We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Dedrickson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ian, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After extensive years in various kitchens ranging from dive bars to fine dining, Chefs Ian and Adam both left the kitchen to learn front of house service and bartending. They quickly realized that they wanted to continue creating in the culinary realm, and began a series of pop-up dinners with the goal of serving creative and concept based experiences. While it was initially a passion project, Ian and Adam began to dream up the goal of making Ephemera Dinners into a brick-and-mortar concept that could provide their unique vision to a quickly growing Colorado Springs dining scene. The time seemed ripe, with Downtown beginning to see a renaissance of culture and activity, and a fast-growing population that would seek quality dining at approachable prices without pretense or snobbery.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been in the culinary/service industry for nearly 12 years. It began as a summer job washing dishes, but I quickly became fond of the kitchen – the vulgar pirate ships of misfits and creatives that could be themselves while providing meaningful experiences to people. I have had the opportunity to work with many talented individuals, and many less-then-desirable ones, too. All of them taught be crucial lessons in life, our craft, and professionalism. After several kitchens and mentors, I worked for Chef Brother Luck and was given a Sous Chef position when he opened his flagship, IV. Aside from the immense knowledge and passion passed on to me by Chef Luck, the most important lesson I learned during that time was that I didn’t ever want to work so hard to run a restaurant that wasn’t my own. A change in career path by moving to bartending with an extraordinary company ran by deeply compassionate leaders gave me the mental space to learn new passions and make cooking solely a creative endeavor with my chef partner Adam Ridens. We started Ephemera Dinners in March 2018 and eventually gained the attention of several people involved in projects adding to Downtown. Many of the opportunities in many ways fell into our laps and we had plenty of resources from industry friends to supportive families; so in that sense, we were very lucky getting started. Of course, there’s really nothing easy about running a restaurant and we face mountains of daily challenges, COVID obviously being most prevalent, as for most small business owners now. We want the world to know that we don’t do this just to have a profitable business, but because it’s what we love: to share our passion and craft with our guests by nourishing them and making meaningful memories.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Colorado Springs offers an extraordinarily diverse range of experiences that, as a life long resident, I am always proud to show off to friends and family from out of town. I grew up in Manitou Springs, so would of course have to show them the best and less known hiking spots, as well as the more popular ones like Red Mountain. However, I refuse to make someone do the incline when I know of much better hikes with the same workout. Moreover, if they’re a confident rider, Captain Jacks and the Chutes would be a must. For dining and drinking, we’d go to my favorite spots downtown and on the westside including (but certainly not limited to) Chiba Bar, The Archives, District Eleven, and 503W. Away from downtown, we’d have old fashioneds at Axe and the Oak Whiskey House, and some Last Words at Principal’s Office in the Ivywild School, and Guava Lava Chicken Tacos at Pig Latin up North. What draws me to those places, aside from the great food and drinks, will always be the amazing friends and colleagues that make them so special with their talent and passion for hospitality.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would always want to recognize the immensely talented and capable tight-knit community of restaurant and hospitality workers in Colorado Springs. From the established veterans, to the rising stars, to the youngest ones just discovering their passion, I am continually encouraged and inspired.
Jasmine Dillavou, Lauren Reece, Ian Dedrickson, Adam Ridens