Sourcing the best ingredients is at the heart of everything we do at La Serre. Being based in a desert environment makes this task often challenging, but it is produce like fresh burrata from Italy, majestic king crab from Norway and beautiful Australian beef which truly make the menu come alive.
With this in mind, Head Chef Izu Ani recently visited Ethiopia with La Serre’s coffee supplier, Boon Coffee. Ethiopia is widely acknowledged to be the home of the best coffee in the world and Izu was keen to see whether this was true and discover the heritage of the coffee beans we use for our rich espressos and creamy cappuccinos.
Since opening in August 2013, La Serre has always served Ethiopian coffee but recently we have started working directly with the farmers in order to ensure the integrity of the coffee and to guarantee it is 100% organic and fair trade.
“The coffee was absolutely wonderful, so smooth and roasted by hand. If you wanted it stronger they would roast it for longer, and if you wanted it weaker, they would roast it for less time. It was a ceremony each and every time we had coffee which took 45 minutes!”
On his travels he also found delicious avocados and plum tomatoes which were so delicious they are likely to find their way onto the menu very soon. Izu also learned something new about sesame seeds, a tiny but crucial ingredient used in popular dishes such as the warm goat’s cheese with Lebanese mountain tomato.
“Another amazing thing was the sesame seeds. The Ethiopians peel them properly, which removes all bitterness and they become silky in flavour. This was a very exciting discovery for me as I wasn’t aware the sesame seed had this fine membrane that, when crushed, actually gives it the bitter taste. We’re now looking into ways to import sesame seeds from the farms in Ethiopia to Dubai because the taste was so superior”.
Chef Izu’s excursion to Ethiopia follows on from research trips to France, Peru, and his journey to Australia last year when he visited the source of La Serre’s beef. These exploratory trips ensure that the produce used is always of the best and that even the smallest ingredients, like sesame seeds, are produced with care.
Hear more about the trip here: www.dubaieye1038.com/booncoffee