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vol. 2 no. 2 • march/april 2016 • create

It’s time to

Edible Masterpieces p. 10 Park City’s Tasteful Tupelo p. 22

Jamming With Amour Spreads p. 32

Frog Bench’s Urban Farm p. 42 Devour Utah • March/April 2016 1


2 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


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Affordable, edible art BY AMANDA ROCK

Cowboy Alchemy

High West Distillery partners with Blue Sky Ranch BY JOANNE MILLER

Contents

The Spread

Park City’s Tupelo BY HEATHER L. KING

Great Karma

Chef, TV personality & educator Houman Gohary on perfect hummus and more BY KATIE ELDRIDGE

The Deconstruct Mazza Middle Eastern BY TED SCHEFFLER

Jam Session

Jamming with Amour Spreads’ John & Casee Francis BY DARBY DOYLE

Urban Pioneer Foods The lowdown on Salt Lake City’s unique catering company BY AMANDA ROCK

Down on the Farm Urban farming at Frog Bench Farms BY DARBY DOYLE

Spirit Guide

Creatively crafted cocktails BY CHELSEA NELSON

Something From Nothing

Less is often more in cooking BY VANESSA CHANG

4 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

COURTESY PHOTO

10 14 22 24 30 32 38 40 50 58

Edible Masterpieces


Devour Utah • March/April 2016 5


DEVOUR CONTRIBUTORS STAFF

Publisher JOHN SALTAS General Manager

ANDY SUTCLIFFE

Editorial Editor Editorial Staff Contributors

Photographers

TED SCHEFFLER JERRE WROBLE, ANDREA HARVEY, LANCE GUDMUNDSEN VANESSA CHANG, DARBY DOYLE, KATIE ELDRIDGE, HEATHER KING, JOANNE MILLER, CHELSEA NELSON, AMANDA ROCK DEREK CARLISLE, NIKI CHAN, KATIE ELDRIDGE, CHRISTA GRAFF, JOANNE MILLER, JOSH SCHEUERMAN, JOHN TAYLOR

Nomadic Aussie scribe and pragmatic hedonist, Joanne Miller (aka The Word Surgeon) confesses to a dependence on fine French bubbles, stinky blue cheese and furry faces (think animals and lesshirsute males). This amateur shutterbug/wannabe ballerina finds wonderment exploring her everchanging surroundings.

Production Art Director Assistant Production Manager Graphic Artists

DEREK CARLISLE MASON RODRICKC SUMMER MONTGOMERY, JOSH SCHEUERMAN, CAIT LEE

Business/Office Accounting Manager Associate Business Manager Office Administrator Technical Director

CODY WINGET PAULA SALTAS CELESTE NELSON BRYAN MANNOS

Amanda Rock is a freelance food writer with a passion for local vegetarian fare. She blogs at Amanda-Eats-SLC.Blogspot.com

Marketing Marketing Manager Marketing Coordinator

JACKIE BRIGGS NICOLE ENRIGHT

Circulation Circulation Manager

LARRY CARTER

Sales Magazine Advertising Director Newsprint Advertising Director Digital Operations Manager Senior Account Executives Retail Account Executives Devour Store Assistant Manager

JENNIFER VAN GREVENHOF PETE SALTAS ANNA PAPADAKIS DOUG KRUITHOF, KATHY MUELLER JEFF CHIPIAN, JEREMIAH SMITH MOLLI STITZEL ALISSA DIMICK

Distribution is complimentary throughout the Wasatch Front. Additional copies of Devour are available for $4.95 at the Devour offices located at 248 S. Main, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 • 801-575-7003 • DevourUtah.com Email editor at Ted@DevourUtah.com Advertising contact: Sales@DevourUtah.com

Copperfield Publishing Copyright 2016. All rights reserved

6 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Katie Eldridge has called Park City home for more than 15 years. A reporter by trade, her day job (as owner of Panic Button Media) takes her to the “other side” of the industry where she is often promoting restaurants to local and national media outlets. When not rubbing shoulders with reporters, you may find her globetrotting or at concerts.

Salt Lake City native Chelsea Nelson is passionate about living local. She writes a food & cocktail blog, Heartbeat Nosh. By day, she is a digital-marketing guru for a local nonprofit, but she loves adventuring with her family most of all.


Flowers, Gifts & Gallery You’ve just got to come in! 1344 S. 2100 E. | 801.521.4773 everybloomingthing.com Devour Utah • March/April 2016 7


LOOK YOUNGER FEEL YOUNGER

Collagen Induction Facial Aesthetics Hyaluronic Acid, Growth Factors or PRP

Creation The Story of

P

rofessional chefs and cooks have a lot in common with toddlers. No, I’m not referring to throwing temper tantrums or making big messes in the kitchen. I’m talking about creativity. Kids are nothing if not creative. Great cooks must learn the essential rules and techniques of cooking—the “chops” as it were—only to, if talented enough, break those rules in the name of creativity. In that, they are brothers and sisters of artisan food producers, farmers, craft bartenders and such-like. Creativity is their calling card. And, truth be told, most of them are kids at heart. In this issue of Devour Utah, we turn to the topic of creativity: Joanne Miller documents the creative synergy between Park City’s award-winning High West Distillery and the new Blue Sky Ranch in Wanship, while Amanda Rock picks the brain of Brooke Woffinden, founder and owner of the very creative Salt Lake City catering company, Urban Pioneer Foods. Darby Doyle unearths the motives and methods behind Salt Lake’s urban Frog Bench Farms; Chelsea Nelson—our resident cocktail queen—scours the bars for some of Utah’s most inventive cocktails; and Katie Eldridge learns the secrets of great hummus and “Good Karma” from chef, restaurateur, TV personality and educator Houman Gohary. As for me, I spent part of a morning with one of my favorite restaurateurs— Ali Sabbah of Mazza—learning lots about Middle Eastern cuisine, operating successful restaurants (which his are) and getting to know the ins and outs of making Mazza’s most popular dish: Chicken & Potatoes Mutabbak for The Deconstruct. Always the contrarian, Vanessa Chang makes a case for less creativity, suggesting that some of the best meals are also the simplest. That’s great news for a not-so-creative amateur cook like me! ❖ —Ted Scheffler Editor

Pricing Starts at $200

3350 Highland Dr. | Salt Lake City 801.875.9292 clearhealthcenters.com 8 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

COURTESY PHOTO

CLEAR HEALTH CENTERS


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edible

Masterpieces Affordable, Edible Art

10 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

BY AMANDA ROCK


DEREK CARLISLE

Vegetarian Combo $ .75 7

Mushroom Trio $ .00 9

T

hey say you eat first with your eyes. When a plate is set in front of you, your eyes take in the dish—the different colors, intriguing textures and creative plating whet the appetite for the meal you’re about to enjoy. The reasonably priced dishes here not only taste terrific, but are stunning enough to pass for works of art.

