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What 6 Famous Chefs Eat For Breakfast

03/31/2015 08:08 am ET | Updated Mar 31, 2015

These simple yet far-from-boring meals lean toward the savory, though we're happy to report that one famous pastry chef manages to slip some chocolate in.

By Lynn Andriani

  • The Toast That's One Step Beyond Buttered
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    Australian chef and restaurateur Bill Granger, who wrote the foreword to the new book The World's Best Brunches, definitely has mornings when he "can't be bothered to cook." On those days, he turns to a foolproof morning dish -- toast -- that he takes to a new level by making sure it has three key elements: a crunchy base (from sourdough bread), something smooth (avocado or buffalo mozzarella) and a fresh fruit or vegetable (often sliced tomato).
  • The Protein-Packed Veggie Dish
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    Lena Kwak, the former research and development chef for The French Laundry who co-founded the gluten-free flour "Cup4Cup," gravitates toward filling, lunch-y morning fare. One go-to is this grains-and-greens combo: she cooks farro, a barley-like grain, adds greens such as dinosaur kale (roughly chopped and sautéed for a minute, so it's slightly wilted), and finishes the dish with a sunny side up egg.
  • A Chocolate Breakfast You Definitely Haven't Tried Before
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    You'd expect master pastry chef Jacques Torres, who's known as Mr. Chocolate, to eat the stuff for breakfast, but not like this. First, he fills a coffee mug with very cold water, gently cracks an egg into it and microwaves it for a minute. (He likes his poached egg runny, but you can cook the egg longer if you prefer yours more solid.) Next, he microwaves a handful of fresh spinach in a bowl covered with a plate until it's wilted. Last, Torres lifts the poached egg out of the water with a slotted spoon, lays it over the spinach and -- ahem -- sprinkles cocoa nibs and a little salt on top.
  • An A.M. Bowl You Weren't Expecting
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    Plain, steamed rice is an essential part of a Japanese breakfast, and Judy Joo, owner of Jinjuu in London, often relies on it as the foundation of her morning meal. Sometimes she tops the grains with a fried egg, drizzles soy sauce and sesame oil on top and finishes the dish with a dash of Korean chili paste. Another version she makes is rice with gim seaweed (a flakier, saltier alternative to nori) and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
  • A Spread You'll Never Believe Is So Speedy
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    When we learned that chef Anthony Strong of Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco eats such a robust breakfast -- it includes tea, eggs and multiple kinds of fruits and vegetables -- we figured he must spend at least a half hour making it. Then he told us he's got it down to exactly 12 minutes, start to finish (including washing dishes). It's all in the order of things. First, he puts the water for tea on. Second, he pours a giant glass of orange juice. He munches on his first piece of fruit while he scrambles two eggs in butter. They go onto a plate with a pile of arugula, some sauerkraut and half an avocado; then Strong tops everything with cracked pepper and olive oil. He eats a second piece of fruit as he's hustling out the door.
  • French Toast With An Exotic Twist
    Paul Delmont, Prop styling: Leila Baboi
    Savory strikes again: The Ritz-Carlton South Beach's executive chef Amol Agarwal takes your basic pain perdu and injects it with a little spice. He starts the usual way, whisking some eggs, but instead of sprinkling in cinnamon, he adds salt, pepper and chili powder or the spice mix garam masala (and sometimes finely chopped red onion, cilantro and green chilies, too). He uses multigrain toast to soak up the flavored egg, then cooks it in a nonstick pan, flipping it after a few minutes so it can turn golden on both sides. The obvious accompaniment: A cup of chai tea.

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