I had the exquisite opportunity to interview the beautiful and talented, Elaina Vazquez, owner and culinary style director of Boutique Bites, a delicious catering and events company in Chicago. Read on for Elaina’s unique take on creating chic breakfast experiences, her favorite places to ‘breakfast’ in The Chi and how she looks so flawless in the morning.
As a fashionable entrepreneur, what’s your definition of effortless morning style?
For me, effortless morning style is throwing on what I like to call my “uniform”. You will typically find me in skinny jeans or black pants, a tshirt of some sort, a blazer, and heels. I own lots of blazers in white, yellow, gray, black, tweed, etc. This is my most comfortable yet stylish, go-to outfit.
What are some deliciously easy weekday and weekend breakfast options?
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I usually like to keep it pretty light during the week. I love a small fruit parfait with vanilla-honey yogurt and coconut-almond granola with fresh berries. We serve these in mini mason jars. I also like to make maple and brown sugar oatmeal topped with cinnamon. And I’m pretty obsessed with poached eggs. On the weekends I like to make huevos rancheros with a poached egg and corn tortillas for dipping. Breaking the yolk is my favorite part.
As a bride-to-be **congratulations**, are you implementing any celebratory breakfast catering in route to your big day?
Thank you! And yes I am. My company will be making all of the mini bites for my wedding and this includes the late night snacks. Mini bacon, egg & cheese biscuit bites are definitely on the menu. Who doesn’t love late night breakfast bites?
What is the most favored dish on your breakfast catering menu?
Our ‘Scrambled Eggs in a Bacon Cup’ are always a big hit at events. We finish the eggs with crème fraiche and chives. The bacon cup is crispy and the eggs are light and fluffy; it’s a delicious combination. We also make a really cool ‘Bloody Mary Pipette’, our take on a bloody mary – which happens to be my favorite drink ever. We fill a pipette with spicy bloody mary mix and serve it with a lime & chile-de-arbol marinated shrimp. You eat the shrimp and squeeze the bloody mary into your mouth. It’s interactive, adorable, and delicious.
What is your idea of a luxurious breakfast or brunch?
I love incorporating ingredients like truffles and caviar into my breakfast. Our ‘Caviar Egg Cups’ are the epitome of luxury. We serve them in hollowed out eggs with a demitasse spoon. I also love Champagne Bellinis with fruit puree and fresh fruit. What a wonderful way to start the day!
Any fun food ideas for a romantic breakfast-in-bed tray?
Breakfast in bed is a girl’s best friend. My favorite is when my fiancé brings me a tray of assorted caviar with blinis (mini “pancakes”) in bed. Caviar is my serious guilty pleasure. I could eat it everyday. He separates the garnishes of chives, crème fraiche, egg white, and egg yolk into little bowls. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it makes me very happy. He’s also a chef, so Sunday is our day to relax. We typically start our Sundays with a glass of champagne too.
What do you think makes breakfast time so fashionable and girly?
Breakfast is so fashionable and girly because you can make it really light and beautiful. We cater so many breakfast and brunch events and the wow factor is always the size of the food. They are like little jewels. In fact, we serve ‘Champagne with Strawberry Pearls’ in mini coupe glasses at many of our parties. The “pearls” are tiny parisienne scooped strawberries, but look like little red pearls in your glass. Our pancakes and french toast are miniaturized and served with berries and small sides of maple syrup. We make biscuit bites with sunny-side-up quail eggs, and mini potato pancakes with smoked salmon. It’s all about the presentation, and breakfast lends itself very well to fashionable food styling.
Where do you like to ‘breakfast’ in Chicago and beyond? How do you make a style statement at these locales?
My fiancé and I love going out for brunch on Sundays. A few of my favorites in Chicago are Hub 51, NoMI, GT Fish & Oyster, and Nuevo Leon. The great thing about dressing for brunch is that less is more. I’m typically dressed up the night before, so I usually opt for cool comfort in the mornings. During the spring and summer this includes a light dress of some sort, jewelry, and wedge sandals. I grab my favorite Chanel sunglasses and I’m ready to go.
Any morning guilty pleasures you’d like to share?
Reality TV! On days when I just want to relax, I often start my day with a dvr’d episode of The Real Housewives. Nothing like watching rich women in the morning to get your day going.