Episodes

EPISODE 8: The “Beaning” of (a Green) Life

In search of the truth, Special Agents William Neal and Patrick Cuccaro explore the mysterious Green world of sustainable special events and catering. What myths will they shatter? What will they uncover?

 

The Truth is out there…so we’re told.

 


 

In Episode 7, William and Patrick guided you through great wine pairings and touched on the craft of creating sustainable beers. Join us this week as they discuss the nectar of life, the fuel of the workday, the libation of the gods…COFFEE!

 

WILLIAM: All this love of libation has made me thirsty for a pick-me-up…No, let me rephrase that—I need a great pick-me-up!

 

How about let’s grab a cup of “Joe”, Special Agent Cuccaro? And donuts, too! Oh, wait a minute—donuts are a food group for most college kids, as is coffee nowadays. You would think that with all the lattes some of these young folks inhale, nothing would be left in the coffers for tuition!

 

But you know, Patrick, we are SPECIAL AGENTS who CATER for goodness sake! So, how about a fresh blueberry muffin? Or better yet, how about a chocolate laced croissant?

 

PATRICK: Yes, and this Special Agent is feeling the need for speed! Give me some fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee to start my engines! And I will skip the muffin or croissant, Mister. You know I’ve been on a diet since the last two blog posts.

 

WILLIAM: And you know what they say when it comes to talking food, wine or sustainability: “Go BIG or GO HOME!” If we are going on a coffee journey today, we are going to go BIG.

 

Nothing is better than the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from high-quality beans. I’ve always said that a person who dines eats first with the nose. The aroma of fresh food hits one’s sense of smell long before the palate stimulates the appetite. Well, the same in many similar ways is true for coffee.

 

My favorite coffee is our new one at Affairs…Beanealogy. We served very good and very “responsible” coffee B.B. (“Before Beanealogy”), but this stuff is superlative. Clients consistently rave about the coffee at their event.

 

PATRICK: I love the story behind Beanealogy’s particular process. It’s a classic Southern story about being “dirty and nekkid.” Got your attention?

 

DIRTY!

 

Coffee is processed in two forms—washed and natural. Natural coffee is called “dirty” because it’s not washed. The washing process takes the mucilage off the bean creating a crisper cup of coffee, but the more natural “dirty” process leaves the beans with mucilage intact, creating a sweeter tasting coffee. Gotta love that sweet coffee!

 

NEKKID!

 

Coffee is “Nekkid”—Southern slang for “naked”—when it has not been stripped of the natural sugar on the beans. That sweet-sweetness helps to create a bold, big-bodied cup of goodness with a very rich aroma.

 

WILLIAM: Don’t you love it when the sustainable-minded have a little fun with a serious mega-trend? I do. At the same time, it sounds like Beanealogy is pretty intense about their coffee! I mean, just looking at the contributing factors that led to our decision to serve Beanealogy is quite impressive. Their coffee is:

  • 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • USDA Organic Certified
  • Bird Friendly Certified
  • Shade Grown, and the bottom line is it’s…
  • Sustainable Coffee

 

Hey, Agent Cuccaro, if our readers want to try Beanealogy coffee, aside from creating a special event with Affairs to Remember Caterers, they can stop by JavaVino, a terrific neighborhood coffee and wine house in the Poncey/Highland area.

 

It’s owned by the wife and husband team Heddy and Steve, and Heddy is the sixth generation of her family to be in the coffee business. JavaVino is a fun location where our readers can kick back to read The Green Files, enjoy a great cup of sustainable coffee, with breakfast or a scrumptious dessert!

 

PATRICK: Good stuff, I agree. What’s your favorite food to have with coffee? I’m thinking mine might be just a simple Italian-style biscotti. I love to dip, bite and sip.

 

WILLIAM: I have to say that I love a great biscotti, too. But what really gets me to my happy place is coffee and CHOCOLATE! Give me anything chocolate with a great cup of coffee and heaven envelops my soul.

 

For instance, our Deconstructed “Twix Bar” and coffee! Yum!

