Faiyaz Kara, the restaurant critic for the Orlando Weekly, has a new book out called “Gourmet Breakfasts for the Genius” (290 pages; For the Genius Press; $29.97). You’ll be happy to know that membership in Mensa is not a prerequisite.
It’s part of a series of titles under the For the Genius banner that includes “Fundraising for the Genius,” “European Travel for the Genius,” and “Cats for the Genius,” although I happen to believe dog owners are smarter.
Kara adds his breakfast brilliance to the other culinary categories, such as “Fast & Fearless Cooking,” “Baking Bread,” and “Beer,” all, of course, for intellectuals.
But genius is not the operative word in the book’s title, it’s gourmet. Well, the word breakfast is important, too. But the first thing you need to know is that Kara has not compiled a collection of quick and easy, or even fast and fearless, morning meals.
No, this is a collection of involved, multistep, do-some-chopping, make-a-mess and clatter-enough-pans-to-wake-the-rest-of-the-house recipes. So, yes, fearless if not fast.
Kara didn’t go solo. He drew help, recipes and advice from the likes of Kevin Fonzo (K), Greg Richie (Baoery and Soco), Kevin Dundon (Raglan Road), John Rivers (4 Rivers Smokehouse), Hemant Pathak and Aarthi Sampath (Junoon), Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Hodges (Divas of Dish), Hari Pulapaka (Cress) and Norman Van Aken, who also wrote the book’s forward.
The book doesn’t stick strictly to traditional breakfast fare. Sure, you’ll find plenty of recipes for eggs, pancakes and waffles. But Kara also makes the argument to introduce into your morning regimen items more closely associated with evening meals, such as soups. Hey, avgolemono has egg in it. I’ve already dog-eared the “Boozy Breakfasts” chapter.
Kara, who has been the critic at the Weekly since 2006, intersperses the clever writing and good humor that have made his reviews required reading.
“Gourmet Breakfasts for the Genius” is available at Amazon and wherever smartypants shop for books.