Book review: First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman

  • Title and author:  First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman
  • Publisher:  TouchWood Editions
  • Date:  October 24, 2017
  • Pages:  304 pages
  • Genre:  Cookbook |  Food & Wine | local culture


A carefully curated collection of recipes from Victoria, BC, the brunch capital of Canada.

It’s the weekend in picturesque Victoria, and whether you’re planning on enjoying a scenic seaside hike or indulging in some window shopping, we all have priorities: First, we brunch.

This exquisitely photographed cookbook showcases more than 60 recipes from the city’s most beloved mid-morning eateries. Food writer and photographer Rebecca Wellman introduces us to the people and stories behind the capital city’s diners, bistros, cafés, coffee shops, bakeries, and more. Get the inside scoop on iconic diners such as Floyd’s and newer hot spots like Jam, Agrius, Be Love, and Nourish.

For the visitor, this cookbook is a simple, trustworthy guidebook to Victoria’s best eats, and a fabulous gift to take home to friends and family. Whether you’re after a quick, budget brunch, a hearty vegan breakfast, or a much-needed hangover cure, Wellman helps you choose the ideal mid-morning eatery. And if you’re a Victorian local, you’ll love the resources for finding the freshest ingredients so you can whip up a terrific brunch at home. This stylish, image-rich collection of recipes and stories is the ultimate guide to Canada’s brunch capital, and offers yet another delicious way to celebrate the city’s thriving food culture.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rebecca Wellman has always had a strong love for all things culinary. Over the past decade, she has contributed her food and lifestyle photography to many print publications including Victoria’s EAT magazine and the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook (Penguin Random House, 2016), and has worked as a stills photographer on set with The Food Network. She continues to write, create, cook, style, shoot and enjoy all the West Coast has to offer. Find out more at




I had just discovered Demitasse,  a little gem of a coffee shop in Oak Bay, Victoria.  While paying for my pecan square and cappuccino, I noticed an attractive cookbook next to the cash.  I immediately recognized that this is a book I had to have.  You see, I lived in Montreal (the foodie capital of North America) for many years.  It was taking me a while to adapt to western Canadian cuisine and culture.  It is very difficult to find a coffee shop or restaurant (other than a chain restaurant or pub) open after 5:00 in the city, so I was a little depressed.

Hmmm, there had to be a way to discover the best that Victoria had to offer. So I started walking.  and walking.  Guess what?  There is a fabulous brunch culture in Victoria!  Local chefs have combined fresh, organic ingredients and unusual combinations that will knock your socks off.

Rebecca Wellman’s book, “First, We Brunch” is a companion guide to the good brunch life here in the city.  I had already visited several of the local restaurants and was pleasantly surprised to learn that little restaurants I would walk by fairly frequently also had brunch menus.

The book begins with a quote:  “In Victoria, BC, we have priorities.  First, we brunch”.  Rebecca’s motto “I’m a simple woman.  I like handsome, bearded men and breakfast food” had me from the first page.  The book showcases several local breakfast institutions along with some pretty amazing photographs of dishes they serve.  Did you know that Rebecca is a talented photographer in her own right?  Yep.  I love a great photo book and Rebecca’s images make you want to put the book under your arm and run out for a “Dark Ale Caramel Toast with Espresso Whip” (the picture on the cover).

You can find a few recipes of some of your favourite dishes in the book as well farms and business where you can source local, fresh ingredients.  Maps of Victoria can be found on the inside of both the front and back covers.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, she has included a chart to make your selection easier:I’m looking forward to all sorts of new discoveries this winter! 😀