a few photos from the coffee dinner


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Some say that this coffee drink dates back to when Spain occupied Cuba. Soldiers would drink coffee and rum to give them courage–coraje in Spanish, which later transformed into the current name of the drink: “carajillo.”

There are many variations of this drink. For January’s supper club, the carajillo I’ll be making will have Licor 43, Bella Aurora coffee, whipped coconut cream and citrus chocolate.

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Menu for the Jan 23 coffee flavored Dinner with Daniel

Matt Gebis has chosen a few select coffees for the upcoming Dinner with Daniel. I have designed the courses around each coffee’s unique character. You will be amazed to be introduced to a whole new range of flavors in this familiar daily beverage:

  • Coffee BBQ Pork Ribs – Miju Sali Coffee, Ethiopia
  • Pan-seared Emerald Valley Ricotta Chiesi with Cocoa and Coffee – Las Capucas Coffee, Honduras
  • Sea bass with Marcona Almond Crusted Prawns in Coffee and Coriander Sauce – Unafe Co-op Coffee, Peru
  • Brussels Sprouts with Onion and Coffee Jam – Finca de las Delicias Coffee, Mexico
  • Bella Aurora Coffee Roasted Carrots and Beets – Bella Aurora Coffee, Nicaragua
  • White Truffle Panna Cotta with La Dorita Dulce de Leche Liqueur and Coffee – Unafe Co-op Coffee, Peru
  • Carajillo – Bella Aurora Coffee, Nicaragua

Emerald Valley is a local farm in Scenery Hill, producing artisanal cheeses.

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a homestyle Spanish meal at the December Dinner with Daniel


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January 23 Dinner with Daniel: coffee flavor

Matt Gebis drinking an espresso

Matt Gebis, coffee maven and owner of Espresso a Mano, drinking his favorite coffee preparation (an espresso shot)

Coffee has always been a cherished part of my life. Even before I could drink it, the comforting smell of coffee and the sound of it percolating in the moka pot was a call to start the day and meet the rest of my family at the table. I am pretty open about my coffee obsession. Who else do you know who has a grove of coffee trees in his house?

My friend Matt Gebis may have me beat. He has converted his obsession with coffee into a career. In 2009, he opened the Lawrenceville coffee spot Espresso a Mano, a mecca for coffee lovers that’s still making headlines. He has been at the forefront of coffee culture in Pittsburgh for many years.
Matt will provide some of his favorite coffees to be featured in January’s Dinner with Daniel. Come to get a new perspective on coffee and let the coffee aroma call you to the table!
Here I am with Matt in Espresso a Mano in 2009

Here I am with Matt in Espresso a Mano in 2009


I was first introduced to quark in Germany. This fresh cheese is a tasty part of a good, old-fashioned breakfast. But it can be found in many other countries from Northern Europe to the Middle East.

It’s similar to the French fromage blanc or the Spanish queso fresco. This fresh cheese with a little honey and maybe a few roasted hazelnuts is one of my all time favorite desserts.

Homemade quark will be served as part of dessert for the December supper club.

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Curds separating from the whey in the process of making quark

Curds separating from the whey in the process of making quark

The quark emerges from the cheesecloth

Straining through the cheesecloth to remove the whey

December 5 Dinner with Daniel: cocido

Probably one of those meals that came about from using what ever was available, “cocido de garbanzos” or “cocido madrileño” (garbanzo bean stew) is a classic of Spanish cuisine. The recipe flies in the face of a commonly accepted standard of French cuisine by
including pork, beef, and chicken in the same stock. Nevertheless, it is my favorite.

This dinner on Saturday, December 5, 2015 will feature cocido de garbanzos along with a few traditional and not so traditional tapas.


Escalivada con pulpo (fire roasted veggies and octopus)
Sardine torrija
Charcuterie plate
Wild mushroom croquetas
Fideo soup
Cocido de garbanzos
Quince and pomegranate with quark mousse

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This classic Spanish garbanzo bean stew begins with a stock made from pork, beef, and chicken

“cocido de garbanzos” or “cocido madrileño” (garbanzo bean stew) is a Spanish classic that begins with a stock made from pork, beef, and chicken

saffron harvest


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I was pretty excited to come home and see one of my saffron crocuses blooming last week! These flowers were a gift from a friend, Mary Dyer, who then lived in Charlottesville. She gave these flower bulbs to me–a Spaniard … Continue reading

sweet and savory citrus cooking class


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November Dinner with Daniel

There’s no one way to use or enjoy an ingredient. And in the same way, a meal can take on many different formats. Many different styles and approaches, but all bring people together and create conversation. At a minimum, you have a great meal; ideally, you make new friends and have an evening to remember. I have been able to put together some great dinners (if I do say so myself), and no two have been alike.

With this in mind, I’m taking the November dinner in a new direction. We will all prepare the meal together. So, if you would like to share a little cooking time and a meal, come join us!


citrus and kalamata salad
carrot vichyssoise
monkfish stew
pork loin with oranges

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