When Chef Jason was asked to take part in the international Nespresso Academy, it only made sense. His passion for using quality ingredients straight from the source and building relationships with the growers seamlessly fits with Nespresso’s vision of creating a cup of coffee that can deliver greater value for society and the environment.
So this past September, Chef Jason traveled to Switzerland with seven other top chefs from around the world to embark on a culinary journey encompassing coffee. The goal: to learn about sourcing, grading, and roasting to create the perfect cup of coffee, sustainably. So they traveled to Switzerland for a two full-day training program at the Nespresso Academy.
The chefs began the two full-day program with a master roaster. “He taught us about the process of cupping unroasted green coffee, roasting and blending, as well as barista skills,” explains Jason.
However, it was coffee sommelier training that piqued the interest of the chefs. “We were introduced to the many analogies between coffee and wine, how to taste the coffee, discover its characteristics, and determine where it comes from. But my favourite part came when we explored how the characteristics of each bean paired with cuisine,” says Jason.
The program brought all these chefs together not only to learn about the process but to discuss sustainability as a group on a global level concerning coffee and other ingredients. For years, Nespresso has been striving to answer how a cup of coffee can deliver greater value for society and the environment. In doing so they developed a program to help communities and farmers successfully grow healthy crops. Nespresso also pays three-times the fair-trade standard for the beans in a real effort to sustain and provide for these farmers.
On day-two of their training program, the creativity began and the chefs were brought into the kitchen. They were placed in pairs with the task of creating a dish that accentuated the flavours of a particular coffee bean.
“I was thrilled to join Chef Galen Zamarra from The Lambs Club in the US to craft a dish together,” explains Jason. “We used an India Robusta bean to flavour smoked parsley root and the crema from the espresso to create an Anchoïade.”
The two days in Switzerland was a whirlwind of information but Chef Jason left with a new sense of appreciation to coffee, and perhaps a few new menu ideas.
Now with a recycling program, Nespresso has discovered a new use for their pods by turning them into bicycles, which perhaps one day you may have the opportunity to ride while exploring the trails around Langdon Hall. More on the bicycle story to come later…