Coffee Ecstasy: 4 Course Coffee Infused Dining Event
Magnificent dining is a large part of the luxury baby boomers’ travel experience. In fact, any destination well traveled by the 79 million baby boomers is absolutely certain to offer a wide array of fine dining establishments.
Our home town of Scottsdale, Arizona is one such destination, and when we were doing our feature piece on the AAA Five-Diamond Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (our video) we fell in love with the inspired dining creations of Chef Mel Mecinas.
Part of Chef Mel’s repertoire is a series of annual “pairing dinners” where he takes a much loved food item and builds a complete dining experience around it.
Last year we were invited to Chef Mel’s Valrhona Chocolate Dinner, and this year we were invited back to experience a completely new offering.
Talavera, Press Coffee “Perk” Pairing Dinner at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
As lovers of chocolate, we didn’t think Chef Mecinas was going to be able to trump last year’s performance; we were wrong!
This year, teaming together with Press Coffee’s Steve Kraus, Chef Mel Mecinas and his team created a dining experience that will long be remembered.
A dining experience that will long cause our brain’s neurotransmitte
rs to trigger a happy dance.
Our four-course dinner started out with a “Twitch” Espresso Martini “Affogato” Style and Organic Wild Mushroom Cappuccino (peppered bacon wafer). I’m generally not a big martini drinker, but this thing was out of this world. Holy yummy coffee drink Batman! More! I want more![AFG_gallery id=’8′]
Note: click on photographs for large view and available slide show.
For our second course, we experienced Seared Chilled Duck Breast (arizona pink lady apples, coffee gastrique) and an Ethiopian “Yirgacheffe” Iced Toddy. Our taste buds were clearly traveling in uncharted territory. Remarkable!
Our third course brought Coffee-smoked Eye of Rib Eye (coffee bourbon jus, with brussell sprouts, caramelized sunizona squash and sweet onions, baja bay scallops, chili espresso wild boar bacon and salsify) paired with a 2006 Twomey Merlot from Napa Valley. The piéce de résistance!
For our last course, out came Macchiato Cake (creamy caramel, white coffee milkshake, macadamia nut), and House-made Indonesian Sumatra “Triple Pick” Coffee Liqueur. The cake was not only beautiful to behold, but the perfect ending to our experience.
Also, the house-made liqueur was clearly a nectar sent from heaven above. It spent 14 days fermenting in the kitchen and I can’t begin to describe how coffee and liqueur can combine to such a wonderful delicacy. As they were only about 2 ounces, or so, Carol gave me hers and our waiter smuggled me a third. Unbelievably good!
Thinking that our wonderful dining experience was complete, I began to pack up my trusty Nikon. However, out came Chef Mel and Steve Kraus with a 10-year-old’s smirk on their faces carrying something that looked like it belonged in a chemist’s lab. As it turns out, our experience ended with table-side siphon-brewed Ethiopian “Amaro Gayo” Coffee.
Steve lit a burner underneath this unusual contraption. As the water came to a boil, it was siphoned up into an upper chamber were Ethiopian coffee grounds awaited. As we continued watching, Steve and Mel knowingly looked on as the hot liquid, combined with the Ethiopian grounds, swelled up into a foam and then settled back down through the siphon into the lower chamber. Steve pulled out the lower chamber, which now resembled a familiar coffee pot, and we were then poured a silky smooth cup of coffee. Wow! It was quite a show!
What an experience! We’re now wondering how Chef Mel Mecinas and his team are going to top this!
Huge thanks to Four Seasons Scottsdale and Press Coffee for an experience that we’ll be talking about for weeks to come!
Disclosure: our dining experience was provided by the kind folks at Four Seasons Scottsdale. Thanks!