Vegetarian Combo $7.75

Mushroom Trio $9

It’s easy to imagine the Vegetarian Combination from African Restaurant as an artist’s palette. Six eye-catching vegetable dishes are served on injera, a soft sourdough flatbread covering the plate. Vibrant red dimaa, a hearty combination of potatoes and beets, contrasts with bright yellow alichaa misira-lentils colored with turmeric and seasoned with onions, garlic and ginger root. Vivid collard greens are surrounded with more mellow earthy colors of the two lentil dishes and split peas. Extra injera is served alongside, so that you can gently scoop up the colorful vegetarian bounty in front of you.

The Mushroom Trio from Martine Cafe is a delectable dish that brings to mind an abstract painting. A vivid green dot of ginger-serrano chile salsa tantalizes the eye and the appetite. Three slices of seared tofu share the plate with earthy mushrooms topped with delicate micro-greens, all dressed with glistening miso vinaigrette. Together, it’s a portrait of bright flavors and lusty textures. Martine Cafe 22 E. 100 South, SLC 801-363-9328 MartineCafe.com

JOHN TAYLOR

African Restaurant 1878 S. Redwood Road, SLC 801-978-9673 AfricanRestaurant.org

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 11


Porch 11274 Kestrel Rise Road South Jordan 801-679-1066 PorchUtah.com

Yuzu Posset $7 The Yuzu Posset could pass for a modern-art masterpiece. This picturesque dessert was the talk of the town when Current Fish & Oyster opened in 2015. Pastry chef Alexa Norlin certainly knows how to impress—Salt Lakers hadn’t seen (or tasted) anything like it before. The posset, which resembles a firm custard, is flavored with citrusy yuzu fruit. A single strip of powdered olive oil adds fascinating texture and flavor. Four dots of green rosemary jelly decorate the dish, accompanied by a single crispy burnt citrus tuile. It’s a divine way to end a meal. Current Fish & Oyster 279 E. 300 South, SLC 801-326-3474 CurrentFishandOyster.com

12 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

JOHN TAYLOR

Upon first glance, you’ll think you’ve been served a Jackson Pollack painting for brunch. Look closer and you’ll notice morsels of vibrant pink trout scattered across the plate, dotted with tiny bits of sweet candied bacon and delicate slices of red onion. Yellow hard-boiled egg yolk pellets add a splash of color. Savory and crunchy trout skin “chips” are sprinkled over the dish, while drizzled buttermilk dressing brings the composition together. The house-cured trout dish appears diminutive, but rest assured, it’s a satisfying meal. The combination of smoky and sweet flavors combined with the different textures will make your mouth (as well as your eyes) very happy.

Yuzu Posset $ .00 7

COURTESY PHOTO

House-Cured Utah Trout $ .00 10

House-Cured Utah Trout $10


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Devour Utah • March/April 2016 13


Cowboy Alchemy High West Distillery’s partnership with Blue Sky Ranch By Joanne Miller

14 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


AUSTEN DIAMOND

High West Distillery “whiskey pioneer” David Perkins

XXX

JOANNE MILLER

A

Cincinnati wedding led bourbonloving husband-and-wife team, biochemist David Perkins and Jane Perkins, the “purist” chemist, to detour to neighboring Kentucky to tour Maker’s Mark Distillery. A self-proclaimed “whiskey guy” and passionate cook, David was drawn to the elaborate, lab-like setting until he and Jane entered the barrel warehouse and it happened—a sudden desire to not only drink, but also to create the good stuff: Rocky Mountain, Western-style, small-batch brand whiskey in conservative Utah, of all places. Innovation is part of the everyday Perkins experience. In 2011, David was crowned “Whiskey Pioneer” by Whiskey Advocate magazine, three years after opening Utah’s first legal distillery since the mining boom of the 1870s, and two years after establishing the world’s only ski-in saloon and distillery. Park City’s High West Distillery and Saloon offers an inviting and mixed ambiance, where dedicated powder chasers share bar space at 7,000 feet above sea level, alongside cowboys and jetsetters. Jane is the alchemic blue blood. Her great grandfather was the man behind the legendary Duffy malt whiskey—the “greatest known heart tonic.” Much of the Park City saloon is adorned with fascinating family artifacts. What transpired for the Perkinses over these past eight years is best likened to a slow-aged whiskey—maturing and assuming enviable fullbodied character. Their newest project—Wanship’s High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch—is a 20-minute drive from Park City, seemingly remote and vast in its 30,000 square feet within

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 15


Sample a taste of whiskey after the distillery tour

16 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Scotland is the renowned manufacturer of the world’s great Scotch whiskey stills, while the onsite Blue Sky Ranch packaging crew of 10 has established its own enviable reputation, nimbly handling 5,000 bottles of whiskey per day. The distillery tour is interesting yet succinct, so as not to overwhelm whiskey neophytes. Aficionados may choose to spend their tour inhaling the enticing aromas, especially when all four stills are up and running. Ever persistent and pioneering, High West is the first Utah brewery/distillery to earn a state-approved educational license, allowing sample whiskey pours without food accompaniment.

➳ JOANNE MILLER

whiskey is his true passion. He recently hung up his well-worn apron following a decade at Tony Caputo’s downtown Salt Lake City foodie haven. How Ross maintained a trim physique after longterm exposure to Caputo’s legendary cheese caves is anyone’s guess. The distillery at Blue Sky Ranch officially opened its doors on Dec. 5, 2015, to coincide with the 81st anniversary of the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, although production actually commenced a year earlier. One of the four custom-designed Forsyths copper-pot stills currently produces 1,585 gallons of rye, malt, wheat and bourbon whiskey—six times the size of the Park City still. Forsyths of

JOANNE MILLER

a historic 3,500-acre working cattle ranch, housing rescued animals amid breathtaking, mountainous country. A nearby aquifer provides the purest of water, vital for distillation and filtering, along with organic, non-GMO grains and seasonal produce from neighboring farms. The visitor’s center at Blue Sky Ranch offers educational whiskey-making tours, with the option to stay for fivepour tastings and lunch. My own guided tour commenced in the dining room, lead by High West general manager Evan Ross, a man who clearly loves his job. Like David Perkins, his knowledge of fine food and wine is impressive, but he confesses that

JOANNE MILLER

JOANNE MILLER

High West at Blue Sky Ranch is located on a historic 3,500-acre cattle ranch.

