TORONTO — Four young pastry chefs from George Brown College competed in the inaugural Nespresso Café Gourmand competition at George Brown’s Hospitality and Tourism Campus in Toronto last month. The competition saw contestants create small desserts — made with Nespresso blends — and coffee pairings
Ana Cotoros won the day with her Coffee Bliss and Griotte Mist, taking home a $5,000 scholarship and the opportunity to have her pastries served with Nespresso coffees in restaurants across Toronto in 2018.
“This is a great take on something different,” said chef John Higgins, who judged the entries along with Nespresso chef ambassador Romain Avril, Langdon Hall’s chef Jason Bangerter and Nespresso Canada, vice-president, B2B, Hervé Bellin. “Coffee is a global thing and to think about small desserts paired with coffee is exceptional — especially after a long meal. We need to pare it down, give diners something simple. It’s not just about education the students, it’s educating the industry about what they can do with coffee…how you get the consumer to spend a few more dollars.”
Second place and a $2,500 scholorship went to Maegan Klingenberg. Keith Petrasek, who came in third, received $1,500 and Katie Kuchta received $1,000 for her fourth-place finish.
Cotoros’ entry featured Coffee Bliss — a layered coffee dessert composed of coffee-milk chocolate crémeux, crunchy almond crumble, topped with coffee-white chocolate mousse, covered with Espresso Decaffeinato granite and a crispy cocoa-nibs nougatine — and Griotte Mist, a griotte-chocolate dessert composed of joconde biscuit, feuilletine insert, topped with griotte-kirsch jelly — all covered with dark-chocolate mousse and chocolate-mirror glaze, decorated with a chocolate triangle and an Amarena cherry.
“Doing events like this gives the students a chance to look at coffee through a different lens,” said Higgins. “It’s not one-dimensional desserts. The dishes I tried today were not only creative but also perfectly harmonized with Nespresso coffees. The textures, flavours and aesthetic of the presentation exceeded my expectations.”
“I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Nespresso Café Gourmand competition and thankful for the praise from Toronto culinary talent,” said Cotoros following her win.