Vegan pancakes, gluten-free waffles, and more breakfast recipes from Helene Henderson’s new cookbook.

Malibu Farm's Helene Henderson

Erin Kunkel

Malibu Farm is one of the most iconic coastal restaurants in Southern California, and the last kind of restaurant Helene Henderson imagined herself running. The Swedish-born private chef turned restaurant empire builder is a self-professed sea-averse, non-swimming lover of the land who’d long dreamed of running a spot in the country—not a café teetering on pilings above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.

After years of running pop-up events and teaching cooking classes out of her Point Dume home, Henderson took over an old diner at the end of the Malibu Pier. Her obsession with fresh ingredients and lean local proteins, and a light touch with breakfast, made that first little restaurant an instant hit—the kind of place you’d see Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece fueling up at after a morning surfing the break by the pier. Over the years—undeterred by wildfires, mudslides, and a pandemic—Henderson created a restaurant franchise that now extends to Lanai, Newport Beach, and other stunning coastal destinations.

In her new book, Malibu Farm Sunrise to Sunset: Simple Recipes All Day (Clarkson Potter, $40), Henderson has compiled the recipes that helped make her restaurant famous, from the vegan chopped salad to the chicken parm from the farm.

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Here we share breakfast recipes from the book that embody so much of what the café is about: seasonal produce minimally but exactingly prepared in dishes that sing with flavor and life. Plus they’re on the healthier end of the scale: The pancakes are vegan, the waffles are gluten-free, and the omelet is as much salad as you’re likely to ever get at breakfast. One and all, the dishes set you up for the day just right.

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