Distilled spirit ages in oak barrels, where it matures and becomes whiskey


more than a

shop, with

gourmet, locally sourced sandwiches, salads, juices and other healthy eats.

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­­­­ ost whiskey-making tour, visitors P (21 and older) have the choice of two five-pour tasting flights. The “101” ($15) includes Yippee Ki-Yay, and the “Reserve” ($25) includes a sample of the much-revered A Midwinter Night’s Dram. The “Bill of Fare” food menu is relatively small but curated into three sections—shared, light bites and plates to complement the whiskeys. The pottage ($12) of venison, root vegetables, red wine and herbs proved the perfect starter for a brisk winter’s afternoon while the Butcher’s Board ($22) is a mélange of pickled, smoked, aged, cured and crisped offerings: Gold Creek, Humbolt Fog and Lombardi cheeses, Creminelli salamis, Calabrese peppers, smoked trout, house-pickled vegetables, honeycomb, house-pressed fruit bread and High West’s Campfire-soaked raisins (oh my!). Boutique beers and soft drinks are on hand for non-whiskey drinkers and designated drivers. Sweet teeth will love the curated chocolate board ($12) showcasing local Millcreek Cacao. Here’s hoping the High West Park City location’s institutional bison burger and grillsworth (a Krispy Kreme donut paired with whiskey-laced ice cream and caramel sauce) make it across the canyons and onto the High West Distillery at Blue Sky menu.

18 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Choosing Your Tipple

Spoiled for choice, here’s a ready reckoner to High West’s crowd-favorite whiskeys. ■ A Midwinter Night’s Dram: double dousing in French, port-soaked oak barrels provides a heady concoction of dried fruit and spicy flavor, deeming it the perfect winter drink. ■ American Prairie: corn-based with vanilla, honey and a hard-to-beat texture. (Ten percent of proceeds assist the American Prairie Foundation to protect Montana’s bison population). ■ Barreled Manhattan: The quintessential cocktail. Aged for 90 days, the caramel flavor renders it difficult to stop at one. Add ice and Angostura bitters and voila! ■ Bourye: a true sipping whiskey. ■ Campfire: the most complex and divisive High West whiskey. You either love it or hate it, given the smoky taste and light texture. ■ Double Rye: High West’s best-selling whiskey, known for its spicy flavor. ■ Rendezvous: the way rye whiskey was intended, with a long and gentle finish. ■ Yippee Ki-Yay: The end result of blending rye whiskey into barrels used to age wine: “All-natural, not disgustingly sweet whiskey,” says Evan Ross, High West Distillery manager.

JOANNE MILLER

Ride ‘Em, Cowboy!

Wannabe cowboys and cowgirls will want to plan their visit to Blue Sky Ranch in advance to take advantage of a variety of Western adventures. There’s guided horseback riding and horsemanship clinics, trap shooting, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, flyfishing, hiking and overnighting in a yurt. Falling in love is encouraged with the picturesque barn already proving popular with brides and bridegrooms. In addition, a luxury wellness center, 30room lodge, plus eight mountain villas and conference rooms will be unveiled at Blue Sky Ranch later this year.

JOANNE MILLER

Flights of Fancy

JOANNE MILLER

JOANNE MILLER

JOANNE MILLER

Yipee Ki-Yay bottle label


Tradition...Tradition

Best

of Utah

2015

2005 E. 2700 SOUTH, SLC | FELDMANSDELI.COM OPEN TUES - SAT TO GO ORDERS: (801) 906-0369 FELDMANSDELI @

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 19


Whiskey is made from grain, preferably organic and non-GMO.

High West’S

JOANNE MILLER NIKI CHAN

FORSYTHS STill

You Say Whisky, I Say Whiskey

The Scottish use the spelling “whisky” while the Irish prefer “whiskey.” It’s about origination and literal translation (from Gaelic). American Irish ancestral roots explain the adoption of ‘e’ here, but there’s more to whisky and whiskey: Distillation: Scottish and American whiskies are twice distilled while Irish are triple-distilled for a lighter/smoother end product. Stills: Size and shape matter. Irish/American distilleries lean toward “full-bodied” stills, providing a soft, rounder product, while the Scots choose various shaped/sized stills for greater character/flavor diversity. Peat: The Scots use it to dry malted barley for milling and mashing, imparting a full and smoky flavor. Irish/ American distillers use wood for lighter taste and reduced smokiness. Grains: The Scots love their malted barley while the Irish/ Americans are OK with blending grains for their “mash.” A blended grain whiskey improves with further blending, which is how new flavors/textures were developed when Irish immigrants were first introduced to America’s diverse climate and soils. The evolution of American blends has been so great that today they bear very little semblance to Scottish or even Irish whiskies.

CHRISTA GRAFF

High West Distillery at Blue Sky is a place that locals will want to return to, as well as to show off to visiting family and friends. The distillery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Tour/tasting times are 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Advance reservations prevent disappointment. Be sure to capitalize on the complimentary shuttle from High West in Park City.) ❖

20 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

High West Distillery at Blue Sky Ranch 27649 Old Lincoln Highway, Wanship 435-649-8300 HighWest.com


PARTIES & CORPORATE EVENTS

CALL 385-424-2572 GRACIESSLC.COM

2014

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2015

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The

pread S

22 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


Southern charm abounds at Tupelo in Park City

TUPELO

E

verything about Tupelo on Park City’s Main Street suggests thoughtfulness. Slices of tupelo-tree wood hang on the walls. A talented team of experienced A-list staffers caters to customers’ needs. Even the menu’s “veg + grain” dishes feature a surprisingly creative collection that vegetarians, vegans and small-plate lovers can build an entire meal around. Dripping with Southern charm like the restaurant’s namesake Tupelo honey, executive chef and co-owner Matt Harris (formerly of J&G Grill) calls on his Southern roots for inspiration, but it’s his and his wife’s (co-owner Maggie Alvarez) travels around the world that really shape Tupelo’s enticing menu of starters and entrées. The chargrilled octopus, “is inspired by our trip to Chile earlier this year,” says Alvarez. “Every town you’d go to would have the most amazing octopus dishes. I’d never seen it with olives and potatoes before, but it’s how they typically do it.” Other plates pay tribute to the people who catch, make or grow what appears on the plate. “We want to focus on building relationships with the community who are really craftsmen and do a fantastic job with their products,” Harris says. “We’re here to bring those sources and their story to the table because they do most of the work. I play with it a little bit and get it to the plate, but I love to tell their individual stories because they are fantastic.” From lightly fried Maine crab fritters accented with hot-sauce butter and tangy okra to seared scallops served with earthy cauliflower, capers and golden raisins, Harris puts a memorable touch into each bite. Housemade pappardelle pasta comes studded with braised rabbit and crispy Brussels sprouts while roasted elk loin is complemented by luscious heirloom Sea Island baked beans and candied dates. Pastry chef Shirley Butler lovingly creates all the desserts—like the dense lemon pound cake or sticky-toffee pudding with Earl Grey bitters ice cream—from scratch in-house. Tupelo is another dining jewel in Park City’s diamond-studded tiara. ❖

