Devour Utah October 2017

Page 1

vol. 3 no. 10 • october 2017 • eat

Spooky Spirits p. 42

It’s time to Eat Your Greens p. 14 Feast Like a Viking p. 34

Baking It in America

p. 26

Utah Restaurant Association p. 52 Devour Utah • October 2017 1

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Contents 10 14 22

Use Your Noodle

Primo pasta preparations BY TED SCHEFFLER

Eat Your Greens

SLC’s plant-based fare BY MEGAN WALSH

The Spread

Nuch’s Pizzeria & Restaurant BY AIMEE L. COOK

26 32 34

Baking It in America

Austrian immigrant Volker Ritzinger BY BRIAN FRYER

The Deconstruct Hell’s Backbone Grill’s Jenchilada BY TED SCHEFFLER

Feast Like a Viking Nordic cuisine & culture in Utah BY MAYA SILVER

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42 58

Spooky Spirits

Halloween meets the movies at the bar BY DARBY DOYLE

Last Bite

Learning from your mistakes BY VANESSA CHANG

Devour Utah • October 2017 5


Contributors STAFF Publisher JOHN SALTAS Editorial Editor Copy Editor Proofreader Contributors



When not preaching pork at her day job for Creminelli Fine Meats, freelancer Vanessa Chang regularly nerds out on chocolate and cheese.


Production Art Director Assistant Art Director Graphic Artists


Business/Office Accounting Manager Office Administrator Technical Director


Writer and recovering archaeologist Darby Doyle highlights hip SLC as a cityhomeCollective contributor. She also blogs about boozy experiments at

Marketing Marketing Manager


Circulation Circulation Manager


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


Brian Fryer is a native Utahn and has a degree in communication from Utah State University. He writes for a number of publications, has been an editor for McGraw-Hill Construction publications and Intermountain Healthcare and city editor for the Park Record newspaper in Park City. He’s a food enthusiast, enjoys cooking and lives with his family in West Jordan.

Cover Photo: Judith Burrows 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 • Email editor at Advertising contact:

Copperfield Publishing Copyright 2017. All rights reserved


6 Devour Utah • October 2017



Aimee L. Cook writes for several local publications. She enjoys reviewing all things art, entertainment and food related.

A family of restaurants with


Chabaar Beyond Thai

Tea Rose Diner

87 w 7200 s Midvale, UT 801-566-5100

65 E 5th ave Murray, UT 801-685-6111

Siam Noodle Bar

Fav Bistro

5171 Cottonwood street Murray, UT

1984 E. Murray Holladay Rd, UT 801-676-9300

Bottom floor in bldg. 1 in IMC Hospital


Huge Menus • Gluten Free & Vegan Options ANNYSTAKEONTHAI.COM Devour Utah • October 2017 7

Eat to live, or live to eat?

In celebration of eating, drinking and dining


t’s something every human has in common: We all eat. Many of us love to, some could take it or leave it, and too many don’t have enough to eat. But, eat we must, whether as a passion or a mere necessity. I know a few people who don’t care one iota about food and wouldn’t eat if they didn’t have to. I’ve never understood these folks, although I do sometimes envy them. I wish I spent less time thinking about eating and cooking and more time focusing elsewhere. But then, like the French, I tend to be looking ahead to dinner at lunchtime and thinking about breakfast over dinner. Do we eat to live, or live to eat? I’m firmly in the second category since, ultimately, the food I eat will probably kill me. C’est la vie. (Et la mort.) Devour writers aren’t afraid of food and in this issue devoted to eating, much culinary turf is trodden. New contributor Megan Walsh leads readers into the surprisingly robust (surprising because this is meat-and-potatoes country) world of local vegetarian and vegan restaurants—some of which I’d not previous heard about. At the other end of the dining spectrum, Maya Silver explores Viking cuisine and Nordic culture in Utah, in light of the current exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah: Vikings: Beyond the Legend. Renown baker and mushroom hunter Volker Ritzinger (founder of Volker’s Bakery) is profiled by Brian Fryer and recently was in the news for finding the largest mushroom ever discovered in Utah, and one of the biggest in the world. (Spoiler alert: He’s not going to eat it, but return it to the soil to spawn more—and maybe even bigger—‘shrooms.) Nuch’s pizza and pasta joint is the focus of Aimee L. Cook in this month’s The Spread, while The Deconstruct pays a visit to Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder. As always, Darby Doyle is at the top of her libations game, this time with an array of tempting Halloween cocktails. Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore. And, in Last Bite, Vanessa Chang celebrates the errors in cooking that can ultimately lead to delicious dishes, advising us to embrace our mistakes and our inner screw-up. Whether you eat to live or live to eat or both, we hope you’ll savor this EAT edition of Devour Utah. It was mighty tasty making it for you. ❖ —Ted Scheffler Editor

