9 US chefs reveal their secret morning pick-me-up recipes
Chefs keep weird hours. The work is hard and the nights are late. Plus there's the inherent sense of community found both intra- and inter-restaurant. A late night, lots of friends, a sense of relief. But, as we are all too aware, sometimes moonlight pleasure can become early morning pain. Yup, chefs get hangovers, too. The difference is, they know what to whip up to ease the headaches, nausea, and grogginess. Some treatments are good for you, others not-so-much. All of them are purported to work.
1. The Cure: Espresso and Cold Brew
Chef Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Los Angeles, California
"It goes from a shot of espresso to a cup of cold brew—and it has to be in this order. You have to take the shot of espresso, you have to finish the glass of cold brew, and then you have to eat an egg sandwich. Then it's gone. I think it was the amount of caffeine and then the temperature changes that helped me. And then because you're ingesting so much caffeine, you have to have the sandwich to hold it down. It's never ever failed me."
2. The Cure: Sweet Tea
Chef John Ondo of Lana Restaurant and Bar in Charleston, South Carolina
"I'm not a coffee drinker, so sweet tea has always been my morning pick-me-up. If I've been over-served, I've got two ways to get myself back on track: I'll start with an Airborne or an Emergen-C, which will give my immune system a boost with a ton of vitamin C. Then it's onto the sweet tea. After a few glasses, the caffeine helps with the headache and the sugar will give me a shot of energy. If I've really done myself in, I'll resort to a Michelada or Red Eye (beer and Bloody Mary). After two of those, I usually have a rebate buzz and it's naptime: 90 minutes minimum, and two hours maximum."
3. Green Smoothie
Chef Sarah Gavigan of POP Nashville in Nashville, Tennessee
"These days, I rely heavily on the power of caffeine, and I know a green smoothie is going to give me the good stuff I need. I buy concentrated cold filtered coffee and I add it to whatever green smoothie I can make. Cocoa powder and mint make the most delicious and soothing combo."
1 (or 2) shots cold brewed Icebox Coffee
1 handful spinach
1 scoop cocoa powder
1 frozen banana (get banana super ripe, then peel and freeze)
3 to 4 leaves fresh mint
Blend and drink
4. The Cure: The Daywalker
Chef Erik Niel of Easy Bistro & Bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee
"I drink the Daywalker, a non-alcoholic drink made with Mexican Coca-Cola, one shot of espresso, lime juice, and a dash of simple syrup and bitters. It really gets you going after a long night, and the sugar helps with any sort of headache."
5. The Cure: Juice and Squirt soda
Chef Troy Guard of TAG Restaurant Group in Denver, Colorado
"If it's available, I like to juice apple, beets, and kale, and mix it with Squirt. That's my go-to drink. I feel the fresh juices of fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and iron are key, but I also think a little sugar and bubbles help, too."
6. The Cure: Shellfish Broth
Michael Serpa of SELECT Oyster Bar in Boston, Massachusetts
"I swear by shellfish broth with clams, mussels, prawns, maybe a poached egg, and tons of buttered bread to help soak the liquid up."
7. The Cure: Green Goddess Juice
Owner and executive chef Kim Canteenwalla of Andiron Steak & Sea in Las Vegas, Nevada
"I swear by my Green Goodness Juice. It's essentially a salad in a glass: kale, apples, fennel, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger."
½ bunch kale
1 Fuji apple
1 stalk celery, peeled
1 cup parsley
Handful of fennel fronds
1 inch piece of ginger
½ fennel bulb
Juice of 1 lemon
Push all ingredients through a juicer into a pitcher, add lemon juice at end, and serve in a chilled glass.
8. The Cure: Iced Coffee
Jeff Mahin of M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica, California
"After a long night out, a great way to jump start my day is with an iced coffee with three Nuun sports tablets (cola flavor). The coffee gives me a caffeine boost, and the Nuun tablets help replenish electrolytes."
9. The Cure: Harvey Wallbanger
Chef Adam Geringer-Dunn of Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. in Brooklyn, New York
"My go-to is the Harvey Wallbanger from Juice Press. It has cold brewed coffee, banana, almond milk, and agave. I need the caffeine when I'm hungover, and it's not too sweet, easy on the stomach, and the banana really helps."