Tupelo executive chef and co-owner Matt Harris

Tupelo sticky-toffee pudding with Earl Grey bitters ice cream

Tupelo 508 Main, Park City 435-615-7700 TupeloParkCity.com —By Heather King Photos by Niki Chan

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 23


24 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


H

Getting to know chef, educator & TV personality Houman Gohary Story and photos by Katie Eldridge

e’s one of those perpetually positive personalities, whose playful approach to cooking is still working its magic. Houman Gohary, owner and founder of Good Karma restaurant in Park City, is still committed to having fun as he adds teaching to his regular repertoire via his work with the Park City Culinary Institute. We caught up with Gohary at Good Karma to learn about making the perfect hummus, and how he got into this wild world of cheffing. Devour: Tell us how your relationship with cooking and the kitchen began. HG: I grew up in Persia with my grandmother, where she would prepare meals for 20 or 30 friends and family at a time. Every day, eating is a community event and every day, it’s a family reunion. She taught me to focus on selection, on the ingredients you are buying. Select only the best. Smell the produce—like a ripe melon. Does it trigger a memory of the best melon you’ve ever had? To this day, I spend the most time on selecting ingredients. I abide by this with not only food, but with hiring employees. Devour: How did you come to the United States, and what led you to this career? HG: I first went to Europe to get an engineering degree and worked in restaurants to support myself. There really is a connection between the two. Cooking is mathematics. I was studying chemistry and physics and could see the direct correlation when I was cooking. Eventually, I made it my career and came here to continue that dream. Devour: For those who are unfamiliar with it, what is Persian cuisine? HG: Having fresh ingredients is No. 1—seasonal fresh ingredients, lots of herbs and French techniques like braising, searing, poaching, baking and roasting. Most of the kebabs are cooked on open flame like a barbecue; it’s very flavorful. Lamb shish kebab with saffron rice (such as the recipe I used in the show with Bobby Flay) is something we would have every Sunday with my family growing up. Devour: You were executive chef at The Canyons for nine years before opening Good Karma in 2006. Tell us about your current menu and what people will discover when they dine with you. HG: We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. We’ve become very popular for breakfast, especially on the weekends. Egg masala is a favorite with our customers as is our Bollywood Burrito. We try to create a warm atmosphere with healthy food options. We use mostly locally sourced organic products. We describe our cuisine here as “Indo-Persian” (Indian-Persian). Devour: How are you spending your time now? HG: My main focus is sourcing the product—finding the best ingredients. Also trying to be creative and write fresh seasonal menus. Training and coaching my staff is also

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 25


"The magic touch is 40 years of experience, and 5,000 years of culture." — Houman Gohary

Chef Houman Gohary

26 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Good Karma cuisine is available in the form of Instant Karma takeout products at retail outlets and Good Karma restaurant.

very important to me. I like to teach them new techniques so they are always learning. Also, I like to give back to this community that has given so much to me. Devour: What makes your hummus so good? HG: The magic touch is 40 years of experience (he laughs) and 5,000 years of culture. When you grow up with something, you know how it’s supposed to be. The flavor, the texture, everything. Then, you can make it the way it should be. Devour: What do you think about the fancy hummus options out there with peppers, beans, etc.? HG: I see them and taste them—but there’s really no reason to mess with the original in my opinion. The beauty of hummus as I see it, is its simplicity. Devour: Hummus is so basic—how do people mess it up? HG: If you don’t cook the garbanzo beans correctly—that’s No. 1. Same thing with mashed potatoes. Those are simple, too—but people mess it up all the time. It’s one of those dishes people take very seriously, and you have to get it just right. It’s key to taste the hummus as you make it, throughout the process. The beginning, middle and end. There are variables with all of the ingredients—the garlic might be more pungent, etc. The recipe is only a guideline. The end result is determined by the caliber of the chef and the process and ingredients. Devour: From your first televised appearance on The Today Show during the 2002 Winter Olympics to your recent competition with Bobby Flay, you’ve really embraced being a chef on TV. Why do you do it? HG: I am performer by nature. I was in a jazz band in San Francisco long ago. I used to play in various clubs. Being in front of a camera doesn’t bother me—I’m pretty animated—so the Food Network folks seem to like that. I have a good time just enjoying the moment. It has been a great experience and I hope to do more. Devour: Good Karma is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. What’s next for you and the restaurant? HG: We are going to continue to strive to be a fully organic restaurant and to provide our customers with a great experience. We love our customers—they understand the value of not compromising quality. I am also loving my role as the director of the Park City Culinary Institute. Teaching has been really great for me—I learn a lot, I can be creative, and it’s invigorating to influence new generations of chefs. ❖


Happy Hour at the

1057 E. 2100 S. • (801) 485-4227 saltlakecity.barmethod.com

Curious Concoctions of

Professor Julian Raintree

THE MACHINE AGE

OPEN MON, WED-SAT 11AM TO 6PM THESTEAMPUNKSPECTACLE • LOWER LEVEL CENTER COURT TROLLEY SQUARE Devour Utah • March/April 2016 27


Good Karma

Hummus

1/4 cup fresh garlic (minced) 2 cups organic garbanzo beans (rinsed and soaked for 2 hours) 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste) 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup hot liquid from cooked garbanzos 2 cups olive oil 3 tablespoons pink salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Drain the soaked organic garbanzo beans. Place the garbanzo beans in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water. Cook the garbanzo beans for 45 minutes or until they split and become soft. Drain the garbanzo beans, and reserve the liquid. Allow garbanzo beans to steam dry for 1/2 hour. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic and olive oil. Process the garlic until it is minced. Add garbanzo beans, tahini and lemon juice to the food processor and process until hummus is pureed and smooth. Add salt and pepper. If the mixture is too coarse, add additional water from the cooked garbanzos. Continue to process until smooth. Adjust seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature with pita bread. Serves 12 Good Karma’s Instant Karma hummus is in demand by customers both at the restaurant and at select retail outlets such as The Market in Park City. Or, you can just whip up a batch at home!