8 Devour Utah • October 2017


The Viking Yurt’s butternut squash & bartlett pear soup

Contemporary Japanese Dining


18 MARKET STREET • 801.519.9595

Devour Utah • October 2017 9


A quartet of toothsome pasta preparations. BY TED SCHEFFLER

10 Devour Utah • October 2017



f I had a desert island dish, it would assuredly contain pasta of some sort. Sorry, no low-carb diets for me. For fellow noodle lovers, here are four very different dishes—all are certain to satisfy that al dente craving we pasta fiends share.

Bigoli con Ragu’ di Anatra ($22) The housemade pastas at Veneto are so delicious and lovingly produced that it’s hard to zero in on just one. Ravioli with pecorino and Bartlett pears? Gnocchi with butter, sage, smoked ricotta and Monte Veronese? How about gargati pasta with leeks, walnuts and sausage? Well, when push comes to shove, my favorite Veneto pasta preparation is the hearty bigoli pasta with rich, bold duck ragu. It’s like a trip to northern Italy, without having to pay the airfare.

Spaetzle ($1.89)

Veneto 370 E. 900 South, SLC 801-359-0708

Siegfried’s Delicatessen 20 W. 200 South, SLC 385-355-1912


Germans aren’t exactly known for their culinary prowess, but I could eat spaetzle—tiny German egg-and-flour dumplings—on a daily basis. And so can you, by just visiting Siegfried’s Delicatessen where the housemade spaetzle is a popular side dish. The generously portioned golden nuggets are served with (optional) glistening brown gravy and are the perfect partners for Siegfried’s sensational schnitzel, and also a great accompaniment to the excellent bratwurst, weisswurst, schweinshaxen or their bodacious Reuben sandwich.

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Mom’s Kitchen Cold Noodles ($6.99) The aptly named Mom’s Kitchen is run by two moms—Mama Zhang and Mama Chen—who produce some of the most genuine Chinese fare to be found in Utah. A favorite Taiwanese street dish that I find hard to come by here is dan dan-style noodles with creamy peanut sauce. But Mom’s cold noodles are the real deal: luscious linguine-shaped fresh noodles bathed in a spicy peanut sauce that is second to none.


Mom’s Kitchen 2233 S. State, SLC 801-486-0092 momskitchen

Drunken Noodle ($12)

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As much as I relish pad thai, a noodle dish ubiquitous in American Thai restaurants and especially good at Skewered Thai, I actually prefer their delectable Drunken Noodle (pad kee mao). It’s a large platter of wide, pan-fried rice noodles with a distinctively spicy mélange of tender shrimp, red bell pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, carrot, tomato, fresh chili, egg, onion and fragrant Thai basil, which nicely balances the heat of the chilis. I get a little tipsy just thinking about this delicious dish. Skewered Thai 575 S. 700 East, SLC 801-364-1144



COMING SOON IN LEHI! 1615 S. FOOTHILL DRIVE | 385-259-0712 4670 HOLLADAY VILLAGE PLAZA (2300 EAST) | 801-676-9706 149 EAST 200 SOUTH | 385-259-0940


Who is the most delicious of them all... POISON APPLES



801.485.1031 | 2057 E. 3300 S. | FINECANDIES.COM Devour Utah • October 2017 13

Exploring Plant-Based Fare in Utah’s Capital. By Megan Walsh


aybe surprisingly, given so many Utahns’ love of meat, the Wasatch Front is riddled with vegan and vegetarian fare from around the globe. What started as a micro trend in dining has now expanded to a vast network of local restaurant owners who believe in inspirational plant-based entrées. For carnivores and herbivores alike, the breadth of options in and around Salt Lake City is exciting, tantalizing and mouth-watering.

