dejeuner} of a coffee and toast made from yesterday’s baguette is given because most Parisians prefer to eat lightly in the morning. The mention of toasted bread brought up a lively discussion on the perfect piece of toast between the two authors. David Lebovitz described how he must butter his toast the second it is heated, and how his partner watches in slight shock as David races across the room to ensure his toast will be buttered {with salted butter} before the bread can cool.

As I walked back across the Pont de l’Archevêché towards the 4th arrondissement I reflected on what a perfect night this was; a beautiful mist in the air, a cozy bookstore filled with history and a beloved author introducing a new favorite must-read.

2 Comments on The Breakfast Bible + David Lebovitz

  1. David
    October 17, 2013 at 3:17 am (8 years ago)

    Glad you enjoyed our chat and the event – hope you enjoy Seb’s book as much as I do!- thanks for coming…

  2. Seb
    October 19, 2013 at 7:24 am (8 years ago)

    Wonderful account – can’t believe we covered so much! Glad you like Songs To Boil An Egg To. Was one of the first ideas I had for the book, many breakfasts ago.


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