Venus restaurant in Berkeley was the scene for a benefit for Sprouts’ Cooking Club on December 14th at the end of this past year. Sprouts’ Cooking Club is a non-profit organization, led by its founder Karen Rogers, which provides culinary scholarships for underprivileged Easy Bay children. The focus is on helping kids cook in real restaurants, with fresh, local ingredients, with real restaurant chefs. For more information about Sprouts’ Cooking Club, please visit their website at www.sproutscookingclub.org.
When asked if I wanted to donate our coffee for affogatos as one of the main dessert courses for this benefit event, I could not turn down the opportunity. I naturally chose Espresso Maximo as the base for the affogatos because of its nutty, chocolaty characteristics. I first sampled this blend poured over vanilla bean ice cream a few weeks prior, and I was more than happy with the result. The final touch to the dish was a tiny sprinkle of Guittard sweet chocolate powder on top of the affogato. I served close to seventy guests and the positive feedback from the event was very rewarding, especially since all the generous guests contributed their money to support a great cause.
Last year was an interesting one for me. With my dad out for the first half of the year recovering from an illness, I learned a lot about the coffee industry that I might not have otherwise learned. I am happy with how the year went for our company considering the state of the economy. Although the economy hit quite a few of our customers pretty hard, a lot of them have recently noticed an increase in sales, which makes me think 2010 will be a good year for us all. See you next time!