If you live in America, chances are you probably start your day with cereal, eggs, oatmeal, or a smoothie. And let’s not forget coffee. But what if you suddenly found yourself waking up in an exotic, far-flung destination? What would you have for breakfast then? Edible Cleveland woke up four local chefs with ties to such places and asked them to share their favorite ethnic breakfast with us. Mornings never tasted so good.
“I have cousins who live in Israel, and they eat shakshuka for breakfast all the time,” says Chef Ruth Levine, who runs Bistro 185 with her husband, Marc. “In the Middle East, this is considered a very commonplace breakfast that everyone gets to share, including kibbutz communities. The dish is very easy to prepare and makes a delicious addition to brunch with either pita bread or grilled naan.”
“Speķa Pīrāgi evokes a very happy memory from my childhood,” says Vid Lutz, production and development chef at Nestlé Professional. “My grandma, who was born in Latvia, used to make these rolls for me when I was a young kid growing up in Detroit,” said Chef Lutz. “I can still remember standing in her kitchen, eating them one after another, still warm, straight out of the oven. This dish is fairly simple but the result is extra delicious.”
“Growing up in Malaysia, my mother would prepare zhong zi for me on special holidays,” said Chef Freeman Ngo, chef/ owner of Pacific East. “Now that I’m married with children of my own, I make this for them on special occasions, continuing a beautiful tradition from my birthplace. Zhong zi takes time to make, but it’s worth it. You’ll find all the ingredients you need at any Asian market in Cleveland.”
“This breakfast brings back such great memories from my childhood in Lima,” says Chef Cesar Mugaburu, chef/owner of Nazca Restaurant. “It’s a very traditional dish; every mother in Peru makes it on a Sunday morning at least once a month. This dish is perfect because it combines the crunchiness of pork, the sweetness of sweet potatoes, and the tartness of limes, all in one bite.”