Breakfast with Chef Aaron “Big Daddy” McCargo, Jr.

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By Sanura Weathers

In a recent Culinary Scoop update on Facebook, Publisher Sheree Williams included a request to members of the Cuisine Noir magazine group seeking a New York City food blogger/writer to attend an early morning event on her behalf. Curiously, I inquired and learned that Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., of Food Network’s, “Big Daddy’s House,” was demonstrating breakfast meals on behalf of Aunt Jemima. Of course, I hungrily agreed to attend this sweet a.m. event.

The next rainy morning, several food bloggers, magazine representatives, and guests fought traffic to meet and eat in a rented luxury loft around the Chelsea area. Once seated, we were introduced to Aunt Jemima’s brand ambassadors: Jennifer, Susie, and Charlie. They’re long-time employees who take personal pride in making pancakes and French toasts. They noted that each step of making the pancakes is supervised with care, from watching the mixing of the flours, adding the eggs, monitoring the hot griddle, and packaging pancakes for the freezer. You may have noticed them in Aunt Jemima’s commercials.

Afterwards, Chef McCargo demonstrated his delicious breakfast of Slamming Bananas Foster’s Pancakes, Super Duper Easy Monte Cristo Sandwiches, Buttermilk Pancakes with a Blueberry Compote, and Sundried Tomato, Basil, Bacon, Gruyere Cheese Omelet. All recipes are found in his new book, “Simply Down, Well Done.” While making his omelet, he shared a few tips such as adding lemon juice to prevent the eggs from discoloration. He also shared another tip that was an essential forgotten rule my dad taught me when making omelets; whisking air into the eggs for a fluffier texture. He recommended using an eggbeater if necessary.

It was a pleasure to meet Chef McCargo, Aunt Jemima’s brand ambassadors, and the public relations staff who organized the event. To learn (or be reminded) of a few cooking techniques and to eat a sunny breakfast on a rainy day was a pleasure. I’m also, looking forward to trying a few recipes from Chef McCargo’s new book.  

Photo credit: Sanura Weathers

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