 

 

Deconstructed Twix Bar

 

 

Pass that pot over to me, would ya? My first cup is kicking in, and I need a refill!

 

PATRICK: Sounds like you have found the true “Beaning of Life”, Agent Neal!

 

WILLIAM: You are a very disturbed Secret Agent, Mr. Cuccaro. Accurate, but disturbed…

 

To be continued…

 


 

What does coffee mean to you? What is your favorite coffee experience? What goes best with coffee? Donuts? Biscotti? Wild, abandoned…chocolate?

 

Join us next week when Special Agents Patrick Cuccaro and William Neal shift their focus to a new type of Green investigation: Uncovering Green “Posers”.

 


 

This week’s 3Rs…

 

What is Revealed?

 

REVEALED: Beanealogy

 

 

 

 

What is Revered?

 

REVERED: Chef Ahmad Nourzad & Chef Ashley Mitchell

 

 

 

 

What is Reviled?

 

REVILED: Coffee Shops That Don’t Recycle

 

 

 

 


 

Special Agent
Patrick Cuccaro
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Special Agent Patrick Cuccaro possesses an analytical mind and keen intellect. As Past Chair of the Georgia Restaurant Association (2012)—representing more than 4,000 restaurants and 100,000 employees—he casts a studied eye towards one of the country’s largest creators of waste—the food industry. Armed with a vision for…[more]

Special Agent
William Neal
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Agent William Neal is a hardened professional in the culinary industry. Well…maybe not hardened, since his favorite quip is “Never trust a skinny chef!” Agent Neal has held some interesting posts throughout his career. Starting as a chef, he became a…[more]

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Episodes

EPISODE 7: Grapes with a Green Pedigree

 

In search of the truth, Special Agents William Neal and Patrick Cuccaro explore the mysterious Green world of sustainable special events and catering. What myths will they shatter? What will they uncover?

 

The Truth is out there…so we’re told.

 


 

In Episode 6, William and Patrick found common connections between the Trappist Monks and contemporary ideas of sustainability. And guess what? They managed to have fun and tie in some good food to the concept! They’re on a roll, so let’s see where they take us today. Sonoma Valley, anyone?

 

PATRICK: OK, I admit it. I’m unabashedly American, but when it comes to wine, I might as well be European, because A) I drink wine like one—which is to say A LOT—and B) my favorite wine is from the Burgundy region of France. Montrachet is my all-time fantasy house wine—”fantasy” being the key word here.

 

All this by way of saying that I’m not yer average cheap wino. Life’s too short to drink shabby wine. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel all the way to the South of France to find some good juice.

 

Now this is one of those wines that even other competitive growers and wine producers admire because of its amazing Green pedigree. Korbel Winery Organic Brut, America’s best-known sparkling wine producer captivated our Green community by introducing their first Organic Brut in 2009.

 

It offers classic, crisp Brut-style flavors at an affordable $15.00 retail, so as an entry level sparkling wine this is perfect for weddings!

 

WILLIAM: I love some bubbles, by Jove! Bubbles mean life! Bubbles mean celebration!

 

Many of our brides want at the very least a bottle of great bubbles to pop with their cake! Crisp brut style wines (not sweet) are sensational with post-ceremony hors d’oeuvres—I’m thinking brie with a hint of raspberry…or maybe our passed shrimp with a light orange-cinnamon glaze. The crisp tartness of a great  sparkling wine sweeps through your palate and blends nicely with the sweetness of the fruit, the creaminess of the cheese and even works to enhance the seafood’s natural saltiness.

 

By the way, in case some of our readers are wondering why we are talking in terms of “sparkling wines” rather than “Champagne”, the reason is simple: Only those sparkling wines actually made in the Champagne region of France can be called “Champagne”. All other sparkling wines produced around the world, in places like Spain, Italy, Australia, etc. are just that, “sparkling wines” or cava or Prosecco or what have you.