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The 30 Devour Utah • March/April 2016 30 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


A

li Sabbah’s popular Mazza Middle Eastern restaurant tempts diners with delectable dishes from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Israel and beyond. According to Sabbah, the most popular house specialty among Mazza customers is a rich, complex dish called Chicken & Potatoes Mutabbak. For this lip-smacking signature dish, boneless chicken breasts are baked until tender in a tangy and slightly sweet tamarind sauce after the chicken has been seasoned with a fragrant spice mixture that includes Mazza’s secret ninespice mix, plus garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf, paprika and Aleppo pepper. The melt-in-the-mouth chicken is then served layered with crispy potato rounds, golden sweet onion slices, and basmati rice, garnished simply with minced parsley. Mazza’s Mutabbak is a party on the palate: sweet and savory notes mingling with the oh-so tender chicken and pockets of spiciness from the Aleppo pepper. Enjoying Chicken & Potatoes Mutabbak is also a good excuse to explore wines from Mazza’s intriguing selection. Mazza offers vintages from Lebanon and Israel, including Lebanese Ksara Sunset Rosé, which is an ideal pairing for this can’t-miss dish. ❖ —Ted Scheffler Photos by Niki Chan

MAZZA’s

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Jam NIKI CHAN

Sessions

32 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


And that’s Amour: Artisan jams crafted with love By Darby Doyle

NIKI CHAN

NIKI CHAN

“M

John & Casee Francis

aking jam is a lot like fiddle playing,” says John Francis, an acclaimed master of both skill sets. Amour Spreads, the brand that he started with his wife, Casee Francis, in 2011, just won the prestigious 2015 Good Food Award— the equivalent of an Oscar among sustainable food enthusiasts—for their Black Currant Blackberry jam in the very competitive preserves category. And, John is the reigning Oldtime Fiddlers National Finals Senior Champion as well. “There are fiddle tunes I learned over 50 years ago that I still play today. Fiddling is a little bit like jazz, where there’s flexibility around the tune … as long as it fits within the structure, it stays true to the tune.” After making tens of thousands of jars of jam, John contends “making jam by hand in our copper jam pans—which in and of itself is a very pretty process—is just a joy. On the surface, it may seem like just another batch of raspberry jam. But it’s not. It’s the same tune we’ve played before, but [the changeable nature of fruit] makes it always a little bit different.” Since Amour Spreads are made using only fresh fruit, cane sugar and organic lemon juice with no added pectin, each batch gels (sets) depending upon the fruit’s natural thickening properties, moisture content and sugar levels. “There are some batches of jam using the exact same ingredients, with the same fruit, cooked in the same pans on the same stove, but may take five or 10 minutes longer to cook.” And that’s where the skill and experience of these master jammers come in: stirring and gauging their product by look, feel and taste. But their essential goal remains the same, according to John. “Our objective is to create a jam that reminds us of that fruit, whatever it may be, in the absolute best possible way.”

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 33


NIKI CHAN

"Our objective is to create a jam that reminds us of that fruit ... in the absolute best

34xxx Devour Utah • March/April 2016

NIKI CHAN

Casee agrees that quality ingredients are the key to their success. After winning the Good Food Award, she possible way." said that they returned to Utah “truly honored, grateful and more inspired than ever” to be part of a passionate — John Francis and talented pool of people supporting local farms and sustainable producers. “We depend on our relationship with farmers who grow the best, most delicious fruit,” from Bear Lake blackberries and the tangelos they pick at a friend’s orchard in the San Francisco Bay area, to the dozen-plus varieties of heirloom tomatoes Casee tends herself. Amour (“love” in French) sources its fruit directly from more than a dozen growers selected for their responsible growing practices. “We love working with Utah farmers,” Casee says. “There’s something about the mountain climate and the sun exposure that make a big difference.” Both in response to increased demand for their delicious spreads for clients like Williams-Sonoma, and to make a more user-friendly work environment for their small staff, they’re renovating Amour’s commercial kitchen space. John anticipates the expansion will allow for “more, but not necessarily bigger, batches of jam.” They’ll also be increasing production of their incredibly popular layered chocolate bars in delicious collaboration with locally made Solstice Chocolate, featuring Amour flavors like Raspberry Rose, Italian Plum and Tangelo. John and Casee recently received approval for a small retail space and café as part of their current shop’s remodel, so that they can sell directly to customers year-round. And they are especially excited about adding new products to their existing line of 25 or so spreads. Smaller runs of more experimental ingredients and flavors will be available (instead of preparing a run of blackberry jam, for instance, that needs to be consistent whether sold at Caputo’s Market or served at Pago). John is excited about the boutique approach, “We’ll sell as much or as little as we may make of that jam,” and customers will be able to enjoy a unique and limited product, “even if we only have enough fruit to make a dozen jars.” “But really,” Casee says of their production philosophy, “our jam reflects what we like. And what we like to eat.” There’s a lot to love about that. ❖

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COURTESY PHOTO

COURTESY PHOTO

36 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

COURTESY PHOTO

Amour means "love" in French.

