I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Taste of Toronto yesterday with Julio and am still left smiling from the experience. For the second year, Taste of Toronto gathers together some of the best restaurants, chefs and food vendors for a foodie fantasy come true.
This year, I had the opportunity to sit down at the Nespresso #TasteWithNespresso booth (see here for all the delicious details) to try a full spectrum of delicious products. I also got to pair some of my favourite dishes with Nespresso products in a food & coffee pairing experiment that left me realizing coffee is just as complex as wine when it comes to enjoying it with a meal.
Take a look at my 5 ways to enjoy Nespresso with 5 of my favourite restaurants at Taste of Toronto all weekend long!
Upon arriving to Taste of Toronto, I had the chance to see some of my favourite chefs from the great city of Toronto that I call home. It was quite an incredible gathering of some very talented people and left me having a slight fan girl moment…
— Daniel Desforges (@dothedaniel) July 2, 2015
After calming down, it was off to the Nespresso #TasteWithNespresso booth for some much needed caffeinated products (decaf is available as well). The booth itself is stunning and greets you as you enter the grounds. A stop that I recommend you all make upon arriving, Nespresso is serving a wide range of hot and cold coffees all weekend long during Taste of Toronto!
I accepted the Nespresso Coffee Pairing Challenge from my friends at Nespresso and was off to pair 5 delicious restaurants with 5 unique Nespresso products available for us to enjoy.
Combining together bay scallops, shrimp, mussels, pickerel, snap peas and saffron, this dish is one that has a lot of layers. To pair with a complex dish with layered flavours (that takes hours to make I might add), I would recommend Nespresso Odacio. Odacio offers a bold coffee flavour with many layers, a slight sweet finish, and just enough acidity to pair beautifully with food. The rich Paella played off its flavours perfectly and left me wanting both of more respectively. Click on the Odacio image below to order it today for yourself and see what I mean!
For those of you who remember, Daniel’s Dish visited Little Sister in 2014 and has been in love with the restaurant ever since. Babi Panggang, a traditional Indonesian dish, combines roasted pork Belly, fresh chili sauce, bean sprout & red onion pickle. This savoury and spicy dish left me fighting the urge to lick the plate and I knew that I would need something sweet to play off its flavours. Nespresso is serving a Coconut Iced Coffee at Taste of Toronto that was the perfect pairing of sweet and spicy for a dish like this. Made with Melozio, I will be making several of these during the summer when cooking spicy dishes at home!
It should come as no shock that I HAD to visit my friends at Bosk during Taste of Toronto (click here & here to see why). Chef Damon prepared his famous Crispy Black Vinegar Chicken as one of the several items available at their booth, and it had one of the biggest lines for good reason. Combining shishito pepper, cucumber, toasted peanut, cilantro and an aromatic glaze, it is all about the Asian influences. I chose to pair it with Voltesso espresso which is light and sweet to once again achieve a sweet & spicy balance of flavours. I’m a typical Libra and am always searching for balance, especially when it comes to food pairings.
Decadence is a good word to describe this dish. So is #FoodPorn. Combining wok fried lobster, chitarra noodles and a rich flavour profile, it is definitely a crowd pleaser during Taste of Toronto. To pair with delicately flavoured lobster again rich chow mein flavours, I had to be careful to not overpower it with Nespresso products. It’s why I chose Vanizio to compliment the flavours as opposed to overpower them. Vanilla is a natural flavour enhancer, similar to salt, and helps to bring out the subtleties in food. The mild sweetness made the lobster taste of rich butter and helped to give a whole new layer to the chow mein noodles. The lesson, as you’re coming to realize, is that sweet and acidic Nespresso coffees helps to compliment food of all kinds. This pairing was positively beautiful!
Atop salty and sumptuous fresh oysters, Splendido has added apple & jalapeno mignonette. (see? sweet and spicy!) Oysters traditionally are very mildly flavoured aside from natural sea water. By adding a sweet & spicy flare to them, Splendido allowed me to take a Nespresso pairing to a whole new level. I chose Altissio as my coffee of choice to enjoy with oysters. Nutty with a mild bitterness, it played off the sweetness of the apple perfectly. With a longer finish to the coffee, it will leave your taste buds dancing when you pair it with fresh seafood!
As you can see, pairing food & coffee can be a lot of fun. With a full range of products to tantalize any flavour you can imagine, Nespresso is a great choice for coffee and food lovers alike!
Of course, we can’t wait to see your #TasteWithNespresso experience during Taste of Toronto. Make sure to follow and tag @Nespresso & @DoTheDaniel on social media to bring us along on your delicious adventures both this weekend and all year long as you pair Nespresso products with food. Get adventurous and take the Nespresso Coffee Pairing Challenge for yourself!
For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing events we are attending across the country, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account!
Photos: Nespresso, Daniel Desforges & Julio Reyes