The celebrated Canadian chef, cookbook author, music man and more, on his deep-dive approach to a passion-driven life, and why more time together around the table matters.
For Dennis Prescott, adventure, creativity and a desire to connect to community have long been intertwined with his love for food and cooking. The musician turned chef, photographer, cookbook author, and food expert on the hit Netflix TV series, Restaurants on the Edge, travels worldwide for the show. His magnetic personality has made him friends and fans everywhere he goes.
Known for his swoon-worthy Instagram posts, along with a flair for barbeque and bourbon, Prescott is also a self-professed coffee obsessive. “Most of my tattoos are food or music,” he says. “I have coffee cherries on one forearm, wine grapes on the other—my two loves.”
He’s also a member of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub that facilitates the UN World Food Programme, Chefs’ Manifesto—a group of chefs worldwide who are working on ways to effect positive change in our food systems, including global food sustainability, food access, diet, and waste reduction.
Because cooking, coffee, and sustainability are among Prescott’s primary passions, premium, eco-friendly appliances matter.
He turned to Tchibo to outfit his kitchen with a hi-tech, single serve bean to brew coffee machine, appreciating the no pods, no waste approach.
“It was the first thing I noticed! This is a more sustainable way of creating coffee that’s consistent and tastes amazing,” Prescott says. “The low environmental impact made me really happy from the onset.”
Pronounced CHEE-bo, the storied German brand has been well-known in Europe for over 70 years for its expertise and ingenuity in every part of the coffee manufacturing process—from growing and harvesting to roasting, blending, and packaging beans. Excited to see the innovative Tchibo coffee machine, now in America for the first time, Prescott noted the affordable limited introductory price of $299. “For the price this is a killer machine that offers a consistently delicious, super-fresh cup of coffee,” he says. The Tchibo line of RÖST FRISCH coffees in Aroma ProtectTM packaging also caught his eye, particularly the 30-oz bags of whole beans, which pair perfectly with the machine.
We sat down with Prescott over Zoom and coffee to talk about his daily coffee routine and the many parallels between his passion for fresh coffee and great food.
Tell us about your coffee-making habits.
I love to nerd out on coffee and, when I have time, I’ll spend 20 minutes in the morning making a Japanese-style pour over. But weighing and grinding the beans, wetting the paper… it’s a lot! Because I’m doing a million things throughout the day, I often need a less labor-intensive method. The Tchibo recreates experiences I’ve had at some of the best coffeehouses in the world, but with little or no time involved. Being able to press a couple of buttons, and get an exceptional espresso or cup of coffee is awesome and freeing.
How does coffee play into the rhythm of a meal for you?
To start things off, I love a coffee cocktail; they feel elevated and fun. I’m a big bourbon fan and I love the way coffee pairs with its natural sweetness and honey-vanilla notes. I’m also a savory over sweet kinda person, so my dessert typically ends up being an espresso after dinner. At the end of an amazing meal, the coffee is the cherry on top so it better be delicious and perfect. I go for Tchibo Röstmeister dark roast when I want a deep chocolatey espresso flavor, and the classic blend medium roast for lighter, more fruit forward notes.
Favorite coffee trivia?
I’m a motorcycle guy, so I love the origin story of café racer culture in England, where they stripped down bikes so they could travel faster from one café to another. In a fun parallel, The Tchibo is a sleek, compact machine that’s as light as all get-out, which makes it easy to move for cleaning surrounding surfaces. And you notice the German engineering right away—from watches to motorcycles and cars, their engineering is as great as can be.
How is coffee like music?
The same reason that food is like music! Food is one of the few things that we globally share—it doesn't matter where you come from, what language you speak—we all break the same bread together as a community.
The same way you reach another person with music, you can create this beautiful visceral moment at the table with the food or coffee you serve to people. These things, for me, center around community. It's why I fell in love with cooking. This might sound cheesy, but in a Ted-Talk ‘What Is Your Why?’ sort of way, I want to inspire people to move from the couch to the kitchen. We fundamentally need more time together around the table, especially after this year. Great wine, great food, great coffee all do that. We are so much better for this time at the table.