Anyone who "works hard, plays hard" knows how difficult recovering from a night of debauchery can be. While hangover remedies for normal folk often involve Advil, Gatorade, and greasy AF takeout food, talented chefs have the ability to whip up everything and anything that suits their palates and tames their tummies (and eases that annoying headache…) So, what do they opt for? Homemade meals, or something else?
We found seven culinary masterminds to share their cures for the morning after a fun night out on the town–specifically, what they’re eating to make the world stop spinning. From sandwiches to stews, here’s what chefs are consuming to end their most awful hangovers ASAP.
1. Breakfast Burritos or Homemade Breakfast Tacos
“My favorite breakfast burrito comes from A’s Burger in Dana Point, CA. It’s filled with a perfectly cooked egg omelet, crispy hash browns, cheddar cheese, and the protein of your choice–go bacon–served with their salsa fresca, which is always fresh, cold, and just the right amount of spice to cut the richness of the burrito and make you feel slightly better about yourself. Tomato salsa counts as a vegetable, right? It’s filling and flavorful yet also simple, which is what my stomach needs after a big night of drinking. Nowadays, a big night of drinking for me generally means that I went out on a date with my fiancé, and we had Manhattans at the bar followed by a bottle of wine at dinner. The older I get, the easier it is to get a hangover, and sometimes going out for breakfast burritos isn’t doable or wise, so I frequently make breakfast tacos at home with scrambled eggs, corn tortillas, cheese, and whatever hot sauce, salsa, and protein I have on hand. Sometimes it’s leftovers from dinner the night before, sometimes it’s whatever cured meat I have in my cheese drawer, or if it’s a day like New Year’s Day, when I can anticipate a hangover, I’ll plan my favorite: chorizo, potato, and eggs. Either way, the carbs, spice, cheese, and greasy meat are exactly what I need to soak up all of the alcohol that is still lingering in my body.” – Katy Smith, Creative Chef at Puesto in Irvine, CA
2. Hangover Stew
“While living in Santa Fe, I learned about hangover stew from The Pink Adobe restaurant. It’s pork or beef stew with spicy green Hatch chile, potato, cilantro, and a rich broth. This light and brothy stew is the perfect warrior to battle a hangover. It has spicy roasted chiles and chicken broth, as well as Vitamin C from the lime juice added when serving. Not only does it help you sweat out that hangover, but it warms the soul.” – Bruce Kalman, Chef and Owner of UNION and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market in Los Angeles, CA
Photo courtesy of Bruce Kalman
3. The Loco Moco: A Pile of Rice, Hamburger Steak, and Etouffée Gravy
“It’s a traditional Hawaiian dish. I would eat it sober if it was my only meal of the day. It sticks to your ribs. I started eating it back in the '80s at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Now we do a version of the classic at Party Fowl every Saturday and Sunday during brunch that’s made with Nashville hot chicken, Louisiana dirty rice, smothered in gravy, and topped with two eggs.” – Bart Pickens, Executive Chef at Party Fowl in Nashville, TN
Photo Credit: Tara Thompson
4. Beef Pho
”There is this place in Sacramento: Pho Saigon. I can walk in with my shades on. Curling into the corner, where I wish to shrivel up and/or manifest strength to survive/order my food, I order my bowl of noodles and fried spring rolls and live for about 20 minutes inside of this hazy cloud of umami. It rejuvenates me, helps me reflect–mostly on what I did, didn't do, need to do–and gets me back on my feet. It gets my nose running from the heat and chili, and fills me up. I then make a very conscious decision to either go back for nappy time or step up for the day. Usually the latter.” – Matt Masera, Executive Chef at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company in Sacramento, CA
Photo courtesy of Matt Masera
5. Pancake-Battered Thick Cut Bacon
“The greatest hangover food is a piece of crispy, thickly sliced bacon dipped in pancake batter, cooked, and served with warm maple syrup for dipping. It's super easy and super satisfying. It's like a home version of the McGriddle.” – Chad Brauze, Chef de Cuisine at Bevy in Manhattan, NY
Photo Credit: Park Hyatt New York
6. Chinese Food
“The best hangover food is definitely Chinese food. Leftover and reheated is fine, leftover and cold is fine too, and if you can manage a train ride, then fresh works as well. Wontons in red oil, cold tripe and tendon salad laced with Sichuan peppercorns and red oil is a must. Laziji, if you can stand the heat. Pickled cabbage, Zha jiang mian: really, you can’t go wrong. Just stay hydrated and you'll be good in an hour or two.” – Kevin Adey, Chef and Owner of Faro in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
Photo courtesy of Kevin Adey
7. Cuban Sandwich
“Cafe Habana's Cuban Sandwich [in New York City]. It's of course carb heavy, meaty, and cheesy, and all those amazing things you need and want after a couple, or more, beers. It's jammed with flavor. It became my go-to spot when in town. I am a fairly simple guy to please when it comes to drinks: good beer, ice cold, or an interesting cocktail. Always a few drinks in, this dish hits the spot. [They] also [have] locations in Brooklyn, Malibu, and Tokyo.” – Luke Thomas, Chef and Founder of Retro Feasts in Dubai, and a new flagship location in Shoreditch, London this September
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