It's not every morning a renowned bioethicist asks you if you’d prefer to sit indoors or out, or freshens your water glass. But that’s what happens when Zeke Emanuel decides to cook breakfast at a pop-up restaurant in Washington D.C. for four days over two weekends. The impromptu venture, devised seemingly on a whim, and with all proceeds going to charity, came together after friends heard Emanuel complaining about the lack of good breakfast options in D.C. and challenged him to do better. But like most breakfasts, it’s a family affair: By the time the fourth and last meal is over next Sunday, each of Emanuel's three daughters, and at least one nephew and niece, will have helped source ingredients, greet guests, and clear tables.
Nearly all of Emanuel’s pop-up breakfast venture, in fact, was true to the dinners he hosts at home, from the ingredients obtained from his favorite purveyors at the Dupont Circle farmer's market to the simple and direct flavors in the dishes he made—French toast, pancakes and waffles, omelets, fruit salad with granola and yogurt, hash browns, and breakfast sausage, with some slightly fancified additions including quail eggs with quinoa and grated tomato.
Emanuel’s palate, like most people’s, was cultivated by family, curiosity, and cultural background. Breakfast is a meal he says he believes in as part of family life: His grandfather, a “food-delivery guy,” served him and his brothers breakfast from scratch every day, and that’s what he serves his three daughters. He hosts breakfast as often as he does dinners and stands at the waffle iron conversing till guests have finished every quarter.