Whether it's a Sunday game day viewing party or simply a gathering of your squad, it's easy to throw an amazing and memorable brunch party if you know how.
Lifestyle consultant and chef Amaris Jones loves hosting friends for brunch. Jones, who has served as personal chef and event manager for celebrities like Rick Ross and Chris and Adrienne Bosh, knows her way around a soiree.
Jones, who owns Chick'N Jones at Time Out Market (1601 Drexel Ave., Miami Beach), is preparing some of her favorite bites for the upcoming New Times' Out to Brunch celebration on Saturday, September 24.
She shared some of her own personal tips to host a memorable brunch that will wow your friends without breaking the bank.
Drink UpJones loves to welcome her guests with sparkling sangria as a signature cocktail. "In a pitcher, mix orange juice, some punch, fresh fruit, and mint leaves. You can pre-mix everything, then top with sparkling wine or champagne right before the guests arrive," she says. Jones also likes to offer a pitcher of cold brew coffee, adding some vanilla syrup or cinnamon sticks for a bit of flavor. Make sure to offer both cream and alternative plant-based milk for your guests.
Make a Brunch Charcuterie Board"Charcuterie boards are so popular and they're really easy to make," says Jones. Start with a large wooden board (Jones suggests shopping at Amazon or Michael's for budget-friendly wooden boards), then create your own board with mini muffins and croissants purchased from the store, hard-boiled egg halves, jams, fruit, waffles, and cheese. "They're fun, they're easy, and everyone loves them," Jones says. She suggests using the brunch board as your table centerpiece. If you need inspiration on how to design your board, Jones suggests looking to Pinterest.
Don't Forget FidoA dog lover herself, Jones reminds everyone to not forget their furry friends. "If you're having a dog-friendly brunch, make them their own little snack board with doggie biscuits, treats, and some cheese. You gotta include the pups," she adds.
Skip the Kitchen DramaNot everyone is a born chef, so if you'd rather be enjoying brunch with your friends than making a mess in the kitchen, order food from your favorite restaurant. "Pick it up, take it out of the bag, and arrange everything on pretty platters," says Jones, adding that chicken from Chick'N Jones happens to be a particular brunch favorite. Jones recommends popping the chicken in the oven or air fryer for five minutes to make sure it's warm and crispy for your guests. "Put the sauces in pretty ramekins for dipping," suggests the restaurateur and chef.
Set the Table — and the MoodJones likes to set the table the night before. "I like using some beautiful mismatched plates. Pull things together that you have in your house, like candles or napkin holders," she suggests. If you want to forego cleanup, Jones recommends eco-friendly bamboo plates and cutlery. You can get some flowers from the supermarket and place them in small vases around the room. As a personal touch, Jones likes to write out personalized place cards. Just before the guests arrive, add your brunch board as your centerpiece, put your sangria and cold brew on a side table, and get ready to enjoy a delicious brunch with your friends.
If you love brunch as much as Amaris Jones, make sure to join her at New Times' Out to Brunch, where she will be serving up favorites from her Chick'N Jones menu, along with other favorite Miami restaurants.
General admission tickets for Out to Brunch cost $50 and include entry into the event at 1 p.m., unlimited brunch samples from participating restaurants, music, entertainment, and complimentary beer and brunch cocktails.
But grab your friends and purchase a Brunch Squad four-pack for $150 and pay only $37.50 each. That's a $50 collective saving!
VIP admission costs $80 and includes early entry into the event at noon, unlimited drinks and bites, and access to an exclusive VIP lounge area with live entertainment, a build-your-own bloody mary bar, and food from VIP-only restaurants. VIP ticket holders also will receive a commemorative gift.
New Times' Out to Brunch. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 24, at Regatta Park, 3500 Pan American Dr., Miami; newtimesouttobrunch.com. Tickets cost $40 to $70 via etix.com.