Coca Cola Food Pairing with Chef Colin Fassnidge

Cafe Culture was recently invited to attend a food pairing with a celebrity chef and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners at La Botanique in Botany, Sydney


Sean Edwards

12/13/20233 min read

Cafe Culture was recently invited to attend a food pairing with a celebrity chef and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners at La Botanique in Botany, Sydney. My son, Chuck Edwards and I jumped at the chance to attend this fun concept night, hosted by one of Australia’s best chefs, Irish born Colin Fassnidge. It was a great chance to see the restaurant/media space of Chef Manu Feildel - I had heard great reviews around its design and foodie hub. Chuck is a chef and has his own restaurant/bar – Stick - located in Port Macquarie, and he loves edgy food services. It was great to have the opportunity to be invited from regional Australia to a big city event.

The event was to promote the use of Coca-Cola, not only as a beverage but as an addition to unique dishes. The night began with some Coca-Cola themed cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It’s no surprise that Coca-Cola features in 90% of global bars as a mixer and continues to be a standard customer request in a mixed drink – it’s always a ‘Bourbon and Coke’, as a ‘Bourbon and cola’ doesn’t sound right!

Colin designed a very interesting menu around Coca-Cola products and used some of his old favourite dishes from his birthplace of Ireland. As a starter he prepared a suckling pig on the spit that was glazed in Coca-Cola. It was accompanied with an apple salad to cut through the richness of the pork. Mains was an amazing beef short rib with a Coca-Cola and Barbeque sticky sauce. The short rib was slow cooked and sweet and tender, and I could have gone for seconds. Colin pulled a side dish out of his trick bag - a traditional Irish Colcannon which was fresh and crisp and made me rethink mashed potatoes and cabbage.

Dessert was a take on a traditional Coke Spider, a combination of dulce de leche and white chocolate parfait. It was a bit fancier than any milk bar experience I have had in the past.

The evening was professionally hosted by the Coca-Cola Europacific Partners team, Character PRFeature Communications. Vice President of Sales for Coca Cola licensed division Tobias Hoogewerff provided an enlightening welcome presentation on how Coca Cola is seen by the consumer as a leading beverage, but the team get excited when they can have hospitality professionals play around with core Coca-Cola ingredients and produce amazing gastronomic creations.

Colin and his team were a pleasure to be around, the event was very relaxed, and it was nice to catch up with other media friends and the Coca-Cola licensed products division team.

Chuck and I were going home to get the Coca-Cola and the smoker out and recreate our version of the beef short rib.

I love our Australian hospitality industry and how mega beverage companies like Coca-Cola can be a huge global structure but also still have the room to be innovative and cool in our marketplace.

Sean Edwards,
Managing Director of Cafe Culture