A few weeks ago, Sprudge.com co-founder Jordan Michelman attended a very-luxe-indeed coffee brunch hosted by Blueprint Coffee and Chef Mike Randolph, known nationally for St. Louis restaurants like Half & Half and The Good Pie. What followed was a 6-course onslaught of carefully considered breakfast creations, each paired with a different style and preparation of coffee. Seatings, limited to 12, were understandably sold out.
Many a chef and barista have dreamed of hosting such a degustation, but few ever actually try, and fewer still have the cheek and guts to pull it off. Chef Randolph and the Blueprint team did exactly that. Presented below is each course from the brunch service, which happened on Saturday, July 19th at Randolph’s The Good Pie restaurant in the Delmar Loop neighborhood of St. Louis. Photos below come courtesy of Evan C. Jones and appear accompanied by the notes verite of Mr. Michelman, carefully thumbed between courses and bites throughout the brunch.
Yirgacheffe / Plum
Plum sorbet with Blueprint’s Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. Sort of like an affogato, but over sorbet, and served first…so maybe more like a coffee + juice to start the meal. People are licking their cappuccino cups.
Toraja / Oatmeal
Spherified rolled oats in what I’m told the chef calls “mango Orange Julius soup” with gelled blueberry. So, y’know, fruit & oatmeal. Balls sort of looked like arancini and soaked up the fruit soup like how you’d soak up marinara. Vaguely Italian? Served with a big Hario v60 of Indonesian coffee. I want this for breakfast at all times pretty much.
Tarrazu / Brioche
The most conservative course on the menu: a cappuccino and a bun. The brioche turnover has candied bacon that’s pretty much ridiculous. Tarrazu cappuccino is both comforting and brow-raising in its simplicity. I finished the entire thing.
Cola / Brisket
Rather hearty portion of beef two ways: fall-apart brisket with a coddled egg yolk, and then a really beautifully done piece of hangar steak with good peppery bark. Served with a gorgeous piece of farm-style bread from Union Loafers. A little heavy? Yes. Delicious though, and paired perfectly with a cocktail-influenced drink: Decaf cold brew from Peru served in a lowball glass rinsed with absinthe, a splash of sugar cane cola, and finished with a lemon twist.
Glad to be sharing with the photographer.
Yirgacheffe brewed in the Japanese method (or whatever the hell we’re calling it right now) over ice cubes, with the addition of a housemade strawberry-lemon jam from Blueprint. Cold coffee and jam are swirled and swirled and swirled with a cocktail spoon to integrate together, making for this really lush, velvety textured filter coffee. Finished with Prosecco, but just enough to sparkle, not enough to change the texture. Served low in a tall glass. Scene stealer.
Smoke / Foie
Brioche from Union Loafers, a coffee crème anglaise made with vanilla, egg whites, espresso and chocolate, seared foie gras, raspberry preserves and microgreens. Sure, why not? End result tasted like a fatty raspberry mocha. Served with an outright coffee cocktail: Scotch whisky, cherry heering, orange juice and orange vermouth, paired with Costa Rica cold brew and served in a champagne coup. A kind of digestif, but by way of Scotland and Costa Rica.
And so it goes, that what brunch dreams may come intersect with the best laid plans of mice and men (and chefs, and baristas), so that even we are not just full, but full, and unable to conceive of another such gustatory outing for at least a few days. Until the next ridiculous multi-course coffee brunch extravaganza, we bid you good day.
Photos by Evan C. Jones for Sprudge.com