An Evening With Stumptown Coffee Roasters happens this Sunday night, at the Stumptown Coffee roastery in Seattle, Washington. It’s the inaugural event for An Evening With Productions, an exciting new pop-up events company helmed by Alex Negranza, and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in their launch. Just 6 tickets remain for this event, and sales via Shopify have now closed, but you can contact AnEveningWithPresents@Gmail.com directly for last-second ticketing information.
This new company is remarkable for so many reasons, not least of which being the dream team of staff and collaborators that have been assembled thus far. To that end, we sat down with An Evening With’s Coffee Director, Bronwen Serna, via Skype from Singapore, to discuss what guests can look forward to on Sunday night in Seattle.
Bronwen Serna, you are a United States Barista Champion, a noted specialty coffee educator, and a world-traveling coffee bon vivant. Tell us, how did you get involved with An Evening With?
So, Alex Negranza (An Evening With’s Director of Events) came to me with this idea, and it was really intriguing – bringing in together all these wildly creative people in Seattle – and so I just immediately said “Hey, I want to be a part of this. How can I help?” Being an old school Seattle coffee person, seeing the food and bar scene grow in my town, the idea of bringing that all together with coffee was an amazing way to expose not only people who are interested in food and the culinary arts, bringing them all together to experience something completely unique for one night. I thought, you know, this is exactly the kind of event I would want to attend, so being able to be a part of it was a no-brainer.
But you’re more than just a part of it, you’re directing the event’s coffee program!
Well yeah! I said, “How can I help?” And Alex told me “I want you to be my coffee director” – and that was that.
Talk us through what the menu looks like at An Evening With Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
So, our guests are really going to be treated to an amazing menu of different flavors, textures, and visuals, and I’m very excited just to kind of…watch it all happen. The whole idea was not only to pair flavors in coffee with different courses but highlight flavors based on different coffees.
We’ll be presenting five different courses, and each course compared or contrasted with a different coffee. We wanted to not only pair the flavors but show our guests the different methods of how to prepare coffee.
Guests will receive an amuse-bouche to tease the palate, paired with an espresso made using Stumptown’s Colombia El Jordan.
First Course: A Chemex service of Stumptown’s Ethiopia Mordecoffe Reserva, paired with a wonderful salad of persimmon, purple baby mustard greens, and chevre custard.
Second Course: This is a surf and turf dish of sorts, featuring cured duck gizzard torchon and uni with black garlic pudding scattered throughout the dish, and served with picked and compressed apple. I’m pairing that with Stumptown’s Kenya Gaturiri, brewed in the Japanese iced coffee style. The goal here is contrast – a hearty dish with a light, bright, and clean coffee.
Third Course: The next dish is even richer, a smoked sweet potato pasta with brown butter and gruyere peels, and so we’ll highlight that richness with Stumptown’s Guatemala El Injerto La Cima, brewed as an Aeropress.
Fourth Course: Next is our main meat dish, coffee-rubbed venison, so we’re pairing that with a French press of Honduras Finca El Puente. I love this coffee because it not only can be very heavy-bodied, but it has certain savory notes that highlight the savoriness of the dish. As a side note, Alex and I were actually able to meet with Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera of Finca El Puente as part of the planning of this event, along with one of our chefs, Alex Giger of Old Sage. It was amazing to see the chef be so humbled by the experience of meeting a producer.
Dessert: It’s kind of like a two-step dessert, and I’m really excited about it. The coffee will be Aida’s Grand Reserve, and our guests will each have their own cupping bowls. So they’ll go through their own mini-cupping with this coffee to finish this meal. It’ll be paired with an espresso and port Fernet cocktail to highlight the complexity, alongside mezcal caramels.
Give us an overview to end this interview – what are you hoping to accomplish on the maiden voyage of An Evening With?
Alex has worked really hard with the chefs to kind of work with all of these flavors, and to highlight not only the coffees but also the cocktails and wonderful wines that are being paired with each meal. The wines, oh man…this event is supported in partnership with Vinum Wine Importing, and people are really going to be blown away by what we’re pouring. We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of sponsors with all that, particularly with the wine. It’s going to be an amazing experience and I think people will really come to appreciate coffee in a culinary sense on par with cocktails, wine, and the food.
We’re hoping that this first one will generate some excitement – it’s a pop-up! – so hopefully people’s interests will be piqued, just highlighting not only amazing talent but amazing food and coffee. We’re definitely trying to get more of the coffee community involved, and Stumptown has been so generous as a sponsor of this event, including sponsoring the coffees. They’ve always been such a forward company in supporting communities, so they were a great fit for the first event.
Much more information is available via An Evening With online.