Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dinner with Ted Allen

Oh and lots of other fabulous bloggers and the wonderful people from Nespresso!

But really, the highlight of my night was sitting next to AND chatting with Ted Allen!!

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(thank you Tina for sending me these pics!)

So last week, after work, I took a nice leisurely walk through the Boston Commons and Gardens over towards Newbury Street for a very special blogger event at the Nespresso Boutique at 7 Newbury St!  It was a gorgeous cool, but not cold evening.  Perfect for a walk.

I arrived and met Meghan and Megan before heading in the door.  We were a little early but we took advantage of getting some photos before getting a brief tour of the different machines Nespresso has to offer. 

They are very sleek, small, and affordable (as far as good espresso machines go), and use capsules of espresso.  You may have seen them at stores like William Sonoma.

Each color represents a different type of espresso…different roasts, “Grand Crus” as they call them, from all over the world.

At the back of the boutique, a long table was beautifully set with black linens and bright floral centerpieces!

We helped ourselves to espresso cocktails and passed hours d’ourves.

Choice of espresso martini, espresso mojito, or wine.

I went with the martini…light on the vodka please. 

Mmm it was tasty, but a tad too sweet for my taste.  I still drank about half :)

Those were one of my favorite bites: Espresso crusted pork tenderloin on a beet chip with smoked apple and pecan compote.

After everyone arrived, we were told to take a seat at the table anywhere that didn’t already have a place card.          

Then I saw it…

Some of my fellow bloggers of course “convinced” me to take the seat next to him… ok!

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I was slightly nervous, but he was SO nice and so easy to talk to!  Shook my hand, asked a little about myself, and from there conversation easily flowed between everyone around!   He even asked about my blog and if everything I wrote about had to have a yogurt “angle” hahaha!

Ok on to the food.

Amuse: Sweet Potato cup with parsnip puree whip and coffee caviar. 

SUCH a gorgeous presentation!  The little sweet potato cube was hollowed out and stuffed with the parsnip puree. 

Before each course Ted, and Mark Uhlemann (Nespresso Coffee Expert) would talk a little about Nespresso and also about what we were eating and drinking.

Each course had a wine and an espresso pairing.  The first wine was: Argyle 2000 “Extended Tirage” brut sparkling wine from Willamette Valley, Oregon 

I don’t think I’ve ever had 10 year old aged sparkling wine!  I loved it!

The first espresso was Livanto Grand Cru

I have to say, I usually do not sip espresso on it’s own (I’m more of a cappuccino girl), but these were very good!!  Each went so well with the food, and were so smooth.  

Next up was:

Grilled Sirloin Club Steak with veal demi ketchup over chive roasted fingerling fries and fried crab cake with lemon-caper aioli over escarole.

The wine was: Pahlmeyer 2004 Merlot from Napa Valley, CA.  Another delicious wine!  I don’t often find red wines that I really like, but this would definitely go on the list!

The espresso was a 2011 Fall Limited Edition “Dhjana”

The finale, dessert, was a Trio of Minis!

From left to right:

  • Mini mocha frappe with Nespresso Chocolate Pearls and chocolate straw
  • Vanilla affagato with homemade coffee biscotti
  • Nespresso pot du crème and Hazelnut crema

The only thing I wasn’t wild about was the chocolate pearls in the frappe, fun to drink but those pearls just had a weird texture to me…I’m sure they are similar to those in bubble tea.

All on camera…

The wine pairing was a Niepoort 10-year old Tawny Port.  I don’t think I’ve ever really had a glass of port before!  A tad sweet for me, but I enjoyed a few sips. 

The espresso was actually their Decaffeinato Intenso!  This was the first decaf coffee/espresso I’ve ever liked!!  Mark said we wouldn’t be able to tell it was decaf, and he was right!  When coffee is decaffeinated, some of the flavor/intensity is stripped along with the caffeine.  This espresso starts with a very strong intense flavor, so when the caffeine is stripped it brings it down to a “normal” flavor.  Basically, if this same espresso was NOT decaffeinated it wouldn’t taste good at all.  Interesting.

Now that we were all full of caffeine and wine on a random Wednesday night, we did get a tad silly at the table, but it was kind of nice not to feel so tired after such a long day.

Also, since Ted and I were now bff, I was nominated to ask him to pose for a photo with us :)

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Jaime, Elizabeth, Megan, Ted, Me, Fiona, Meghan, and Tina!  

Wall of Nespresso capsules.

SUCH a fun evening!!  And SO excited that I got to talk with Ted Allen!  Thank you so much to Nespresso for such a special night and Weber Shandwick for the invite!


  1. That is such a cool experience! Food blogging definitely has some very cool side effects :) By the way, I found your blog through Carrots n' Cake and it is great!

  2. So cool! I wouldve been star struck! I love that they did pairings-a fun and different way to look at espresso! The dessert looks fun

  3. So fun! You and Ted look like the best of pals :-)

  4. Such an awesome event... and so much fun! Glad you were brave enough to sit near Ted. He was definitely so easygoing and easy to chat with. Great to see you again!

  5. I am so bummed i missed this event. I love espresso, and port wine, and all those fun bloggers!

  6. Oh my god! You are so lucky. I'm obsessed with Chopped & Food Detectives. Seriously, I wish I was you haha.

  7. Lucky you sitting next to Ted himself! Looks like a great night!

  8. great recap!! this was just so fun and SO great to meet you in person finally. Love the sipping straw shot :)

  9. how absolutely amazing!! a fun night, and some great eats :) i'm not a coffee drinker, but i would've manned up for this, haha

  10. How cool. you are very lucky. I love my nespresso machine- Very nice event

  11. So bummed I was out of town for this. Clearly it looked like an awesome time.

  12. What a super cool event, I love that you got to chat with Ted Allen :)