Nespresso Michelin star breakfast by invitation

Nespresso, Swiss based coffee company,  has opened their flagship boutique store in Regent Street, London.  The sumptuous store sells a coffee lifestyle, Nespresso coffee, espresso machines and the art of espresso for coffee machine. Sixteen Premium Blends and a collection of accessories for coffee connoisseurs to enjoy their espresso. The store is very spacious, with beige and light browns and it feels very fluid. It’s a coffee tasting experience and a lifestyle. There’s a tasting area, where customers can taste 16 Grand Cru coffees and learn how to identify distinct notes and aromas.  Recycling zone for club members to drop off their used capsules; Club Room, for Nespresso members; and The Nespresso PickUp, where customers can place an order through the Customer Relationship Centre and collect it two hours later from the boutique.
To celebrate the launch of flagship store Nespresso asked Phil Howard, the Head Chef and co-owner of the two star Michelin restaurant The Square, to create a series of recipes using their quality Grand Cru as part of the ingredients.  A challenge that has been accomplished with the highest of standards.
Coffee feature heavily in the Brazilian diet as all day drink as well in it’s culinary. I was very interested to see and specially sample Phil’s recipes.
Nespresso capsules wall
Phil Howard in the Tasting Area
Roasted granola with coffee, Greek yoghurt and honey – made with pure arabica coffee Dulsao do Brazil served with a espresso. Definitely a morning pick me up!
Crispy smoked Venison Scotch egg with delightful espresso brown sauce
Duck liver parfait with Port, cherry and current chutney and coffee nougatine served with sourdough bread. An explosion of textures!
Winners: Tonka bean crème brûlée with hazelnut oil and coffee & Pave of bitter chocolate with burnt orange and ristretto coffee
Tonka is a South American seed, it can be used instead of vanilla. This ingredient is not available in some countries.
The dishes were very imaginative, intelligent, elegant and carefully crafted. Phil’s done a fabulous job in demonstrating the use of coffee in savoury recipes and deserts.  This event took place at 8am – what a fabulous wake-up call!
Phil Howard’s top ten tips on cooking with coffee:
1.Be open-minded about how to use coffee in your cooking. See coffee as simply another ingredient as opposed to the drink we have come to love! Coffee – like chocolate – is used in cooking in the countries in which it is grown, and with careful use can enhance both savoury and sweet dishes, bringing its magnificent aroma to enhance its heavyweight background flavour.
2. There are two ways to impart the flavour of coffee into dishes. The first, as an espresso or lungo, is the more aggressive and requires strong bold flavours to deal with it. It also mellows with cooking and in doing so helps to bring out key flavours of the other ingredients of the dish. The second is the addition of coffee grounds to the dish which imparts more of an aroma than an intense flavour.
3.  Coffee is most successful in savoury cooking when included in recipes which have inherent sweetness already present in them (like spare ribs) – or where the dish would be served with a sweet accompaniment (like duck liver parfait with a fruity chutney).
4.  Coffees with a touch of Robusta, like Nespresso’s Ristretto Grand Cru, are often intense, with roasted notes. They provide rich cremas, and their strength and richness go well with the texture and flavour profile of desserts with cereal or toasted ingredients, or with granola style dishes.
5.  Coffee can be applied as a simple dressing to both sweet and savoury food and works particularly well with nut oils. A chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and a dressing of espresso and hazelnut oil works fantastically well, alternatively, check out my recipe for Tonka Brûlée with Nespresso Fortissio Lungo (link below).
6.   Coffee works fantastically well with chocolate, but be sure to serve an intense and bitter coffee with a milk chocolate based dessert, or a mellower coffee with a bitter chocolate dish. This allows the pairings to balance and the flavours to sing loud and clear.
7.   Marinate meat that is to be chargrilled with some coffee grounds to achieve a simple and effective aromatic finish. This works particularly well with a sweet relish or sweet curry dressing
8.    Always add the coffee at the beginning of the cooking process rather than the end – this allows it to harmonise with the other flavours it is surrounded by and give the flavours added depth. You can really see how well this works with my recipe for Coffee Glazed Short Rib Of Beef with Creamed Potato and Roasted Carrots.
9.  To appreciate coffee as a more mellow flavour, incorporate it into rich, creamy desserts such as rice pudding or crème brûlée. People quite often enjoy milk in their coffee, and by blending the coffee with the richness of cream, and neutralising bitterness with sugar – a similar taste experience is achieved.
10.  Use coffee as a seasoning in pastry work or desserts by adding small quantities of coffee grounds to biscuit mixes, pastry doughs or cakes.  It doesn’t have to be the dominant flavour if you don’t want it to be. Add it to recipes that have flavours which work well with coffee in the first place – such as those containing nuts, chocolate or orange.
For some coffee recipes click here: Ultimate coffee creations
Hot&Chilli was a guest of Nespresso and Weber Shandwick

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