Saturday I was invited to go to the Electrolux Foodpairing workshop . What Foodpairing does, is looking at every ingredient separately from a more scientific point of view. They will see which product would go with which other product, based on matching molecules… From all these matching ingredients they make a graphical overview, where they separated the branches of the tree per category (dairy, meat, herbs, etc…). At this workshop the main ingredient was Jacqmotte Coffee.
The graphic works as follow: in the middle you will have the main ingredient and this product will match with all the surrounding products. The ones that are closer to the main product (in this case the Goudzacht coffee) are a better match then the ones further away… obviously this is just a small part of the tree. The tricky parts for Chefs would in this case of course be to find the right dozing needed to make the combination work at its best. Did you know that 80% aromas we perceive are actually determined by our nose? I discovered this for myself through the following test. Bernard Lahousse from Foodpairing gave us a covered tube with sugar, we had to close our noses and eat the sugar, after a few minutes, we had to open our noses again. Only at the moment we opened our noses, we noticed there was also cinnamon in the sugar….
I must say that I really enjoyed this workshop as you see food in a whole different perspective. During this workshop Masterchef Peter Coucquyt showed us how we can try to match products that you wouldn’t be matching in the first place.
When you think of matching coffee with food, I automatically think of desserts like café glacé. But would you think of combining it with salmon or bacon? Or using fresh coffee on top of a dish?
Not me (at first), but after trying different combinations, I was really convinced that mixing products doesn’t always have to be about making the normal combinations (or expected combinations), because you might really be surprised what nice mixes you might discover.
Some of the Foodpairing dishes Chef Coucquyt and his sous-chef Marijn Roovers made for us:
- Patato chips (pringles) with Guyère cheese, vanilla oil (made in a few minutes) and grounded coffee
- Salmon salad with asparagus, lemon and coffee (this was the biggest surprise for me)
- Backed bacon with crispy onions perfumed with coffee
- Chicken wings cooked in coffee
- Braised chicory with a chocolate-coffee sauce and vanilla ice cream (very nice combination)
- Another personal favorite was the Mascarpone crème with coffee, slightly baked apple, quince jelly and cinnamon caramel (the combination of the quince and caramel gave honey taste…)
- And they even found a way to make the classical café glacé in more special way. With toping it with a foam of milk and liquori.
You know what the best part is? That all of these dishes are also easy to make at home!!
I’m really happy to have experienced this workshop and hope that I will be able to discover more things like this in the future. I also want to share that the location used for this workshop was terrific, it took place at the soon to be opened new offices and showroom of Electrolux – AEG Belgium in Brussels.
You guys can discover more Foodpairing combination trees on the Foodpairing websites:
Let me know if your experience is as renewing as it was for me?
Thanks to the Foodpairing team: Peter, Marijn and Bernard