Chatelaine Kitchen

12 ways to pair your food with coffee

Whether you're not a wine drinker or just looking for something a little different, we match up six coffee flavours with some of our fave recipes



I recently attended a food and coffee pairing event hosted by renowned food writer James Chatto and Van Houtte. Food and coffee, you ask? I questioned it too at first, but when Chatto and Splendido restaurant’s head chef, Victor Barry, developed a six-course menu around this theme, I was thoroughly impressed.


 (Coffee tasting place setting; more pictures and information available here).

As Chatto noted, “coffee is like wine in many ways – they have different levels of acidity, intensity and body. Just like wine, the flavours in coffee can compliment the flavours in your food, creating a more balanced taste experience.”

Of course, for those of you who still prefer to serve your main course with more traditional beverages, then give this a try for the dessert course, or for a breakfast or brunch.

Here are some ideas inspired from my meal:

Mild and fruity: Pair this with our creamy-artichoke and smoked salmon tea sandwiches or smoked trout and mango bites.

Mild and woodsy: Pair this with our lemony mushroom and herb crostini or warm balsamic-soaked mushroom and spinach salad.

Velvety and fruity: Pair this with our sunny-side-up tart with cherry tomato jam or charcuterie-board sandwich.

Velvety and woodsy: Pair this with our seared duck with cherry sauce and rösti.

Bold and fruity: Pair this with our classic chocolate fudge or crisp maple shortbreads.

Bold and woodsy: Pair this with our ham and cheese focaccia with apricot mostarda or gourmet grilled cheese with date jam and radicchio.

How-to tip: How to brew a perfect cup of coffee with a french press.