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Raleigh chef is spicing up brunch with Eggcellent

Need to change up your usual brunch routine? Check out chef Jay Ross’s Eggcellent pop-up brunches for a unique takes on breakfasts favs.

A plate of three eggs florentine

Eggcellent is cooking up distinctive flavors, like this eggs benedict florentine.

Photo provided by Jay Ross

Chef Jay Ross, owner of Saltie Pepper Hospitality, is serving brunch through a new venture called Eggcellent throughout Raleigh. Eggcellent is a pop-up brunchery hosting events at local spots and serving inventive takes on breakfast and brunch staples.

We spoke with Jay and got to the nitty grits-y of his unique business and culinary style.

Expect interesting flavor combos like Japanese-inspired bacon, french toast BLTs, pistachio parfaits, and steak + eggs with shishito chimichurri.

Before Jay was whipping things up in the kitchen, he watched his parents cook and joined in. When college and adulthood arrived, he began to hone his skills before starting in the industry in his hometown of Wilson, NC. Jay moved to the City of Oaks in 2015.

“I ended up staying on the front side of things when I started working in the industry, but I would always look over the shoulders of whatever chef I was working with at the time and try to learn from them and ask them a bunch of questions,” Jay told RALtoday.

A bowl of parfait with granola and fruit.

Jay is cooking up some serious flavor at his brunch pop-ups.

Photo provided by Jay Ross

Then Jay founded Saltie Pepper, a holding company for a variety of ideas, including Eggcellent. The name Saltie Pepper comes from a precursor band to Earth, Wind & Fire called the Salty Peppers. Jay grew up on Earth, Wind & Fire and liked the connection to cooking with the elements in the kitchen.

Jay is inspired by other Raleigh chefs, like Oscar Diaz from Cortez, Scott Crawford of Crawford and Son, and Stanbury‘s Drew Maykuth.

Eggcellent and Saltie Pepper may move to a to a brick-and-mortar location someday, but for now, head to Jay’s pop-ups for an unforgettable gourmet brunch.

Jay and his breakfast sandwiches can be found every Friday at Pine State Coffee, and keep an eye on Saltie Pepper’s Instagram to find Eggcellent brunches throughout the week.

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