I worked with a chef from the Big Island of Hawaii many moons ago. One day on the job, he shared with me a Kona coffee rub that he grew up eating in Hawaii. He used his coffee rub on a rack of lamb, and I remember how beautiful the flavors were. I began to play with it, and instead of using Kona coffee, I tried it with a Colombian and Costa Rican blend. I felt like it really lent itself to Spanish flavors, like poblano peppers, cumin, cinnamon, and coriander. Different cultures that grow coffee use it in different ways, and cooking with it is a wonderful way to experience the flavors of those cultures. —Kenny Gilbert, from his new cookbook Southern Cooking, Global Flavors
Get Gilbert’s recipe for jerk-spiced spareribs here.
Get Gilbert’s recipe for wasabi, honey, and soy-glazed baby back ribs here.