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Zucchini chocolate chip cookies



Ian Brandt in the garden

Vertical Diner’s Tony Hawk Burger

The Pesto at Buds



When Ian and Kelsey Brandt decided to open an exclusively vegetarian restaurant in 1998, they had their passion and community to drive them. Almost 20 years later, the duo has expanded their expertise from gourmet vegetarian fare to downhome comfort food (Vertical Diner) and vegan pizza (Vertical Pizza). At Sage’s, they’ve perfected the farm-to-table feel, with each dish crafted without friers, microwaves or heat lamps. Their small and predominately organic menu features seasonal, local and preservative-free produce. Try the Magical Wok Curry Bowl to delight your palate with waves of ginger, coconut and toasted cashews.

In terms of simplicity, Buds does it best. The small, walkup sandwich shop offers the gold standard in vegan sandwiches. While the indoor space is reserved for sandwich-makers only, patrons can enjoy the ambiance of downtown Salt Lake in the enclosed picnic area in front of the shop. My personal favorite is The Pesto Sub, but if you’re looking for something more zingy, The Buffalo will satisfy every vegan’s long-lost Buffalo wing craving. Hand-crafted sauces are made in-house daily, and the zucchini chocolate chip cookie will nip your sweet tooth in the, well, bud.

368 E. 100 South, SLC 801-322-3790

509 E. 300 South, SLC

Devour Utah • October 2017 15

ICE HAÜS Nobody does meatfree pub fare better than Ice Haüs. Nearly every item on their Germaninspired menu can not only be made vegetarian, but also vegan. This newand-improved dive bar (renovated in March of this year) is ideal for savoring poutine fries as your friends garner enough liquid courage to perform during comedy open-mic night on Mondays. Treat yourself to the Kein Fleisch Bürger, an overloaded delight complete with caramelized beer onions, sauerkraut and a sliced vegan brat.

Kein Fleisch Bürger,


7 E. 4800 South, Murray 801-266-2127



All Chay has redefined Vietnamese cuisine to include their oft-forgotten herbivore friends. While the interior is long overdue for an update, it’s what’s inside the kitchen that counts. The brother and sister owners brought their vegan Vietnamese fare to the valley in 2015, and locals have been lapping up the pho broth and praising it ever since. Start off with the Four Seasons Rolls, a combination of all four spring rolls offered on their menu. Follow that with the lemon grass tofu noddle salad: It’s marinated and fried tofu, coupled with aromatic and fresh lemongrass—a perfect flavor and texture combination. Finish the event with a serving of traditional Vietnamese coffee.

If there’s one thing missing in vegan establishments nationwide, it’s crispy, yet fluffy, all-around mouth-watering croissants. Thankfully, when Passion Flour Patisserie opened their doors in 2015, vegans and non-vegans alike rejoiced. The quaint locale, replete with European décor, is ideal for breakfast, catching up with friends or simply enjoying a latte. The Smoked Benedict, made with vegan Canadian bacon and tofu, is an overture of paprika, charcoal notes and plantbased cheese. Make sure to grab any one (or five) of their organic, non-GMO pastries. My personal favorite is the pain au chocolat.

1264 W. 500 North, SLC 801-521-4789

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165 E. 900 South, SLC 385-242-7040

st Brunch h c n Utah's Best Bru





Cottonwood: 3698 East Ft. Union Blvd.


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T ha






725 E. 12300 S. DRAPER 801-571-1500

University: 258 South 1300 East Devour Utah • October 2017 17

ZEST Casey Staker founded Zest to create a space that focused on “organic and healthy foods.” A 21-plus establishment with a modern interior, Zest is choice for post-work drinks that are full of fresh, local flavor. Order the beet sangria for sweet, earthy tones, or the berry lavender lemonade cocktail for a floral and fruity refreshment. With unparalleled service, knowledgeable staff and raw takes on classic dishes, Zest raises the bar for healthy, filling meals. Try the Southwest Skillet or the popular Thai Sunrise, a rich and flavorful coconut curry. Make sure to save room for the Raw Tiramisu, which gets its creamy texture from cashew custard and coconut cream.