 

We love Sonoma Valley, and for a variety of reasons, these detectives chose American-made bubbles! But we need other wines when we entertain. My favorite recommendation for my wedding AND corporate clients is to do the research, and try several lighter reds such as a good pinot before they select what they want to serve their guests. Most dinner entrees such as beef, salmon and even a hearty chicken can match well with the right pinot noir.

 

One of my all-time favorite organic finds has been the Cooper Mountain Vineyards 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir. Cooper Mountain is a leader in organic pinot noir—they make a half-dozen or so different organic pinots to showcase their unique terroir. The Reserve is a blend of the best of the vineyards, and it gives you a relatively complex and well-priced wine at $21.00.

 

The wonderfully light omega oils in salmon are in some ways like the lovely fats in dairy—say, the brie we mentioned earlier. When you understand those types of ingredient characteristics in a dish, you can easily learn how acidity and tannins can “season” your food as you dine with great wines. Practice and experimentation makes perfect! And happy!

 

PATRICK: Thirsty. Hungry. But I digress…

 

One of the everything-old-is-new-again things that I love about this discussion is—similar to the Trappist beer history—many wines from around the world have always been sustainable. It’s just that nobody made a big deal out of it. Like our grandparents’ family gardens. They just did it because that’s the way it was always done.

 

Vineyard

 

WILLIAM: I have always been fascinated by that simple fact, Patrick. It seems like many elements of “Green” really are simple: basic working the earth with your hands, clean soil, clean water, sun, good air, and the result: a great garden, some excellent foods, and in this case, some great wines.

 

PATRICK: Growing up in Oklahoma means I know what things like okra and strawberries and pecans taste like at their perfect moment. I love those memories, but I wouldn’t have minded growing up in Italy or France and having similar memories about wine!

 

WILLIAM: Oh, yes! As you describe these garden gifts I can practically taste them right now. Here in the New South, great gardens abound. Even though we’ve recently had some cold, rainy December days, I can almost taste those sun-caressed vine ripe tomatoes Chef Ahmad whipped up for our clients last summer!

 

But, now I am the one who digresses. Tell me more…

 

PATRICK: Well, Agent Neal, about that wine, organic wine vineyards are not rare. With the right research, any consumer can “Green-up” their beer and wine selections.

 

Here are two quick websites to help folks learn the basics on the topic of pairings, which we investigated the past two episodes:

 

WILLIAM: And now that all the beer and wine is gone, I’m looking forward to a great cup of coffee!

 

PATRICK: That would be Beanealogy’s USDA organic certified coffee, right William? Thanks for the shameless segue into our next little get together—COFFEE!

 

WILLIAM: Ah, yes…the “fuel of life”. I can’t wait to talk about “The Beaning of Life”! Great title, Agent Cuccaro!

 

To be continued…

 


 

Have you ever indulged in organic wine? How about high gravity Trappist-style beer? Do you support your local brewery? Please, share with us which, and why, is your favorite local brewery in the comments section below.

 

Join us next week when Special Agents Patrick Cuccaro and William Neal investigate some amazing coffee as the perfect antidote to their beer and wine tasting!

 


 

This week’s 3Rs…

 

What is Revealed?

 

REVEALED: SweetWater Brewing Company

 

 

 

 

What is Revered?

 

REVERED: Georgia Grown

 

 

 

 

What is Reviled?

 

REVILED: Plastic Wine Corks

 

 

 

 


 

Special Agent
Patrick Cuccaro
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Special Agent Patrick Cuccaro possesses an analytical mind and keen intellect. As Past Chair of the Georgia Restaurant Association (2012)—representing more than 4,000 restaurants and 100,000 employees—he casts a studied eye towards one of the country’s largest creators of waste—the food industry. Armed with a vision for…[more]

Special Agent
William Neal
UNIT: Legacy Green
Affairs to Remember Caterers
Agent William Neal is a hardened professional in the culinary industry. Well…maybe not hardened, since his favorite quip is “Never trust a skinny chef!” Agent Neal has held some interesting posts throughout his career. Starting as a chef, he became a…[more]

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