bacon and potatoes brunch

The Best Brunch Experience: The Potluck Brunch

Last Updated on April 24, 2020

The very concept of brunch oozes comfort and indulgence—after sleeping in, you get to dress casually and go somewhere to eat a combination of all the best sweet and savory dishes.

For me, nothing beats a brunch that someone hosts at home. This past summer a good friend decided to have an impromptu potluck brunch where everyone contributed a favorite dish that was an expression of who they are. In the span of 24 hours, my friend managed to bring together 20 of his closest friends and display the largest brunch buffet I’d ever seen.

The Brunch Spread

I’m considered the “egg master” in my family, so I normally like to contribute scrambled eggs to a potluck. However, my friend informed me that he has another friend whom he considers the egg expert, and this person would be making scrambled eggs for everyone. I shrugged, and simply thought “Okay, sir—let’s see whose eggs reign supreme.”

Instead of eggs, I brought breakfast sausage from a local farm, formed them into patties, and pan-seared them until they achieved a deep brown, crispy crust. I value knowing where the meat I’m cooking with comes from and how the animals are raised. This sausage holds far more complexity of flavor than other supermarket brands.


The host contributed his famous buckwheat pancakes while other friends brought dishes like vegan cinnamon doughnuts, fruit salad, Jamaican rice and peas with fried fish, and…the scrambled eggs, which were, in fact, on par (fluffy and silky).

The Breakfast Drinks

Offering homemade beverages is always a caring, hospitable touch. My friend made cold brew coffee and iced tea and provided a mimosa station with orange juice and champagne so that people could make drinks to the strengths they fancied.

The Atmosphere

Potluck brunches are endearing because they’re perfect in their imperfections. We all worked together to find enough plates, glasses, and silverware for everyone to use. Many sat close together on the floor in little circles to cultivate lively conversation. No formal table settings, not enough seats…but everyone was happy as can be.

Set the Ambiance with a Potluck Brunch Playlist

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Kristina DeMichele is the Digital Content Strategist at Harvard Magazine. She is also a freelance copyeditor who has worked for America's Test Kitchen as the Senior Content Editor of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.