What Successful Men Eat For Breakfast
From left: Messrs Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman, 1964. Photograph by Mr Terry O’Neill/REX Shutterstock
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper,” runs the old saying, and it is one that many of the world’s most successful men, on the evidence below, have taken to heart. It seems that the road to greatness is lined with early morning chow-downs comprising everything from coffee and cucumbers to the occasional Class A drug. Rise – and shine!
Mr Jack Dorsey
Two hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with soy sauce
Mr Elvis Presley
The “Elvis Sandwich”
Mr Elvis Presley eating a sandwich, Memphis, 1958. Photograph by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Mr Kevin Bacon
A Blast sandwich
Nominative determinism seems to play its part in Mr Kevin Bacon’s breakfast choice of a Blast sandwich – bacon, lettuce, avocado, salmon, tomato – occasionally augmented to a Blast Off with the addition of olives, feta, and focaccia, after all of which, to reference two of Mr Bacon’s myriad movies, it might be less a case of Footloose and more of Tremors.
Mr WH Auden
Benzedrine and a crossword
Mr WH Auden in his house in Kirchstetten, Austria, 1959. Photograph by Imagno/Getty Images
What inspired Mr Auden to poetic heights such as “Funeral Blues” and “The Fall Of Rome”? How did he ensure that the Muse descended on him every morning? He apparently rose shortly after 6.00am, made coffee, grappled with The Times crossword – and took a dose of Benzedrine, after which the stanzas came thick and (super) fast.
Mr Vladimir Putin
Cottage cheese, omelette aux fine herbes or porridge, quail’s eggs
Mr Vladimir Putin amps up his icy Bond-villain image with an exquisite, if rather large, daily breakfast, which he washes down with freshly harvested orphan’s tears – sorry, that should have read “freshly squeezed fruit juice”. Though, as he tends not to surface from his underground lair before noon, it’s technically a KGBrunch.
Mr Keith Richards
Mr Keith Richards, London restaurant, 1964. Photograph by Mr Terry O'Neill/REX Shutterstock
For the majority of people, the idea of a joint for breakfast would be somewhat hardcore; for Mr Keith Richards, it’s positively lightweight. Yes, the 73-year-old enjoys an early morning toke, “strictly Californian” (MR PORTER thinks he means in the medicinal, rather than provenance sense), but there was a time when his “full English” consisted of a heroin/cocaine cocktail.
Mr Bear Grylls
Frozen cucumber, broccoli, lemon and ginger smoothie
When he’s not improvising breakfast delicacies in the wild – sautéed woodlice, say, washed down with beech sap – the adventurer favours this typically vigorous, if blender-unfriendly smoothie. And no, we don’t think he’s taking the pith. (Sorry.)
Mr Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Chicken legs with sour cream and potatoes
Mr Mozart’s morning repast was as prodigious as his talent; before knocking out “Eine kleine Nachtmuzik” or a piano sonata, he would sit down to half a capon with fried onions, garlic and smoked paprika, served with potatoes and sour cream. Maybe that was why 18th-century critics were wont to dismiss his masterworks as “overloaded and overstuffed”?
Mr Lucian Freud
Milky earl grey, pains au raisin, nougat
Mr Lucian Freud with his mother Lucie at the Sagne Coffee Shop on Marylebone High Street, London, circa 1980. Photograph by Mr David Montgomery/Getty Images
The artist was a creature of jentacular habit, attending the same restaurant for breakfast – Clarke’s, in Kensington – for 15 years, sitting at the same table, and ordering the same things: an excessively milky earl grey tea, pains au raisin or porridge, and a bar of nougat, to appease his famously sweet tooth.
Mr Fergus Henderson
Espresso, Fernet Branca, and a cigarette
The founder of St John, bon vivant and all-round good egg opts for a breakfast as deleterious as it is collegiate: an espresso, a glass of Fernet Branca, and a cigarette. “It fires up the engine, and improves the humours,” he says. It also fortifies his system for his daily elevenses; another glass of Fernet Branca, and a piece of seed cake.