My thanks to Terry.
The featured attraction was an "OK, now I see what all the fuss is about" introduction to New Orleans food. The jambalaya featured a local butcher's andouille sausage and duck that had all my Hungarian ancestors singing. The shrimp in a roux thickened stock was unbelievable. Once the shrimp was done, we are all scouring the kitchen for bits of bread with which to finish scooping up the sauce. It was based on a beautifully pungent shrimp stock, with the perfectly browned butter flavors adding depth and smoothness.
In addition, Zombie Dust was on tap (if you haven't already, add Three Floyds to your list of world class breweries) and a comprehensive selection of bourbons was behind the bar. We were even left both cursing and thanking the French know it all who had left the a bottle of Limousin oak aged rye. Pipe Guy earns his handle because he has a museum worthy collection of pipes and pipe tobaccos. After sampling an English Latakia blend in two different pipes, I started to understand that there is a certain universality to tasting enjoyment, which reaches across different kinds of drinks and foods, and even tobacco. But the last time I smoked was a a few puffs of a celebratory cigar a decade back, so I'm not going to make a fool of myself trying to describe what I tasted.
This time around, the coffee and espresso was more an accompaniment to the party, rather than the sole attraction; but we discussed doing an espresso 101 get together some time soon. The idea is that people could bring their espresso gear, and participate in a shot pulling clinic. There would be a lecture, some shot pulling on pro gear, and then on people's own gear. We'd like to hear the ideas of anyone interested in participating in something like this.