When you get right down to it, there are really only two kinds of people in this world: those who brunch and those who do not. I don’t mean to generalize here but generally, Non-Brunchers are pretty easy to spot in a crowd. They’re the ones who take 17 different spin classes before noon on a Saturday, wear ripped, graphic tees without a shred of irony, and buy a pedigreed Goldendoodle puppy then name him Bob. Brunchers, however, are creatures of a more esoteric ilk, characterized by their adventure-seeking, quiche-loving ways … and always hungry for more.
Because at its hollandaise-glopped essence, brunch is a meal most unpredictable and Brunchers who indulge in its capriciousness must be prepared for absolutely anything. Will it last an hour? All day? The better half of Memorial Day weekend? Unclear. The only thing that’s certain is that nobody gets brunch better than its reigning king, Brunch Boys’ founder Jeremy Jacobowitz.
Jeremy’s Brunch Boys website and Instagram page—the latter home to almost 400K followers—are veritable travelogues of the New York food scene, helping diners everywhere discover the inscrutable delectability of an NYC brunch. I recently caught up with Manhattan’s ultimate morning(ish) foodie. Here’s what he had to say …
MELISSA: You have a decade of heavy-hitting media experience under your belt but it seems like Brunch Boys has really exploded on the scene like champagne out the bottle (and into a mimosa) in the past year. What inspired you to start Brunch Boys and how have you been able to grow it so fast?
JEREMY: I started Brunch Boys a little over three years ago with the only intention of it being a fun side project when I was between producing gigs for food TV shows. It wasn’t supposed to be a food Instagram or anything, just these little videos. But then the account took off, and that became the focus of it. I don’t know if I’d say it grew fast, I’ve had the account from the day I began Brunch Boys—that’s over three years of growth—and at the time there weren’t really any other food accounts out there, and this wasn’t a “thing.” I think I grew because I had great content, great photos and videos. I was unique, and I started early.
I read that you were once Bobby Flay’s assistant. Any standout Bobby stories you can share? (Like, did he ever make you throw down on a fried egg with tomatillo sauce brunch battle?)
Haha no stories like that, but I think it was just an overall amazing learning experience. Here is a self-made man, going from being a high school drop-out to one of the most successful chefs of all time, and just being able to be around him every day was the greatest learning experience of all time.
Cooking in my opinion is a craft predicated on culinary creativity and if a chef is really good enough, the food produced is pretty much edible art. Do you see brunch food as an actual art form more than just an awesome meal in between breakfast and lunch during which it’s socially acceptable to booze?
I think its absolutely an art form. The amount of thought, creativity, and hard work put in by chefs to create these dishes is just incredible. That’s not to say it’s also all of those other things you mentioned, but the meals chefs do come up with are just incredible.
You were recently declared one of NYC’s most eligible bachelors. As a man with such status, what are your thoughts on brunch for a first date?
I would not ever recommend brunch or really any meal for a first date. Let’s see if we can sustain a conversation over at least one drink before we dive in for a full meal commitment.
Follow up: What would you cook (or order in) for a girl on your first brunch spent together at home?
I think brunch is perfect to get a little bit of everything. So, maybe start easy with a fruit salad, go to some sort of egg dish with lots of avocado, and maybe add a few pancakes to get a little sweetness in there. And definitely a few mimosas!
The life of an Instagram foodie is competitive! What’s your best advice for standing out in an endless sea of #nomnomnom and #eeeeats photos?
I would just say be as creative and unique as possible with your photos and videos. If you look just like everyone else, why would anyone follow you?
Confession: Sometimes my friends hate me (even if they won’t say it to my face) because we’ll go out for brunch and I have to take that perfect over the table shot before they can even TOUCH their food. Is this ever an issue for you? Seems like food blogging and cold-food eating are pretty much synonymous …
I am used to cold food, or at least lukewarm food! If I do have friends with me who aren’t taking photos with me, I try and speed up my photo-taking process. I wouldn’t want to ruin their experience just for me to get the 200th shot of the eggs Benedict.
What’s your No. 1 tip for nailing the perfect food photo?
Its all about lighting! I will always try and sit in the area of the restaurant with the best light.
Food blogging for you is obviously both a business and a passion. How do you balance the sponsorships and ad opportunities with remaining authentic and true to what whets your appetite?
My goal with any sponsored post that I do is to have it fit seamlessly into the feed, where it shouldn’t feel like it’s an “ad.” It should feel just like the rest of my content, only it involves a brand. Now that doesn’t always end up being the case but I think I try my best to make that sponsored post just as engaging and creative as any other, where it doesn’t matter if I got paid or not.
The one thing you could eat for brunch any day, every day … Go.
That’s hard! When I think every day, I want something sort of healthy but still pretty delicious, so maybe some avocado toast with a poached egg!