How This New Yorker Transformed Brunch From a Meal Into a Party

By Sean Santiago |

© Sioux Nesi

For some, New York City brunch is a meal, albeit a particularly boozy one that brings to mind a certain time of day. To others, it’s an institution, a verb that conveys so much more than sustenance. For Saada

 Ahmed, the founder of Everyday People, an enduringly popular party born on the LES, brunch is a way of life. The concept: monthly brunch parties that are open to the public and disseminated via Facebook invite, Instagram and word of mouth. In Ahmed’s hands, brunch the verb has evolved beyond its humble origin in food and drink and now encompasses dancing wildly, texting“Get your ass here now!” compulsively and stepping up your style game—there will be cameras. We caught up with the socialite, currently traveling through Ethiopia and Kenya, to talk about eating, dancing and the necessity of good vibes.

Where did you get the idea for Everyday People?

I came up with the idea while visiting my family in Kenya. [I was inspired by] seeing the different brunch parties in the city and wanted something similar for my friends, but with a different soundtrack—a space for them to eat, dance and be merry in the daytime. I reached out to DJ Moma and chef Roblé and we became a team.

Did you grow up loving to throw parties and bring people together?

I grew up an only child, so I’ve always enjoyed having a lot of friends. Culturally, it is always a pleasure to host guests.

What's one thing everybody should know about throwing a great party?

Good vibes! Bring together people who you know want to have a good time and dance. Make sure the DJ can read the crowd.

Is it your favorite meal?

I really love brunch. I grew up in the South, so I love Southern cooking. My favorites are shrimp and grits and biscuits.

What does a typical food day look like for you?

For breakfast. I always start with hot water with lemon and apple cider vinegar. Depending on how I feel I'll have toast with almond butter and fig jam, or eggs on toast with avocado, or oatmeal with almond butter and fruits.

I’m kind of obsessed with brussels sprouts lately, so I like to eat them caramelized added to a salad or as a side for lunch. Sweet potatoes filled with black beans, corn and avocado! Lately, for dinner, I have been eating out a lot. My favorite go-to's are Thai and Ethiopian food. I am vacationing in Kenya right now and have been eating a lot more traditional Somali, Ethiopian and Kenyan food. My aunt makes a really great biryani and I can't get enough of her homemade date cake.

You've already had some incredible guests at Everyday People brunches, but who would be on your dream guest list?

Oh, this is such a hard question! Dave Chappelle, Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Dalí, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frida Khalo, James Brown.

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