I like to think I have a great deal in common with George Clooney; after all, he has often appeared in the People magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ list and I too am a man, who is alive. Also we both share a love of Nespresso coffee.
|Nespresso's luxury boutique at The Trafford Centre|
I first fell in love with Nespresso whilst in New York; where the Prince Street boutique in SoHo offered an oasis of calm and top quality coffee a world away from that which I experienced in some of the city’s 200 plus Starbucks.
|Hungry Hoss enjoying a Nespresso in NYC (Can you see the Clooney resemblance?)|
Returning to England, I quickly got rid of my old espresso machine and replaced it with the Limited Edition "New York" CitiZ Nespresso and have been a devotee ever since; so much so that I have also invested in the smaller ‘Pixie’ machine for work so I can get my Nespresso kick all day long.
|I love my New York Nespresso machine|
Although open since 13th March, on Monday I accepted an exclusive invitation to celebrate the launch of Nespresso’s luxury boutique at the Trafford Centre with Andrew Nutter (of Nutter’s restaurant in Rochdale) who had designed a bespoke ‘Taste of Manchester’ menu with a coffee twist.
|Chef Andrew Nutter poses with Hungry Hoss|
Despite being a lover of both coffee and food, I admit to being sceptical about how well they would synergise as a tasting experience – but ‘Nutter’ (as he is affectionately known) excelled himself when designing the bespoke menu of savoury and sweet dishes, paired with Nespresso’s premium Grand Cru coffee.
As the press release said, “The crème of North-West cuisine meets the crème de la crema of premium espresso with a range of bespoke food pairing recipes.”
|Chef Andrew Nutter explains the 'Taste of Manchester'|
We started the tasting with a Cocoa Roast Beef Carpaccio with Chicory, Rocket & Blood Orange - Served with a full-bodied Arpeggio Grand Cru.
The cocoa dusted Limousin beef carpaccio shared natural flavour bridges with the paired Arpeggio coffee. The delicate bitterness of the chicory; pepperiness of the rocket and citrusy, raspberry notes of the seasonal blood orange segments and vinaigrette naturally complemented the cocoa flavours in the coffee and on the beef - the dish of the day for me.
The next dish was one of only two that actually used the coffee as an ingredient, a Slow Braised Pork Belly with a Hot Bean Casserole - Served with a woody noted Roma Grand Cru.
With influences rooted in Mexican cookery, Andrew had used the Roma coffee in the cooking liquor to create a rich white and haricot bean casserole with chorizo and quality Dingley Dell pork.
Taking inspiration from a layered latte style coffee, the next dish, presented in a bespoke Nespresso cup and saucer featured two flavours of Panna Cotta topped with a silky smooth chocolate sauce, gently spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon – served with and intense and spicy Indian pure origin Indriya Grand Cru espresso – a popular dish amongst the tasters.
Next up, the one I had been looking forward to the most, a twist on the Manchester classic, a delightfully dinky Eccles cake made and served with my all time favourite Nespresso coffee - the Ristretto Grand Cru.
Containing four shots of the strong Ristretto espresso, I did expect a greater intensity but instead the traditional treat was ‘given a rich elegance’ which enhanced the cake’s fruity flavours. Of all the dishes, tried this is the one I am keen to try at home – top recipe.
The final tasting dish of the day featured a Chocolate and Malt Crème Brûlée - Served with a honey and malt noted Dulsão do Brasil Grand Cru. The sweet and smooth pure origin Dulsão do Brasil is my favourite morning coffee and made a natural partner with the similarly sweet and smooth brûlée.
Sadly, unlike it’s US counterpart, the Trafford Centre branch is not a fully functioning coffee bar, but customers can purchase machines, pods and accessories in ‘an indulgent, multi-sensorial space where they can discover the entire Nespresso product range whilst enhancing their own coffee expertise.’
With the new Nespresso’s luxury boutique at the Trafford Centre now open coffee lovers in the region have never had it so good.
|Did I mention the coffee cocktails? This one's a Mojito.|