Last week, chef Josh Habiger and coffee producer Edwin Martinez tagteamed to host a gorgeous, wildly delicious, and quite educational evening of dinner and coffee. And we got to be there.
The collaboration, which seated Strategic Hospitality's acclaimed chef Habiger alongside Onyx Coffee's Martinez, resulted in several delightful courses, a rehydrated cascara cocktail, and a room-wide coffee cupping session.
The thirty or so gathered diners mingled on the porch of Habiger's home, sharing mussels, beef tartare, and gazpachos for snacks, while sipping Habiger's cascara cocktails (cascara is the dried fruit skin left behind when coffee is de-pulped!).
Martinez then took the floor, leading the gathering in multiple coffee tastings, noting the nuances in each of the coffees from his native Guatemala. Martinez, whose Onyx Coffee connects coffee producers in Guatemala to roasters around the world, described the goal of coffee production: to treasure and preserve what is already inherent to the coffee (by way of its terroir, elevation, and other natural factors). This type of honorable treatment of coffee results in a beverage with clarity, complexity, and depth -- and yet a coffee that is notably and distinctly terroir-driven: it's from a place.
Habiger's menu for the night -- grilled carrot salad with cardamom yogurt; brussels sprouts and apple salad with chamomile and honey; sweet potatoes with chicory; and grilled snapper with salsa verde; among others -- mirrored Martinez's coffee ethos: simple-yet-interesting dishes that honored the food itself. (There was also chocolate-Fernet pots de Creme for dessert that was so good it rendered us incapable of speech for 5-10 minutes.) Like the coffee, it was food you could taste, with each ingredient notable and present.
Habiger transformed his own home to host the evening, and it was one of those nights where everyone gathered was like, "Hey! Why don't we do this more often?" Our pal Ryan Green was there snapping photos, so check them out below -- we hope you can join us next time!