Amour Spreads’

Jam-Filled Ebelskivers Ebelskivers are a traditional Danish breakfast dish made using a half spherical pan. This particular design yields pancake-like balls that are perfect for dipping or filling with delicious jam. Ebelskiver pans can be found at any local kitchenware shop such as WilliamsSonoma. Directions: For the batter, whip up your favorite pancake recipe. Heat the pan on medium heat. Add oil or butter to each sphere to keep the batter from sticking. Fill each sphere half way with the batter. Wait 30 seconds, then add a teaspoon of your favorite Amour jam or marmalade. We’ve found Tayberry Jam and Tangelo Marmalade to be fabulous complements. When the edges of the ebelskivers begin to look cooked (about 1 1/2 minutes), flip over and allow to cook for an additional 45 seconds or until thoroughly cooked and browned. Serve with maple syrup, crème fraîche, powdered sugar and fresh fruit … though jam-filled ebelskivers tend to need little more than a drizzle of crème fraîche, in our humble opinion. Enjoy! Recipe courtesy of AmourSpreads.com


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Urban Pioneer Foods

U

sing only top-notch ingredients— organic and local whenever possible—Urban Pioneer Foods provides a delicious dining option in Salt Lake City. Those in the know seek out the company's superb catering services or stop by the shop to take home delectable, handcrafted meals. We had the opportunity to catch up with Urban Pioneer Foods owner Brooke Woffinden and chat about her burgeoning business. Devour: Your retail business is unique. Can you tell us more about it? Brooke Woffinden: We’ve created a way for busy people to have extra time in their day and eat well. Each week, we create from four to six different family-style meals from our own recipes using only the highestquality ingredients. These meals are then fully cooked, packaged and sold to be taken home by our clients and easily reheated. We provide a variety of entrées, including traditional meat dishes and vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Prices range from $6 to $10 per serving, which is reasonable for those with a taste for high-quality food. Our meals are available for takeout on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 38 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Catering locally sourced fare for SLC foodies By Amanda Rock

Devour: In addition to providing meals to-go, you also cater events, parties and such. How do you differ from other local caterers? BW: Our clients are consistently thrilled by our attention to detail, innovative menus, great customer service and reasonable prices for quality, handcrafted food. Our meals and catered menus exceed the culinary expectations of our invaluable clientele. We put as much thought and effort into sourcing products and ingredients as we do developing the menu. Devour: Where do you source your ingredients? BW: We work with sustainable, organic and local food producers whenever possible. Through the art of food preservation, we cook with local fruits and vegetables year-round. Our menus and new dishes are inspired by the amazing products that our community is growing and sourcing. We work with Backyard Urban Garden Farms, Real Foods Rising, Adam’s Heirlooms and Morgan Valley Lamb, Aquarius Fish, Clifford Farms, Urban Farm and Feed, Caputo’s, Carlucci’s Bakery, Sweet Valley Family Organics, among other local community-driven

food businesses in Salt Lake City. Collaboration with our community has been one of the main reasons we have flourished over the past 3 1/2 years.

If you have a special event that needs catering, or have always wanted your own personal chef, Urban Pioneer Foods has something delicious to offer. A sampling of recent dishes includes savory soups such as Cheesy Potato Dill and Red Lentil Spinach Sweet Potato, available to take home in a quart Mason jar for $12. Hearty entrées are available as well, like Indonesian Beef Stew served with rice and curried greens, or a vegetarian option of Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagna Rolls made with local roasted tomato sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella. The menu at Urban Pioneer Foods is continually changing. You can keep up with them on social-media channels for current menu options. Follow them on Instagram (@UrbanPioneerFoods) and Twitter (@UrbanPioneerSLC), or stop by their retail location and browse. ❖

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E C B N H The urban oasis that Paula and Joe Sargetakis built

Farms

By Darby Doyle Photos by cityhomeCollective

C

olor. It’s everywhere: huge pops of brilliant crimson, traffic-cone orange, sunny yellow, puppy-paw pink, vivid turquoise and iridescent purple zing amid a thousand hues of green, from the palest fuzzy sage to glossy seaweed-dark fronds. Wherever you look at urban Frog Bench Farms, there are technicolor reminders that this operation is about as far in appearance and ideology from mono-cropped corporate farming as you can get. Call it backyard gardening gone bonkers, but in the best possible way. The cleverly conceived 10,000-square-foot footprint of the farm’s experimental greenhouse and adjoining raised garden beds are snuggled in an established

40 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Foothills neighborhood, virtually invisible from the surrounding houses. As SLC Pop chef Katie Weinner told me, “I couldn’t believe a place like this existed almost three miles from my house. My initial thought, pulling up the security gate,”—which fits seamlessly into the streetscape and looks like a fancy version of a wrought-iron driveway gate— “was ‘does James Bond farm here?’” She’s not exaggerating with the secrecy vibe, which farm owners Joe and Paula Sargetakis have integrated into their thoughtful design for myriad reasons. Out of respect for their neighbors and to protect their own privacy, the farm is not open to the public and events at the site are limited to small groups of no

more than a few dozen people at a time. But what a treat those rare visitors get. Since I attended the first Pago and Ruth Lewandowski Wines Harvest Dinner at Frog Bench Farms in 2013, I can’t get enough of their flavor-packed vegetal bounty, whether served on-site or enjoyed at restaurants all over town. There’s even been some public gushing in appreciation for Frog Bench Farms veggies over the years, such as Pago chef Phelix Gardner’s “ … platter spiked with the kinky subterranean inversion of all things carrot: an in-your-face reminder that these funky Beetlejuice-esque veggies are taproots in all of their twisted glory” that I raved about in a blog post for cityhomeCollective.


Technicolor tomatoes

In addition to the now-annual Pago harvest celebration, Frog Bench Farms host private events year-round catered by chefs Weinner and Tom Grant as well as Emery Lortsher and Colour Maisch of The Blended Table. Joe and Paula Sargetakis also generously and actively support a rotating group of nonprofits, hosting fundraising events for Rowland Hall, Wasatch Community Gardens, Westminster College and the Natural History Museum of Utah, among others. Because the farm currently does not have a full commercial kitchen, chefs prepare most of the meals off-site in their own space and then finish plating at the farm. “It’s pretty magical hosting an event at Frog Bench Farms,” Pago owner Scott Evans says.

COURTESY PHOTO

The farm’s experimental greenhouse and garden beds “are snuggled in an established Foothills neighborhood.”

Devour Utah • March/April 2016 41


Paula Sargetakis: “I don’t sit long very well.” “The Harvest Dinner, in particular, is very personal, intertwining all of our paths as people who love great food and wine. We celebrate our favorite farmers, winemakers and people in the community who really care about sustainable food.” Guests inevitably ooh-and-ahh over the modern greenhouse, the extensive cold frames nipped into retaining walls as part of the graceful landscape plan, a bocce court and lap pool adjacent to the living quarters, adorable chicken coop, and dozens of edible flower varieties tucked among climbing melon vines. There are decorative frogs everywhere—Paula is known

for her collection of frog art, jewelry, ceramics and garden statuary— thus the name of their East Bench site. But it’s the clever infrastructure features that really set Frog Bench Farms apart as a model of sustainable urban farming. Most of the power for the farm and the Sargetakises’ living quarters come from more than 200 solar panels. Their house is rated LEED Silver for energy. The farm’s rainwatercollection tanks completely sustain the 1.25 acres of dedicated planting and everything in the extensive greenhouse. Of the 2,500-3,000 gallons of water the farm uses per month in the hottest part of the

XXX

Guests inevitably ooh-and-ahh over the modern greenhouse.

