For us at Case Study, Nicky USA's Wild About Game event is a huge highlight on our catering calendar. Initially conceived as a small thank you from the folks at Nicky Farms for the chefs and vendors they worked with, it's grown into a premier competition, with chefs from eateries like Ned Ludd and Matt's in the Market winning categories like "Squab", "Protein", and "Elk". The venue is Timberline Lodge's Wy'East Lodge, and the setting the breathtaking view from the peak of Mount Hood. The time was early autumn.
Liza, Eli, Chris, and Wes brought one of our La Marzocco GS3 espresso machines, some Yama cold brew towers, LOTS of our famous cold brew, and Kalita Wave pour over cones. Eli says, "For me the biggest memorable moment of the event was pulling espresso at 5000 feet. With the water boiling at lower temperatures, we paid extra attention to the extraction and I was very happy with the results." He adds that the event was a blur of great food, happy faces, and those "aha!" moments when a casual coffee drinker realizes coffee can taste incredible.
"One thing that happens a lot with our catering--and happened here--is that people really weren't expecting much from us," says Chris, who trained as a chef before opening Case Study with Wes. "Having chefs and foodies returning over and over to try our entire menu was so fun! There was this one chef who brought us food in the middle of the madness from two floors above us. There's such a strong camaraderie between everyone."
We served our favorite single origin coffees at the time, Guatemala El Tambor, Mexico, and the Konga natural, on the brew bar, and took the opportunity to break in our brand new grinder, the Mahlkonig EK 43. In between rushes of delighted coffee-drinkers, we took time to admire the view behind us.
Every catering event is different, with different customers and different variables in the equation. We've been doing this for seven years now and it never gets old. Read Nicky USA's event recap here, and check out their photos too!