Friday, 13 February 2015

The Power of Decaf Coffee with Nespresso in Lyon

For the love of decaffeinated coffee! 
With Nespresso Grand Crus Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato, Volluto Decaffeinato and Arpeggio Decaffeinato.
Food and coffee are among my big passions in life, so when I was invited to Lyon to see how the two could be combined by Nespresso, it was a tempting offer. I was a bit concerned I might overdose on caffeine with the coffee heavy program but that turned out to be no worry at all – and not because I limited my coffee intake in any way. Getting a chance to see the contestants at the famous cooking competition Bocuse d'Or was a welcome bonus too - especially since Norway ended up winning (sorry for the spoiler)!

First we were off to see what was happening at the L'Atelier Nespresso, the temporary playground set up for wonderful experiences in coffee and food.  

Nespresso has recently launced a new series of decaffeinated versions of some of their Grand Cru coffees, so we had an interesting classroom lesson with coffee expert Alexis Rodriguez on how decaffeinated coffee is made – from quality bean to brew ready cup. A lot of love in picking out the right beans plus the magic help of liquid CO2 or water is apparantly what it takes!

We also got to taste test to see if we were able to tell which coffee was the decaffeinated version, which I failed of course, haha! It was a bit surprising given that Volluto, the coffee we tested, is among my favorite Nespresso coffees but I actually ended up preferring the decaf version. It was sweeter and simply tastier - really convincing me that there are decaffeinated alternatives worth drinking, whether you “have to” or not.

To see the new coffees “in action”, we were treated to some yummy coffee inspired desserts by pastry chef Christelle Brua, made with the Arpeggio Grand Cru coffee in various delicious layers (panna cotta, coffee jelly, ice cream and foam among them). The coffee taste really came through and the dessert ended up as my favorite edible of the day.

Working hard as you can see... Here I'm flanked by Italian food blogger Chiara (left) and German mom blogger and cappuccino expert Claire (right). Also taking part was Brazilian food blogger Rosana and German blogger + chef Steffen of Berliner Speisemeisterei. Quite a diverse and interesting group of food and coffee lovers!

To further showcase the power of coffee and gastronomy coming together, there was also a coffee themed dinner made by eminent chefs Emmanuel Renaut and David Toutain. 

Here are the courses summed up by my iPhone photos from the night - many different variations upon the coffee theme, like salsify with Grand Cru Indriya and mackerel with Grand Cru Vivalto. Some were more intense than others but all were equally intriguing in their playfulness.  

I couldn't resist playing around a bit with the food of course, as evidenced by the first (strategic placement of truffle slices) and fifth image (face rearrangement). However, food at this level is food art in the true sense of the word. Although it's usually a bit more abstract and “adult” than my own pieces I find it really inspiring to behold (and eat!).

In the end, I emerged from the day fully satisfied with the lingering taste of delicious coffee in my mouth while still being able to get a good night's sleep, thanks to the decaffeinated coffees.

Lastly we were taken to the Bocuse d'Or, got to visit the Nespresso area there and witness the chef's in action. The Norwegian supporters were very enthusiastic and the Norwegian chef Ørjan Johannessen won in the end, so all in all it was a very successful trip!


Written in cooperation with Nespresso but all opinions are my own of course.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Tasty Bonfire Night Celebrations with Stella Kids!

Owls watching colorful fireworks. Pancakes, yoghurt, dried blueberries, fruit.

 In collaboration with Stella Kids, the children's brand of British designer and lifetime vegetarian Stella McCartney, I have created a number of plates celebrating Bonfire Night (also known as Guy Fawkes Night).

Bonfire Night is primarily a British tradition, taking place annually on November 5th. It is a celebration of a failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill the king in 1605, led by a man called Guy Fawkes. All around the country people gather around bonfires, sending up fireworks and enjoying good food together.
To find inspiration for the food art, I first looked at the Stella Kids collection. The clothes feature a lot of fun and quirky animal characters, which led me to ponder how the animals would take to celebrating Bonfire Night. So that became my starting point for creating ideas. To create the food art itself, I did some research on what people usually eat on the night and used what I could from that in the final plates. Classics such as caramel apples, baked potatoes, sausages (vegan of course!) and bean stews are all featured in some form or another.

The owls (above) would obviously sit in their wisdom on a branch and watch the colorful spectacle with composure, I imagined. 

Rabbits grilling carrots. Bread, bell pepper, cheese, carrot, sugar peas, pepper corns.
While the rabbits would take the opportunity to grill some tasty carrots over the bonfire.
Polar bear with apple sparkler. Yoghurt, chocolate chips, almonds, apple, caramel, silver sprinkles. 

The polar bear, though out of his element, would really love holding a caramel apple sparkler to light up the cold winter night.

Dog hiding from fireworks. Potatoes, cheddar, peppercorns, spinach, corn.
The poor dog would probably be hiding in his roasted potato dog house because it doesn't like all the noise from the fireworks.

Cat enjoying the bonfireplace. Black beans, yoghurt, vegan sausage, pumpkin, bell pepper, spinach.
Lastly, the cat would definitely curl up in front of the bonfire, as it loves getting warm and cozy.

So that was my little turn around the animal world on Bonfire Night, I wish you all a happy celebration!


Friday, 18 July 2014

IdaFrosk Pecha Kucha talk

In February this year, I did a 6 minute 40 second talk for Pecha Kucha night in Oslo. I talked about what it's like to eat breakfast with 200,000 people on Instagram, how I ended up getting so many followers and some things I've learned along the way. You can watch all of it here, and I even did it in English to make it accessible to a larger audience. Enjoy!