Skip to main content

Fix Yourself a Big Bad Breakfast

Big bad Breakfast
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Feasting is our column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating, and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.

Your whole life, everyone has told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts the metabolism and provides the body energy to be productive. We love breakfast because it gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning—it’s a chance to eat something delicious before doing anything else, which is a beautiful thing. So when we found out James Beard Award-Winning Chef John Currence was releasing a breakfast cookbook named after one of his Oxford, Mississippi restaurants, we had to step into his kitchen to see what’s cooking.

Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day is a testament to first meal and a reflection of its namesake restaurant’s ultimate success. Chef Currence is responsible for putting Oxford on the culinary map. He opened City Grocery, known for its innovative southern cuisine, 16 years ago and it’s been featured in every culinary publication you could imagine. His six other restaurants and catering business followed and have received just as much praise. But Currence wanted to honor one of America’s greatest dining experiences that has been dying off as fast food chains move in. Big Bad Breakfast is inspired by classic breakfast and lunch counters and the joy that comes from friendly service and menus stacked with fresh squeezed juices, homemade jams, expertly baked goods, and house-smoked meats. The restaurant–and now the cookbook–are celebrations of that traditional meal.

Related: Recipe: Cast Iron Breakfast Hash

If you’re not a breakfast person, Big Bad Breakfast might be the cookbook that changes your mind. Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer to start your day on a savory note, there’s a dish for everyone. We personally like to kick things off with the first chapter, aptly titled The Welcome Basket. Pastries like Banana Pecan Coffee Cake and Baked Cornmeal and Buttermilk Donuts are perfect with homemade condiments like Raspberry Butter and Fig Preserves. There’s no shortage of egg dishes on the menu like Double-Boiled Eggs with Black Truffle, Shakshouka and an Open-Faced Stewed Okra and Tomato Frittata-Omelet with Swiss. Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes are a classic, but there are twists on favorites too—like the Shrimp and Pickled Onion Crepes with Mornay, a French white cheese sauce. And then there’s the Breakfast for Dinner chapter, a collection of savory dishes: Oyster “Potpie” and Crawfish Cakes. But don’t let any of the categorizations hinder you because all of these dishes are perfect for every meal.

One of our favorites is the Spicy Bacon Onion Jam. It’s extra versatile—we put it on everything from biscuits to meat to toast with liver pâté. And because we want you to try it at home, we’ve included the recipe for you right here.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Spicy Bacon Onion Jam

2 cups diced bacon
1 gallon thinly sliced sweet yellow onions
¾ cup thinly sliced garlic cloves
4 cups white wine
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup bourbon
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 bay leaves
½ tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried thyme


In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft and transparent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the vinegar, bourbon, brown sugar, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, red pepper flakes and thyme, stirring to combine. Turn the heat to low and simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pour the jam into jars and refrigerate for up to 8 weeks.

Amanda Gabriele
Amanda Gabriele is a food and travel writer at The Manual and the former senior editor at Supercall. She can’t live without…
What is drip coffee? A complete guide
Coffee drink


Imagine you head into your local diner for Sunday breakfast and order a hot cup of coffee. Soon enough, your server arrives with a delicious cup of warm, freshly brewed coffee. Chances are you're ready to dive in and take that first sip -- not considering how your coffee was brewed. A standard cup of coffee is also known as drip coffee, which simply means it was made by a traditional coffee maker that uses heated water and pressure forced through coffee beans to brew coffee. Learn the details of this method of freshly brewed coffee in our drip coffee guide below — and then check out some of the best drip coffee makers.
What is drip coffee?

Read more
Rum brand Barcardi makes a vinyl record out of sugarcane
It features a track from Camila Cabello's new album
barcadi sugarcane vinyl bacardi camila cabello jpg

As booze-related promos go, this is a strange one, but undeniably kind of neat: Barcardi, the ubiquitous rum brand, has created a limited edition vinyl record made of sugarcane. The single chosen for the vinyl is  "I LUV IT" by Camila Cabello, former member of Fifth Harmony. Cabello hails from Cuba and has worked with Barcadi before, which she describes as the quintessential rum brand.

The sugarcane vinyl is created using repurposed materials and ethically sourced sugarcane, which is broken down to create a bioplastic which can then be formed into a vinyl disk. The process uses low temperatures, which helps to save on energy.

Read more
Hennessy XO debuts a limited edition inspired by famed department store Harrods
Harrods of London is the department store for the well-heeled in London
hennessy xo harrods edition rare cognac boutique at

Premium cognac brand Hennessy is teaming up with equally premium shopping location Harrods of London for the latest release in its travel collection. Inspired by cities around the globe, the Travel the World collection has previously featured iconic imagery from Paris, Hainan, Singapore, Macau, and Hong Kong. And now England's capital will be represented by a special edition inspired by the decor and styling of the classic department store.

Hennessy XO Harrods Edition is a limited editing bottling of the brand's esteemed XO Cognac, with green detailing inspired by the 1920s coffered ceiling at Door 7 of the store. The bottle comes with a leather luggage tag sharing the same design, which you can remove and presumably affix to your suitcase to mark you out as a Harrods enthusiast.

Read more