TRANSPARENCY ALERT: This was a media-only, free event with food and drinks provided by Nespresso and Private | Social. Attendees were given a Nespresso Pixie (valued at about $220) as well as a bagful of goodies that included a fancy frother, a box of Nespresso capsules, glasses and spoons, a recipe book and a travel mug. It’s a near embarrassing amount of swag. But this bitch will take it.
So, back to this event, which even without the major goodies, would have been a recipe for a home run:
– Start with Nespresso, a high-end brand that just wants you to relax and just enjoy delicious coffee.
– Add one part Private | Social, it’s food deliciously created by the lovely Chef Tiffany Derry.
– Add the famously statuesque culinary queen Padma Lakshmi,
– And sprinkle in a shit-ton of food bloggers and media.
Shake and pour over ice and–AHHHHHH. Perfection.
Let’s start with THE DRINKS.
There were two signature cocktails: The Nespresso Martini and The Nespresso Mojito.
That mojito sounded crazy, so naturally, I had to try it. I honestly was surprised at every sip. It looked like a beautiful iced tea, and tasted like rich iced coffee spiked with lime and mint. Oh, and rum. But while those flavors don’t seem quite right together, they were a match made in a glass.
The above beauty is a Signature Nespresso Iced Cappuccino. Padma later discribed it as containing two parts cinnamon, one part cardamom and one part clove. Mix that with some espresso and milk, and … Starbucks who?
Now, before we’ve had too much to drink, let’s talk about THE FOOD.
Some were spiked with Nespresso, some without. I didn’t taste it all, but everything I had was excellent.
Texas sweet corn panna cotta with fresh corn succotash…
Fried oysters, black pepper butter in shell…
Fried green tomato, shrimp ravigote, radish pico de gallo…
Pepper and coffee pork belly, watermelon radish, rind and basil…
Szechuan ahi tuna, green papaya and melon salad. (My favorite of the night.)
Roasted chicken roulade, porcini mushroom stuffing, truffle jus…
Swiss chard and ricotta ravioli with brown butter and pine nuts…
Cardamom-coffee panna cotta with orange crema…
Chocolate ravioli stuffed with hazelnut mascarpone, coffee sauce…
Bananas Foster with flambéed espresso-infused brandy. (This one was my favorite sweet.)
Then came the interactive and educational portion of the evening. This is when we all decided it would be pretty sweet to own a Nespresso machine of our own. First, Padma spoke eloquently about her love for coffee and her passion for the culinary experience.
“My love of food is lifelong,” she said. She spoke about how it’s not what you do, but how you do it, that matters. True that.
Then the PR and brand marketing folks from Nespresso led us through the machinery. Turns out the Nespresso models are all pretty sweet, from the bottom all the way to the top.
Speaking of the top, these are the newest shinys. Very retro looking with built-in frother.
We learned about the flagship Nespresso stores, as well as some chic color-coded cups that I swear I saw on Pinterest last month.
At the last station, Ms. Lakshmi showed us a video presentation as she spoke about the origins of the beans, where they come from (some come from her own hometown in India), and how picky Nespresso is about which beans they use. She spoke about how Nespresso works to help the local communities while guaranteeing a sustainable quality product. I didn’t take any photos of this rotation, mainly because Padma was looking right at me for much of the time and I was entranced.
Then she let us try her Signature Nespresso Iced Cappuccino (the one with the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). More photos were snapped, more tweets were tweeted, and then it was time to head out.
Which brings me to the next chapter of last night’s Cinderella story…THE SWAG.
Each of the event’s attendees were handed a Pixie and a giant gift bag that contained plenty of capsules, a aeroccino milk frother, a chrome travel mug, a couple of glasses with silver stirring spoons, a recipe book and I don’t know what else because I’m still dizzy. It was like effing Christmas in April in my kitchen and I couldn’t wait to try it out. Hence the swag brag.
When I woke up, I beelined it to the Pixie and made my first Nespresso. I started with a Cosi and didn’t stop there. Two Nespressos later I was on my way to work. Bing!
The perfect and delicious Cosi Nespresso pictured above finally put my espresso cups and saucers to really good use. Plus, I can finally stop pinning all those fancy espresso makers on Pinterest. And for both of those things and more, I have the folks at Nespresso to thank! Seriously. Seriously. Thank you!
If you can get your hands on one of these, I say do it. As I tweeted pics of my bounty last night, Nespresso fans came out of the woodwork touting the machines as well as their excellent customer service and capsule-ordering process. So you don’t even have to take my severely-bribed word for it. It’s only been one day, but I’m thinking this will make my morning much more indulgent.