Jeffrey Mauro is the king of Chicago’s brunch scene. Here’s how much care Mauro puts into his beloved French toast: He dips thick brioche slices in a vanilla-and-malt-spiked custard before cooking them sous vide, which helps the custard penetrate every bit of the bread. Just before serving, he caramelizes the bread in a hot pan, then serves it with marinated fruit; sweet, citrus-flavored whipped cream; and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns. For a savory highlight, try the pork-shoulder-and-egg sandwich with ricotta salata and plum preserves.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.