My Life in Food: André Hoinkis, master blender, Douwe Egberts

'I've bought the whole collection of Delia smith's books. She's fantastic'

André was born into a world of coffee. His grandfather started commercially roasting beans in 1944 in São Paulo, Brazil, and his grandmother would deliver it locally on a horse-drawn cart. After university and a stint at the family's firm, he joined Douwe Egberts in 1990. Since then he has risen to be the company's master blender, travelling the world trying new beans and finding new producers. His latest project is the pod-powered Philips Senseo Twist Coffee machine.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

My coffee machine is, of course, most used. Each morning, I have a spicy, full-bodied coffee and then in the afternoon I usually have something more rounded and caramel. In the evening I use it for a decaf. It's always in use. My least used piece of equipment is my food processor. I like to cut ingredients by hand with my knives, which are all Japanese.

If you only had £10 to spend on food or drink, where would you spend it and on what?

If I could go anywhere it would be Ethiopia, to a coffee ceremony. It is a tradition where a plantation farmer invites you to his home. He roasts his coffee in a pan in front of you, stirring it with a special wooden stick, then grinds it down. If an Ethiopian coffee farmer invites you for a drink, don't just set aside 10 minutes – it's hours. I love that.

What do you eat for comfort?

I love drinking coffee and eating dark chocolate. It needs to be powerful – an 85 per cent cocoa chocolate is best. The combination of flavours is explosive.

If you could eat only bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

That's easy – I'd choose bread. You can have it with so many things – olives, parmesan cheese or bacon. It also smells fantastic. Though if I had to give up potatoes, I would miss French fries, especially from Belgium. Belgian fries are the best in the world.

What's your desert island recipe?

Ratatouille because it tastes good and makes the house smell fantastic when it's cooking in the oven. And after all, it is so simple, you just chop all the vegetables, add thyme, garlic, sage and olive oil to season it.

What's your favourite restaurant?

My favourite restaurant is Parigi in Brazil. Parigi offers two styles of food: classic French and classic Italian cuisine. The place is beautiful, and the way the food is presented is perfection. When I'm in Britain I love fish and chips and a pint of ale – simple but beautiful.

What's your favourite cookbook?

When I travelled to Europe I bought the whole collection of Delia Smith's cookery books. She is fantastic; almost everything I know in the kitchen I know from her.

Who taught you about coffee?

My grandfather. I spent a lot of time with him, learning the art of blending and tasting. When I was young, he'd hold my hand and bring me to the plantations, teach me about coffee. You could say I became a "coffee geek" because of him.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Recruitment Consultant (Trainee), Finchley Central, London

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn