Zac Young shares his festive holiday brunch tips

Zac Young, with a holiday piecaken, photo provided by Goldbelly
Zac Young, with a holiday piecaken, photo provided by Goldbelly /

While the dinnertime feast might come with the pomp and circumstance, the holiday daytime meal might be a little more difficult to plan efficiently. These festive holiday brunch tips from Zac Young will make anyone the master of ceremonies and could require them to be the host for years to come.

A great holiday brunch does require a bit of planning, but it does not have to be totally overwhelming. While it is more than just a box of doughnuts and a pot of coffee, the event does not have to become a multi-course food extravaganza.

While food, beverages, and stunning tablescape set the tone, it really is the conversation, laughter, and togetherness that ensures the event to be a successful one. The host sets the tone from the moment the invitations are sent.

As a celebrated baker, food television host, and entertaining expert, Zac Young has a knack for bringing a sweet celebration to life. While many people dream of slicing into that iconic Piecaken as the end to a delicious meal, a festive holiday brunch is more than just one signature treat.

Zac Young holiday brunch tips
Zac Young, with a holiday Piecaken, photo provided by Goldbelly /

Since preparation needs to be made prior to anyone picking up a plate, Young recommends a grazing table. He said, “For me, brunch is social and informal, not a seated formal affair. I prefer a buffet so people can graze and mingle.” With that sentiment in mind, he prefers to plan out the gathering early. It can be as simple as arranging the table and simplifying the décor.

Young said, “I like to use Post-It notes to mark what everything is going in and where. This also makes it very easy to delegate tasks to the ‘helpful’ guests who arrive early. ‘Here Aunt Vicky, put the ham on the platter marked ham.’”

From there, consider incorporating simple décor around the platters. From ornaments in a vase to ribbon transformed into a table runner, finding items from around the house keeps the expense down and makes it easy.

Since the food is really the star of the festive holiday brunch, Young recommends one signature dish be the star of the grazing table. For example, he recommends his cranberry scones or everything biscuit recipes. When paired with some fruit or even a frittata, it is a balanced meal that will leave everyone satisfied.

Thinking about pairing beverages with the festive holiday brunch, Young recommends either batch cocktails, self-serve mimosa bar, or a Bloody Mary bar. He said, “No one wants to bartend a brunch so batched drinks are your best friend. I suggest a non alcoholic punch, like the one my grandmother made with a cranberry studded frozen ice ring floating in it.”

Also, Young commented that the Bloody Mary bar could become another food station. He said, “A Bloody Mary bar combined with a cheese & charcuterie spread kills two birds with one stone: I like to doctor store bought Bloody Mary mix with a little extra lemon, hot sauce and a splash of pickle juice. Then make a board with various cured meats, cheeses, fancy pickles, and crisp veggies, these can serve as either garnishes or snacks.”

Lastly, to that age old question, what should I bring, Young suggested, “Ask for a bottle of Prosecco or cava, this keeps the drinks stocked without breaking your bank.”

These festive holiday brunch tips can make anyone feel like an expert host. More importantly, it puts the focus back on the important part of the event, enjoying time spent with others.

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