42 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

summer, their rain collection tanks have all of the farm’s water needs covered (with the exception of one instance during a recent recordbreaking dry spell, when they pulled briefly from the culinary water supply). The farm’s ingenious system can gather 2,500 gallons of water after one good storm. In addition to supporting the farm’s crops, the water-collection system reduces site runoff and protects their neighbors and an adjacent schoolyard from down-flow rain damage. Additionally, Frog Bench Farms uses filtered recycled rainwater to wash all of their produce prior to


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Frog Bench Farms’ lush greenhouse

distribution, and they reuse their 10-by-20 foot plastic grow trays until they practically fall apart. Joe and Paula, along with full-time farm manager Molly Clark, have integrated reuse and recycling at every level within the farm operation: all washed-off soil gets returned to the farm plots, and Paula says “our chickens are our first composters,” followed by an extensive composting area next to a professional-grade chippershredder. Like most gardeners I know, the Sargetakises love seeing what survives through another season in the compost; those rogue vegetables tend to be pretty hardy.

“We nurture our ‘volunteer’ plants. If they’ve made it through that hot bed, they’re strong,” Paula says. One year, local chefs clambered for a particularly rich-tasting random hybrid winter squash that the Sargetakis’s named “The Frog Bench Pumpkin,” since it was unlike anything they’d seen before. They also maintain an on-site seed bank, growing about 98 percent of their produce from heirloom and heritage seeds, much of them saved from previous growing seasons at the farm. It’s hard to imagine, seeing the sheer volume that Frog Bench Farms produce weekly, that this

From hen ... ... to hand

44 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

operation started only a few years ago. But the couple’s dream of creating a sustainable urban farm had been incubating since 1999. Both Joe and Paula worked in high-pressure jobs in land development and the corporate sector but, as Paula says, “I don’t sit long very well, and I don’t think it’s great for anybody’s soul” to do so. Paula grew up in Park City, her parents and extended family long dedicated to environmental and agricultural education firmly based in their family history as Utah ranchers and founders of the Swaner Nature Preserve. Additionally, Joe and Paula


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Frog Bench’s grape vineyards

Joe Sargetakis itched to get his hands in the dirt. had been working hard to grow their award-winning and highly rated Napa-based wine brand, Parallel Wines—named for their love of skiing Park City—but still felt a bit disconnected from the viniculture process. “I wanted to be a grape farmer,” and spend days in the fields with Parallel’s vineyard manager, Joe says. “But we learned that making wine was just as much about traveling all over the country to develop distribution” as the processes of producing the wine itself. Although the Sargetakises are no longer involved with Parallel Wines on a daily basis, Joe says, “We own

a little bit of the brand, and we’re proud that it’s getting such high ratings.” Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2011 “First Temptation” Cabernet Sauvignon 93 Points and Cellar Selection, and Parallel’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon earned a 92-point rating from Robert Parker. Both Joe and Paula firmly believe that working in the wine business gave them a great perspective into the restaurant industry from the back of the house forward. It informed their emphasis on creating a customer-driven operation, planting what chefs want to eventually see on the plate. They also envisioned doing more

46 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

COURTESY PHOTO

A barrel of Parallel

during their semi-retirement than gazing out over the ninth fairway. Paula wanted to devote more time to her nonprofit support work, and Joe itched to get his hands in the dirt beyond the occasional weekend. They started looking for a space that suited their needs: close to family, large enough to both work and live on-site, in a walkable neighborhood, ideally with 2 acres or so. Impossible, you say? Well, this is where the Sargetakises’ business savvy knocked up against serendipitous timing and excellent luck: Within their ideal location area, a church with structural instability was slated for leveling.


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The Harvest Dinner

Frog Bench Farms: A magical place to host an event The Sargetakises immediately swooped in and bought all eight contiguous residential lots created by the church’s demolition. Immediately, they implemented their farm business plan, built their living quarters and the greenhouse, and started growing plants. Scott Evans remembers the amazing amount of work that went into Frog Bench Farms’ inaugural year, saying, “We knew Paula and Joe as regulars at Pago and, of course, worked with them in the wine world through Parallel.” Evans was particularly excited to hear that Frog Bench’s focus would be directly collaborating with restaurants: “From the beginning, their commitment to providing great produce has been so high. They’ve been incredible working with our feedback, growing what the chefs request.” Chef Weinner agrees, “Joe and Paula are so completely inviting, it’s hard to not want to pick their brilliant brains each time I visit. For me, it’s like walking through an idea factory where everything

48 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

around me inspires new dishes and techniques.” Weinner’s SLC Pop menus are known for their molecular gastronomy and whimsical yet flavor-packed moments. She credits much of this success to artistically adapting top-notch ingredients, which she finds consistently at Frog Bench Farms. “I also really appreciate my relationship with Molly [Clark, the farm manager] who is a text away letting me know what edible flowers are growing and what’s good that week. I can find a unique heirloom seed, and she’ll grow it for me. I also can ask her about other plants or vegetables that I’ve found elsewhere, and she’ll research them and try to grow them.” Weinner says, “It’s a very special chef/farmer relationship.” Listening to Joe recite his weekly delivery route, it’s apparent that a slew of Salt Lake City’s top chefs are as enthralled with the farm’s produce as Weinner is: Fresco, Pago, Current Fish & Oyster, Martine, Zest, From Scratch, Pallet, Finca,

Café Trio, Provisions, the Salt Lake Country Club and more feature Frog Bench Farms’ produce on their menus year-round. “We also grow for Riverhorse on Main in Park City,” Joe says, “but they come down here to collect.” Although the couple’s dream of creating a sustainable farm with care and courtesy to the earth and the people in their community is always at the forefront of their vision, some of their favorite parts of farming are very personal: collecting eggs from their chickens, sourcing the entirety of that night’s dinner from the greenhouse just minutes before they eat, or enjoying a glass of wine while watching the sunset glow through the greenhouse. But, “our favorite part of what we do,” Paula says, “is seeing that smile on a chef’s face. They’re excited to serve what we grow to their guests.” And, says Joe, “We’re having fun playing in the dirt.” ❖

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Crafted Cocktails By Chelsea Nelson • Photos By Derek Carlisle

he idea of “creation” can conjure up many different definitions, especially when it comes to cocktails. Not only can a cocktail itself be creative, interesting or unique—but specific ingredients, the process, garnishes and the distinction of being the only place that offers the drink can set one beverage apart from the others. These four uniquely crafted cocktails incorporate some, or all, of these aspects. I invite you to get out and see what other creative libations you can find.

