Breakfast with Phil Howard at Nespresso

Union Jack
Regent Street Boutique
I was recently invited to enjoy breakfast at the new flagship Nespresso store, to be prepared for us by Michelin star chef Phil Howard. I accepted with pleasure: I had watched Phil in this year’s Great British Menu and I was excited at the opportunity to meet him in person. On the other hand, being a traditional Neapolitan I do not have a Nespresso machine, preferring the more old fashion moka, but since plenty of my friends swear by Nespresso. The brand is very well known and has revolutionised the way people drink coffee at home so I was curious to try it.
 
Plating up
Phil at work
The venue is really elegant and I am glad to have seen it shiny and new and without crowds. Loads of Nespresso machines (there are so many types!), a recycling scheme for pods in the main area, and a nice round ‘expert’ bar in the middle of the area. The bar is where a coffee expert will provide advice to customers, and this is also where we were invited to take our seats. With us,  the Managing Director of Nespresso UK, introducing the event and the Nespresso UK store opening.

Phil and The Square Head Chef Robert Weston took position at the ‘bar’ – Phil was really honest and frank, and told us how much he enjoys such occasions where he can have direct contact with the public, rather than being tucked away in the kitchen. I found his words inspiring, particularly when he explained about the ‘challenge’ Nespresso had given him – to cook savoury dishes with coffee. 

GranolaDespite coming from a coffee drinking family and despite my first job in the UK being in the coffee industry, I am not an expert, nor have I ever cooked with coffee so it was interesting to hear Phil’s views on how coffee works with particular meats for example. Having recently experimented with coffee myself (making soap), Phil’s words were definitely of interest.

The first dish we tried, with a very good gran cru espresso, was a really delicious granola with fresh yogurt and honey. The granola had been flavoured with coffee grounds, which gave a delicate aroma and texture.

This was followed by my favourite dish of the morning – a perfectly balanced scotch egg with brown sauce. Phil explained he had mixed smoked venison meat with the usual sausage meat. As I only recently became a Scotch Egg fan, I was keen to try this – it proved to be a very good one!

Scotch Egg
The scotch egg and brown sauce

The brown sauce Phil had made using coffee was deep, rich and very flavoursome. He had used Arpeggio espresso, thanks to its roast which gives it woody and cocoa notes. If there is one thing I will try to recreate out of this event, it will definitely be the brown sauce. There is even a video to help out.

After the egg, another very rich dish – which I totally indulged in as I do no usually eat liver (yet it seems to becoming a habit!). Duck liver parfait with cherry chutney and salted, coffee peanuts. The peanuts was a stroke of genius, as their saltiness went hand in hand with the creamy parfait and the sweet cherries, while yet again the coffee was more of a hint, completing the whole dish. 


I still had room for the final course… or just about. What was one the best creme brulee I have ever had (with tonka beans) and a chocolate and coffee pave, accompanied by a black coffee (Roma). We ended the breakfast in style.


I thoroughly enjoyed the morning. The chance to meet Phil and chat to him was one to be cherished. The food we tried was absolutely fantastic, the surrounding very smart and learning more about Nespresso and how to use coffee in cooking was a great opportunity.


Thank you Weber Shandwick and Nespresso for inviting me to such a special event.

Creme brulee
Creme brulee

Another post on this event is by my fellow blogger Hot & Chilli

2 Comments

  1. Online espresso capsules

    Looks like a lovely breakfast indeed!

    Reply
    1. Pasta Bites

      Indeed it was great

      Reply

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