If you hang around on Instagram much, you've probably seen the excellent Symmetry Breakfast account. Run by Michael Zee, who makes breakfasts for his partner Mark, @symmetrybreakfast is full of beautiful photos of two perfectly plated breakfasts side by side, with inspiration collected from around the world. That was about as much as I knew, when I picked up the Symmetry Breakfast cookbook a few weeks back; it had been on my wish list and was reduced on Amazon (I know, I know, Amazon is the devil) so I decided to treat myself and see if I could find some new brunch dishes to cook up in my new kitchen. Side note: how long will I refer to my kitchen as my new kitchen? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
With big glossy photos, stuffed full of interesting recipes for breakfasts from around the world, this is a beautiful cookbook. But it is also so much more than that. It's a love letter, to Mark (the dedication in the front will make you cry), and also to food itself. Food is so much more than calories and nutrients, or even than flavours and textures and colours. It is nourishment for the body and soul, and this book will help you see breakfast in a whole new light. Not just as the most boring meal (for me) in the day, but as an opportunity for joy and connection.
Michael woke up at 5am so that he could cook for Mark; the mornings were the only time they could spend together due to their other commitments, so he not only made these beautiful breakfasts for Instagram, but also for his partner. Food cooked with love is the greatest joy of all, and I do think you can tell the difference. This book, more than anything, was a reminder that any mealtime can be a chance to show that love to someone, and that it's worth taking a bit of effort and care over. My symmetry breakfast is definitely not symmetrical (!) but it does, hopefully, embody some of the spirit of this book. I'm inspired to take the time over meals which feel like maybe they don't matter in the grand scheme of things, because if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.