Ephemera is a word of Greek origin that refers to experiences evanescent, only lasting a moment. The venue Ephemera — found within Colorado Springs’ culinary collective, COATI Uprise — fosters an environment that encourages guests to live in the moment and experience something impermanent.
Ephemera began as a passion project of pop-up dinners by chefs Ian Dedrickson and Adam Ridens, along with creative curator Jasmine Dillavou. Dedrickson and Ridens became fast friends working together at Chef Brother Luck’s fine-dining establishment, Four. The two later served as bartenders at Axe and the Oak Whiskey House, eventually co-managing the tasting room at Ivywild School. While behind the stick at Axe, the duo showcased their first pop-up dinner.
“I had this dream of doing pop-up dinners, and the reality was first realized in my apartment,” Dedrickson says. “We did this goofy, coursed dinner for friends — and Jasmine put together awesome décor, creating a complementary environment. We decided to try another pop-up, and it turned into more and more.”
Brick + Mortar
Eventually, Ephemera’s dinner events caught the attention of Atlas Restaurant Group. They partnered to create an elevated space within the culinary collective COATI Uprise.
“At COATI, we maintain the idea of immersion, treating the space like a gallery,” Dedrickson says. “Every six to eight weeks, we have a new artist installation that Jasmine curates. The environment is really important to the dining experience.”
The art of Ephemera is essential to their mission and vision, often integrated into their dishes and dinners — and Jasmine Dillavou develops the visual side, cognizant of color, scent and sound.
“I ensure the visual weight of an experience is equal to the culinary,” Dillavou says. “Guests should feel immersed, and both taken away and taken care of. A culinary experience doesn't stop with the food or sense of taste. It goes beyond that.”
A Culinary Journey
For one dinner, Ephemera paired with Su Cho, a Korean-American artist from Seoul. When developing the menu, Ephemera looked to the colors, concepts and shapes of Cho’s work and asked his mother to teach them proper Korean cooking techniques. Each dish was prepared and presented in a way that honored both Korean traditions and Cho’s artistic creations.
“With our tasting menu, pairings and events, we curate your experience,” says Dedrickson. “You're going to get seven courses with elements and combinations you’d never thought of — and great wines from places you've probably never heard of. We want Ephemera to be a journey into a different world — forget the next hour and a half; just have an exceptional experience brought to you.”
Ephemera plans to provide take-home Thanksgiving meals again this season. “Just pop by here, pick up your meal, ready-to-go, and enjoy each other's company,” says Dedrickson. “Ephemera is known for experimenting, being esoteric and surprising, but Thanksgiving is about tradition and traditional foods. I really appreciate good, simple food done well.”
On Dedrickson’s left forearm is an “old school,” traditional tattoo of a book with a red cover titled, Mise en place. This French phrase meaning “everything in its right place” refers to the setup and preparation required before cooking. Ephemera has everything in its right place to provide unique, immersive memories for those traversing through.
Facebook + Instagram: @ephemeradinners