Ask A Washington DC Chef: Best Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes

May 8, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

If you really want to treat your mom this year for Mother’s Day, consider making her a delicious brunch and serving it to her at home instead of taking her out. Invite friends and family, and serve mimosas and bloody marys. Not only will she be impressed, but you will also save money. Plus, it is a great way to thank her for all those years she made breakfast, lunch and dinner for you. Here are some great brunch recipes provided by three of the best chefs in DC that will help you make your Mother’s Day brunch a success.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Chef Daniel Evans
539 8th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-5006

For a decadent and delicious treat for your mom, whip up a batch of these sweet, hearty pancakes. Created by Chef Daniel Evans of Capitol Hill’s popular Italian restaurant Lavagna, this sinful breakfast dish made with an Italian twist is bound to please your mom. Too lazy to make them yourself? Head to Lavagna, where Chef Dan will be happy to serve a fresh stack to you, your mom, and whoever else wants to tag along!

Buttermilk Pancakes With Honey Nutella Mascarpone

Ingredients for buttermilk pancakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/4 stick of butter, melted

Ingredients for mascarpone topping:

  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup honey


  1. Combine all of the pancake ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides.
  3. Combine and mix the ingredients for the mascarpone topping ingredients gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula; avoid overworking the cheese.
  4. Dollop on top of hot pancakes.

Related: Best Ways to Celebrate National Pancake Week In Washington DC

Chef Bertrand Chemel
2941 Restaurant
2941 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 270-1515

2941 provides a gorgeous venue for dining, complete with a lakeside view, koi ponds and waterfalls. The cuisine is equally as lovely, featuring modern American cuisine with European influences. Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel will be providing two three-course menus for Mother’s Day, one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian. But for those who want to create their own Mother’s Day brunch, here is a recipe for a vegetarian basquise, perfect as a savory, elegant main course. Serve alongside crusty French bread.

Honey-Glazed Eggplant & Roasted Peppers Basquaise

Ingredients for the basquaise:

  • 6 plum tomatoes
  • 3 red peppers (sweet not hot)
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp of smoked pimento de la verra or smoked sweet paprika
  • 4 stems of basil
  • 2 stems of thyme
  • 8 stems of lemon thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive for the peppers
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized sweet yellow onion (Vidalia in spring)
  • Bundle all the herbs together and tie with butcher’s twine

Directions for the Basquaise:

  1. Bring a quart of water to boil, slice each end of the tomatoes and cook them for 30 seconds in the boiling water, then cool down in an ice bath.
  2. Remove from the ice bath and remove the skin from each tomato.
  3. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds.
  4. Julienne the tomatoes then set them to the side.
  5. Season the red peppers with salt and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  6. Cut the stem off each pepper, remove the seeds, place the peppers in a roasting pan and cook in an oven at 450 degrees F until the skin turns lightly dark. Place the hot peppers in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap (saran wrap). The heat inside the bowl will create some steam which will help to remove the skin off the peppers.
  7. Slice the peppers into long fine slices.
  8. Peel and remove each layer of onion and cut them into fine slices.
  9. In a medium sauté pan, warm up the 1/4 cup of olive oil, add the onion and cook for 10 minutes very slowly.
  10. Add the red peppers, tomatoes, chili flakes, pimento/ smoked sweet paprika, bouquet of herbs and cook for 20 minutes.

Ingredients for the eggplant:

  • 3 long Chinese/Japanese or Italian eggplant
  • 3/4 cup or 5.5 oz pale dry sherry wine
  • 6 stems of rosemary
  • 6 leaves of sage
  • 3 garlic cloves with skin lightly crushed
  • 6 oz honey
  • 3/4 cup olive oil for the eggplant

Directions for the eggplant:

  1. Peel the eggplant, cut them in half the long way and then cut each half eggplant in four equal pieces.
  2. In a large sauté pan, warm up 3/4 cup of olive oil, place the eggplant in the sauté pan and cook them until dark brown on both sides.
  3. Add the honey and cook for 3 minutes on high heat to caramelize the eggplant. Add the crushed garlic, rosemary, sage and deglaze with the sherry wine.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the eggplant until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. The liquid should reduce enough to glaze the eggplant.
  6. Serve the peppers and eggplant together warm or at room temperature.
  7. When dining with non-vegetarian guests, this dish can also be served with grilled lamb chop, halibut, swordfish or on toast.

Chef Kristin Hutter
1720 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-2675

For a sweet ending to your Mother’s Day brunch, make this delicious coffee cake, devised by Diane Gross of local hotspot Cork. With a brunch menu that includes a variety of pastries such as scones, roll and muffins, Gross is an expert in brunch fare and these muffins are no exception. Filled with sweet berries, this treat is sure to impress your mom. The recipe serves six, so you may want to make double.

Individual Berry Buckles

Ingredients for crumb topping mixture:

  • 4 oz butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt

Ingredients for batter:

  • 4 oz butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crumb topping, mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut butter into the flour mix. Chill.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt for two minutes to create the battter. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating.
  4. Sprinkle a thin layer of crumb mix in the bottom of the baking cups.
  5. Fill about 3/4 full with batter.
  6. Push 3 or 4 of each berry into batter.
  7. Put 3 to 4 more berries on top and sprinkle with another layer of crumb mix.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 Related: Best Chocolate Cake In Washington DC

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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