For Joy Wilson, Brunch isn't a meal—it's a celebration. When she's not whipping up sugary Drake lyrics on frosted baked goods for her mega-popular Instagram pet project, Drake on Cake, she's serving savory and sweet recipes in New Orleans, as seen in her new cookbook Over Easy, which she'll read and sign at Blue Willow Bookshop on April 6. Inspired by her love for the leisurely weekend pace of the Big Easy, Joy's "brunch" is not just a window of time between lunch and dinner that usually involves long lines and painstaking logistics. It's an art form; an all-encompassing occasion to revel in the moment with friends, food and cocktails without checking the clock.
Here, get whisked away by the delightful baker and learn her fail-proof brunch dish, the first thing she ever baked and when her sweet tooth for one particular Canadian rapper started.
"My parents where early health food nuts in California, which is a nightmare if you're a small child who just wants to eat Oreos," Wilson laughs. "So the first thing I remember baking was chocolate fudge brownies with my sister when I was around 9 because my parents had unsweetened blocks of chocolate in the house. That was the only way we could eat sweets that weren't carrots—to bake them."
"It's a lazy, leisurely time for myself or a large group of friends. I'm super particularly about brunch—no one should stand in line for it. I think of it as this leisurely meal, usually on the weekends, that starts around lunch and spills over into a happy hour. I really love to have people over on the weekends. While I am a night owl, I love to entertain during the day, so brunch has always been my sweet spot."
Cooking in the Crescent City
"I've lived in New Orleans for 3 1/2 years and I love the city. I would visit several times a year before I decided to move here. I wanted to experience New Orleans as a resident, not just as a visitor. So I took the plunge. Over Easy is a nod to New Orleans. The lifestyle here is undeniable in its willingness to celebrate everything, everyday. That's the book's New Orleans influence—we're celebrating the weekend and we're doing it with bounty, all day."
Fail-Proof Recipe from Over Easy
"The Skillet Hash or the Shakshuka, which is a baked egg dish [made in a sizzling skillet with spiced tomatoes and poached eggs]. When a whole dish comes together in one pan, like these two recipes, it's easier and makes you feel successful and confident in the kitchen."
Drake on Cake. Discuss.
"I like Drake. I think that he's clever, funny and great at what he does. He just speaks to us, like a poet!" she laughs. "Also, his name rhymes with cake, which comes in handy for a baker. So I thought it would be silly and unexpected to mix the two things. I put it on Instagram because it felt less serious; it could just be what it was: Drake on cake."