“To a drinker, the sensation is real and pure and akin to something spiritual: You seek; in the bottle, you find.” —Caroline Knapp, Drinking: A Love Story

imple ingredients can make for an outstanding cocktail—and the Boneyard Paloma is one of those. The components of the cocktail itself are fairly basic: Vida Añejo Tequila, freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit, housemade simple syrup and lime. However, what makes this cocktail unique is the fun and surprising garnish, a garnish that can truly change the flavor profile of the cocktail: a rock candy swizzle stick. Something as simple as a creative garnish can make a cocktail memorable. This pretty swizzle stick acts as a contrast to the grapefruit—let it linger for a sweeter note, or remove it to keep your cocktail on the bitter side. Either way, you’ve got a creative cocktail that truly hits all the right notes.

50 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


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hat Scott Gardner is doing over at Naked Fish is exactly what I think of when I am looking for a beautiful, interesting and maybe a little weird but superbly perfect cocktail. Consider these ingredients: Tanqueray Gin, aromatic milk whey, toasted buckwheat and honey, served in a powered milk-coated glass. Can you even imagine the flavor? This cocktail is incredible and surprisingly light and refreshing. Every ingredient is simple and intended to complement a very straightforward gin, as well as a very simple Japanese menu. The buckwheat hits the back of your tongue toward the end of your sip, creating an earthy finish that also includes a sweet note from the honey. Outside the box? This cocktail is the definition.

Scott Gardner

52 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


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hat’s right—boozy milkshakes. Hub & Spoke Diner absolutely got it right by bringing the perfect high-octane milkshake to Salt Lake City. And, the Hazelnut rendition is one not to miss (and worth every calorie). With a combination of Vida Añejo Tequila, Frangelico, housemade Nutella syrup and organic ice cream—when you sip it through the extra thick straw, you’ll think: First, that is boozy. Second, that’s tequila? Third, this is way better than I was expecting. You won’t find a more creative adult milkshake that tastes this good anywhere else in Salt Lake City.

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Jon Long

he Ruin is the newest spot for craft cocktails and hip imbibers. The entire look and feel of The Ruin—from the amazing woodwork, to the skull decor and bronzed fixtures—lends itself to creativity. Concocting this cocktail, Life on Mars, truly required an out-ofthe-box imagination. With an array of ingredients that includes one intact egg, housemade oleo saccharum (lemon oil), Blue Copper Gold Brew, Irish whiskey, cognac, sherry, allspice tincture and a Guinness float, you might think this one sounds hard to get right. But Chase and Jon nailed it. The egg creates a silky texture, while the oleo saccharum provides a citrus base that truly pulls everything together. It’s super boozy, creamy, nutty, full of big flavor and truly unlike any craft cocktail you’ve experienced before.

56 Devour Utah • March/April January/February 2016 2016


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Nothing SOMETHING

FROM

The virtues and creativity of simple cooking By Vanessa Chang

“What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?” Working in the food biz, that’s a question I'm asked. And even as frequently as I am, I always pause to answer. In my culinary memory, there’s a succession of delicious dishes from various parts of life and the world. Somewhere tucked in there, is the inevitable “fine dining” experience. You know the type: where every course comes with a Downton Abbey-size staff and a soliloquy and where the details are absolutely breathtaking and mind-altering. It’s the same feeling you get after watching a Federico Fellini or John Woo film. Or maybe after hearing Beethoven’s Ninth for the first time.  But as life-changing as those experiences are, my favorite meals—the ones that stick to me the way good buttered bread sticks to the ribs—are often the simplest. I once had the pleasure of being fed by an exceptional home cook. It was a simple meal of pickled veggies with bread and butter, some sautéed chicken thighs and rice, drizzled with a luxurious cream-spiked pan sauce. “Sorry it isn’t anything special,” she said during my second helping. For all the home cooks and food lovers in the world, I’d like to declare once and for all that “simple” is actually really, really special. I get it. We live in a time where we want everything faster, better, brighter and newer. I see people who throw dinner parties and prep as if it’s their last Thanksgiving on Earth when it’s really just a mid-week dinner for friends. I see chefs in restaurant kitchens completely lose their soul over an unneeded drizzle or garnish, rather than paying attention to whether or not they can actually roast a damned chicken.  But it’s simplicity that nourishes us. The very act of sitting down to eat together, disconnecting from gadgetry in order to connect face-to-face, is a revolutionary act (even as our gadget love grows).  A food’s simplicity speaks volumes. Think I’m wrong? Take a look at some of the most beloved dishes in our modern food culture, such as polenta, aka grits. Before it appeared on high-end menus for upscale diners, this cornmeal mush filled the bellies of the rural poor in Italy and the American South. In their ingenuity, cooks made it enjoyable with braised pork necks, flecks of salt pork in greens, or slathered in a sauce created from family garden tomatoes.  Dried pasta helps stretch small amounts of precious simmered meat. Countless stews and soups make the less desirable pieces—everything from pork neck to shoulder to tripe—a simple salve for sickness and hangovers. Italian panzanella serves to never waste precious daily bread, while Mexican chilaquiles utilize every strip of corn tortilla. I could go on with examples of mothers, grandmothers and cooks merging frugality and kitchen wizardry. Yes, paco jets and sous vide circulators create culinary wonders that deserve to be applauded. But realize, too, that there’s beauty and deliciousness in the seemingly mundane and simple. Creating something from nothing, cucina povera (cooking of the poor), granny food or whatever you call it: It’s an expression of human resilience and one of the most touching forms of love.  So, I looked back at my friend and, with a mouthful of rice, said, “Chicken and pan drippings may not be life-altering. But it is the stuff of life.” ❖ 58 Devour Utah • March/April 2016


Devour Utah • March/April 2016 59


ABOVE IT ALL ON MAIN STREET IN HISTORIC PARK CITY

540 MAIN STREET HISTORIC OLD TOWN PARK CITY 60 Devour Utah • March/April 2016

Reservations encouraged (435) 649-3536 • Dinner served nightly starting at 5:00 PM

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Photo: Keith Bryce

Profile for Copperfield Publishing

Devour March 2016  

It's time to Create

Devour March 2016  

It's time to Create

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