Cooking with Coffee: Session 2-Chef Rob Wyss

Oct 26, 2011|

Its time for another Cooking with Coffee Session from BUNN!   Remember to enter a drawing to win an Adventures in Coffee cookbook by commenting on the question listed at the bottom of this post.  Comments must be received by November 1 at midnight to be eligible. Bon Apptit! 

Illini Country Club

Rob Wyss, Executive Chef at Illini Country Club

Chef Rob Wyss, executive chef at Illini Country Club in Springfield, Illinois, is no stranger to cooking with coffee or drinking coffee.  In fact, Chef Wyss identifies himself as a coffee lover.  He drinks a lot of coffee, but he says it is hard not to when you are in the culinary industry. Chef Wyss grew up in Peoria, Illinois where his curiosity for a culinary career was sparked.  He graduated from Napa Valley Culinary Academy in St. Helena, California.  He worked as Chef de Cuisine while in wine country, followed by working as an executive sous chef in Chicago, and today his career has continued as the executive chef at Illini Country Club.

When we talked with Chef Wyss he was eager to offer recipes and tips for those thinking of cooking with coffee.  The biggest tip Chef Wyss offers to people who are new to cooking with coffee, cook with the coffee you drink, cook with the coffee you like.  He loves to cook with dark roast coffees, which happens to mimic his personal taste preference of darker, bolder roast coffees.

Chef Wyss says there are a wide variety of ways to incorporate coffee into cooking.  You cant go wrong combining coffee and chocolate.   Also coffee can be used to create delicious desserts like espresso gelato.  If you want to use coffee for a savory dish, create coffee crusts for game meats, as the bitter flavor of coffee helps balance out the gamey flavor in these types of meats.     He has even incorporated coffee into vinaigrette.  He combines vanilla bean, coco bean and coffee bean into a three bean vinaigrette.  It is best served over a spring salad with fresh cherries.

However, Chef Wysss favorite recipe that utilizes coffee is red-eye gravy.   This is a southern Creole recipe that he has served with grits and pork roast.  To try Chef Wysss red eye gravy using Bunn Gourmet's very own Applewood Smoked Bacon, see the recipe below.  Enjoy!

Red Eye Gravy
1lb                     Berkshire Farms Applewood Smoked Bacon
                         (cut into lardoons)
8                        Yellow Onions
7                        Jalapeos (seeded & chopped)
15                      Garlic Cloves
4                        Bay Leaves
14cups              Coffee (reduce by half)
1 gallons      Chicken Stock
4 ea                    Red Peppers
1 #10can           Crushed Tomatoes (about 70 oz drained)
7lbs                    Fresh Roma Tomatoes

Render the bacon and as it is getting brown add the chopped onions and jalapeos. Just before they brown add the garlic and let it soften. Add the bay leaves and all the tomatoes. Simmer until the romas break down. Allow a fond to build a little, be careful to not over do it. Deglaze with the coffee, add the stock and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half. Puree and adjust salt if needed, likewise with a touch of vinegar. Sauce should have body but still flow onto the plate. 


QUESTION:  CHEF WYSS SAYS TO COOK WITH THE COFFEE YOU LIKE AND WOULD NORMALLY DRINK.  SO WHAT COFFEE ROAST WILL YOU TRY COOKING WITH?

COMMENT BELOW TO LEAVE YOUR ANSWER TO BE ENTERED TO WIN AN ADVENTURES IN COFFEE COOKBOOK!  COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY NOVEMBER 1, 2011 AT 11:59:59PM CST AND INCLUDE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS FOR NOTIFICATION PURPOSES.  CLICK HERE FOR RULES

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