Brunch is one of my favorite meals, a luxurious treat to enjoy. Huckleberry Café & Bakery is clearly one of L.A.’s brunch champions, and because the establishment from Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan is so popular, finding seats in a timely manner is a challenge on weekends. Fortunately, Santa Monica’s culinary power couple recently teamed with lieutenant Laurel Almerinda on the Huckleberry Cookbook, which makes incredible brunch possible any time.
I was lucky enough to get invited to Josh and Zoe’s rustic Santa Monica home for a small cookbook preview, complete with a short pancake lesson and a knockout family-style brunch. When I arrived, the table, which was seemingly lit by the gods (or possibly skylights) was already filled with photogenic scones, muffins, brioche loaves, cakes and more, which all called for Instagram glory. Yes, the entire meal was very good, but the dish that really knocked me out was a savory Cherry Tomato-Goat Cheese Cobbler, which arrived in a cast iron skillet.
The remarkable cobbler, which centers on gritty biscuits crafted from whole wheat, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and of course sugar and salt, get browned at the bottom and top thanks to the hot skillet and an egg wash. Accompanying cherry tomatoes burst in the oven, contributing bright acidity. Olive oil and springs of thyme added moisture and a savory note, and creamy goat cheese brought a beautiful tang.
This dish, and many others, had media types daydreaming about what it must be like to have brunch on a regular basis at Josh and Zoe’s communal table, Bellini in one hand, fork in the other. With the Huckleberry cookbook, it’s now possible to take the daydream home with you.