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Coffee Rubbed Tenderloin and my closest encounter with an ex-President

Last weekend I attended my fiance, Y’s graduation ceremony in Dallas. It was their 100th centennial graduation ceremony, and when I walked into the auditorium at 9am after waiting in line, I was greeted by news that a special guest speaker was invited. And soon enough I found out that George W. Bush was the commencement speaker. It wasn’t too surprising given that Laura Bush is an alumni and a member of the Board of Trustees of this school, but still, I was excited. After all, I had never seen a President or ex-President in real life.

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After the Provost delivered a funny introduction about George Bush, “now let me introduce to you the husband of our board of trustees member and honored alumni”, the ex-President stepped in front of the podium and began his speech. He was much more humorous than I remember from his presidency days, and he joked about how he, like many others, had married into the university family. At one point, he said “to those students who are graduating with honors, well done; to those who are graduating with Cs, I want to say, you too can still be President.” The crowd burst into laughter. I never thought there would be such a comic effect from reflecting on an ex-President’s own academic life.

Coffee rubbed tenderloin

But towards the end of the speech, Mr. Bush got down to serious business. “I want you to know that you live in a country of freedom. But liberty is not something that Americans give to others, it is a free gift from God to us.” Throughout the rest of the speech, he continued to echo the theme of having faith in the Lord to use your talents at your future career posts, and how trusting in God’s will is most important before you strike out on your career path. It was humbling, to hear that from someone who once held such a central political position, and it certainly was refreshing to hear of such strong faith in Christianity from a man with an immensely successful career.

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Of course, studded through the speech, Mr. Bush had to echo his Texan roots, and mentioned Texas barbecue in numerous occasions. So in the spirit of barbecue, grilled meat and manly foods, I made a roast tenderloin rubbed with coffee and brown sugar. My lonely can of Nestle’s instant coffee has been sitting on my shelf ever since I started drinking Malaysian white coffee exclusively, so this was a great excuse to use it up. For all you coffee lovers, this is your boost of caffeine sneaked in your meal!

Coffee Rubbed Tenderloin

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 large piece of pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Place tenderloin in room temperature until defrosted. Rub with olive oil thoroughly.

Mix together all the dry ingredients from coffee to garlic. Rub dry ingredients all over tenderloin evenly. Wrap in foil and marinade overnight.

Next morning, preheat oven to 400F. Place tenderloin in a cast iron skillet and roast in oven for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil for the last 2 minutes. Turn off oven and let meat rest inside for 5-10 minutes.

Take out tenderloin and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Enjoy!


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