Southwest Skillet with beet sangria


275 S. 200 West, SLC 801-433-0589



Daniel Shanthakumar grew up in Chennai, India, studied hotel and restaurant management at BYU Hawaii, and then brought his talents and culture to co-found this restaurant, which has since expanded from its original Salt Lake City location to West Jordan and Provo. Bombay House is an experience for the senses. After waiting in line for a table, guests are invited into the heavily decorated dining area, guided and welcomed by demure, kind servers. When it comes to the menu, you can’t go wrong. Every vegetarian entrée can be made vegan, and one of the many highlights is the vegan naan. The vegetable coconut kurma and the paneer masala are two can’t-miss favorites.

Tucked away on Main Street, you’ll find a bakery dedicated to creating flavorful cupcakes, savory scones and a Vegan Mac’N’Cheeze that makes it necessary to indulge in the largest portion offered. Along with a case of decadent treats, you can order café items, such as their Vegan Sausage and Cheezy Potato Wrap, a combination of rosemary potatoes and housemade vegan cheese sauce that will likely convince you this vegan counterpart can be as tasty, if not better than, the meat-inspired original. Wander over to the south wall to watch bakers hard at work crafting specialty cakes and all other goodies sold in-house, as well as across the Wasatch Front.

Multiple locations

18 Devour Utah • October 2017

1000 S. Main, SLC 801-359-2239

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pread S

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—By Aimee L. Cook



Nuch’s Pizzeria & Restaurant 2819 S. 2300 East, SLC 801-484-0448



ou might have driven by Nuch’s Pizzeria and Restaurant and not even known it’s there, let alone what culinary treasures are inside. Situated at the end of a line of shops in Millcreek, you really have to know what you’re looking for, and judging by the crowd on a Friday night, many people know what a hidden gem it is. Chef and owner Heath Koltenuk moved to Utah 30 years ago from the East Coast. His beginnings in the food industry are similar to others like him: you move to a place and it’s impossible to find that special dish that reminds you of your old home. In his case, it was a classic thin-crust New York-style pizza, so he decided to open a place and serve it. Koltenuk’s restaurant experience began with DeLoretto’s Pizzerias in the 1980s. After 13 years, he got the itch to tackle another career and worked in the real estate arena, but he eventually was drawn back into restaurant ownership and opened Nuch’s in 2009. Named after his Uncle Nuch, whom Koltenuk credits with exposing him to great food and thus creating a love of food in him, Nuch’s is a small restaurant with a friendly atmosphere that simply serves great food. Housemade pastas, ricotta cheese, breads and desserts are all made fresh daily. Weekly specials are a fun way to explore Koltenuk’s talents. I recommend bringing a friend so you can share a few menu options. The polenta appetizer is a favorite on the current menu and with good reason. This hearty small plate is a few wedges of polenta topped with fresh mozzarella, wrapped in prosciutto and baked. For a main dish, try the duck ravioli, finished with a blue cheese cream sauce. The richness of both the filling and the sauce are extraordinary. But by all means save room for a pizza. After all, Koltenuk is a master pie maker. The New Haven is unique. Mashed potatoes replace tomato sauce on this pie, which is topped with mozzarella, bacon and asparagus. Or go for the classic Buffalo Margarita pizza if you are fortunate enough to be there on a day that they haven’t sold out. ❖

Devour Utah • October 2017 23

Honey Sweetened Fine Chocolate. EST. 2009 Available at Harmon’s, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and more. For a list of our retailers and for more information about our chocolate, please visit 774 S. 300 W. Salt Lake City, UT 84101 Thurs-Sat 11 am - 7 pm

Best restaurant

BEST food truck! with


801-713-9423 5692 South 900 Eatst Murray, UT 84121 24 Devour Utah • October 2017


Love Things We



Looking to turn up the heat during the Day of the Dead? Midvale’s Salsa Queen Gourmet Red Chili salsa is just the ticket. It’s hard to believe a nice Utah mother of seven—the Salsa Queen—could cook up something this devilish. $5.99



