We sat down with founder of BreakfastClub, Emily Miller who has hosted over 20 BreakfastClubs in cities all over the world. This fall, BreakfastClub is challenging chefs all over the country to turn their dream morning meal into fast food: a main dish, two sides, coffee/tea, and a special prize inside, all with custom take-away packaging in collaboration with artist, Amit Greenberg. Guests are encouraged to stay, eat, and meet new people or grab-and-go. Prepare for amazing food, inspired design, and the sort of good vibes that can only arise when great ideas are flowing.
BreakfastClub is about bringing together the creative community in each city and she’s hosting 3 in Austin this week! Up until now, the events have been invite-only but it’s now open to anyone who would like to contribute to a creative conversation and enjoy a morning meal while meeting new people. Tickets available on tock. Emily will be hosting at La Barbecue on October 10th, Odd Duck on October 11th, and Lenoir on October 12th. We’ll be at Odd Duck on Wednesday, come say hi! Photos by Katie Burton
Can you share a bit about your background.
I went to school for fashion design, which turned into trend forecasting, which turned into writing, mostly about food and design. I started Trends on Trends a few years ago as a way to house all of the creative projects that I work on. It’s turned into a creative agency with a focus on breakfast and morning time rituals. Super niche, I know, but it’s working. I create content and experiential activations for brands, host the BreakfastClub series, and am working on a book with Phaidon about traditional breakfast recipes around the world.
Breakfast is the most real time of day. Conversations are genuine and to the point. BreakfastClub is meant to be a space to facilitate those conversations and connections, breaking the morning fog with caffeine and very good food.
How do you come up with the challenges? For instance, challenging each chef to turn dream breakfast food into fast food?
It’s not so much of a challenge as a way for chefs to take a break from what they typically do. Artists are known for stepping away from their expected style to find a different perspective and inspiration with a new medium. Chefs are no different. When your job is to be creative and cook a certain way, or have a defining style of art, it’s nice to break that barrier and create something just for the fun of it. That’s why I thought the best way to give fine dining chefs a new perspective would be with fast food.
What have you learned from hosting in different cities across the world? Does each event look the same?
I’ve hosted 20 BreakfastClub events around the world. From Mexico City to Lisbon. I feel so lucky to have worked with such incredible chefs, artists, photographers, and met the wonderful guests driving the creative direction of each city. Up until now, the events have been invite-only but I wanted to open it up to anyone who would like to contribute to a creative conversation and enjoy a morning meal while meeting new people. Each city is absolutely unique. The packaging for the fast food concept will stay the same at each event but the timing, size, and way that I approach reaching out to people changes greatly. I’ve found word-of-mouth is the best way to connect people and insure thoughtful conversation at each of the events so I typically start by reaching out to a handful of people that I admire and the word spreads form there.
We love the packaging by artist Amit Greenberg. Was this a collaborative effort or was bringing in an artist always part of your vision?
I always try to bring artful touches to everything that I produce. Seeking out new artists and photographers to collaborate with is one of my favorite parts of the job. I wanted to create BreakfastClub packaging as if I was starting my dream fast food restaurant, and when I met Amit at an art show in Brooklyn, I knew his playful, sometimes suggestive style was just right. He created a world of breakfast characters that can interact and walk right off the table. Each has a personality for guests to create their own storylines, names, and pick favorites. The special prize inside each BreakfastClub bag (inspired by cereal box toys) is a flexible keychain of one of the egg characters so when guests go to grab their keys in the morning they’ll have a silly reminder to be playful and creative.
What do you hope your guests get out of this experience?
I hope when guests leave a BreakfastClub event they feel inspired to take on the day, having met a few new people and perhaps, caught up with some they’ve been meaning to. It’s a no pressure environment filled with positive, creative energy. I feel the best way to connect with people is over a meal, and breakfast is my meal of choice.
Where can our readers find you and learn more about BreakfastClub events?