Sandals Lifestyle: Walter, what are some of the different ways coffee can be incorporated into cooking? Do you know how or when this cooking concept began?
Walter Staib: People have been cooking with coffee as long as they’ve been cooking with chocolate – for hundreds of years. In Jamaica, it became popular around 1740. It is a fantastic flavor agent to add in marinades for meat or to accent a dessert. I’ve been cooking with coffee for more than 30 years, but many people are surprised by its flavor. You can use it in many recipes for a spectacular flavor.
WS: I’ve developed many different recipes using coffee. A few of my favorite recipes are a Bitter Orange and Coffee Salad Dressing and as a rub or marinade for beef or pork. Of course, adding reduced coffee to barbecue sauce or demi-glace is also very delicious and more common. The most common use of coffee, though, is in desserts. Cooks make sabayon, cream, mousse and many other desserts with coffee.
WS: The key to cooking with coffee is to use the best quality coffee you can get. I prefer Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica because it’s the best in the world. Use it freshly ground for optimal flavor. When using it as a rub, put it on meat and refrigerate it overnight to let the flavors penetrate. Then, sear it, but be careful not to burn the coffee granules.