I scoured a half-dozen different grocery spice aisles looking for sumac —a Middle Eastern seasoning —before I discovered Utah’s own Usimply Season sumac at Harmon’s. SLC’s “Life Boldly Flavored” company also sells berbere, piri piri, baharat, dukkah, garam masala, mitmita, za’atar, togarashi and more. $5.99



There are few things I like more than Millcreek Cacao Roasters Farm to Bar chocolates. Specifically, their heaven-sent Arriba Blackberry 70-percent Dark Cacao Bar, which is heirloom certified. Sweet and slightly tart, the blackberry and huckleberry notes of this bodacious bar are simply divine. $8


Perfect for chilly autumn evenings, Cooper & Thief is a California red blend wine created with whiskey drinkers in mind. It’s aged in bourbon barrels to impart subtle heat and silky tannins, then packed in a whiskey-style bottle. A unique libation, indeed. $24.99


Devour Utah • October 2017 25

Timing, hard work and a little luck has been the formula for success for this Austrian immigrant.


By Brian Fryer

n late July, when Volker Ritzinger, the owner of Volker’s Bakery and director of the Park City Farmers Market, took some friends to hunt wild mushrooms in the Uinta Mountains near his Kamas home, he was not expecting to find a monster. And when the newly arrived Austrian started baking pizzas at a Park City restaurant in the early ’90s he didn’t expect he’d invigorate the appetites of Utahans for European-style artisan bread and one day turn down a job offer from a celebrity chef. When he championed local food and farmers markets in the early 2000s, he didn’t expect they would soon sprout like, well, mushrooms all over the state. But all those things resulted from a the combination of the right timing, a little luck and hard work that has been a winning formula for Ritzinger since he arrived in Park City nearly 30 years go, at the invitation of his brother, to see what opportunities he could find in the mountain ski town. 26 Devour Utah • October 2017


Brian Fryer and Volker discuss fungus


Foraging Friendships


Volker Ritzinger with his monster Boletus edulis

“I’ve been mushroom hunting since I was 5 years old with my father and grandfather in Austria,” Ritzinger says. “I learned from them and it is just something I love doing.” In late July, Ritzinger was hunting mushrooms with his girlfriend and as they arrived at one of his favorite spots, he saw the monster: a hulking Boletus edulis, a member of the porcini family of mushrooms, weighing about 5.75 pounds and standing about 15 inches tall. The mushroom is the largest ever found in Utah and about 1.25 pounds short of the world record collected nearly 20 years ago in Scotland. “I just couldn’t believe it,” he says. “I had been hunting in the area just a few days before and it wasn’t there. It was just amazing it was still in such good condition and a moose or elk hadn’t eaten it.” A video recording of the find quickly went viral on YouTube and Ritzinger appeared on local television. Perhaps not coincidentally, Ritzinger’s son Cody held the previous record for the largest mushroom found in Utah. Unlike many foragers, Ritzinger says he’s happy to share knowledge of where and how to hunt for wild delicacies. At his Kamas bakery, he pulls out a dozen brown, bulbous porcinis left from a recent excursion with his longtime friend and chef Eric DeBonis, owner of The Paris and Sea Salt restaurants in Salt Lake City. “We roasted mushrooms over the fire, we made soup and risotto,” Ritzinger recalls. “Eric sliced some fresh ones and just poured olive oil and sea salt on them and they were so great!” However, Ritzinger says the monster mushroom wasn’t headed for a risotto or the soup pot. It was kept frozen for a few weeks awaiting confirmation of its record status and to satisfy curious friends and media. “I’m going to take it back up where I found it and just leave it and let the spores go wherever. Who knows, maybe these spores grow more giant mushrooms like this,” he says. Ritzinger says he usually cuts the spongy, sporecontaining sections of the mushrooms he gathers and scatters them back in the forest. Devour Utah • October 2017 27


The mushroom hunt was not the first successful paring for Ritzinger and DeBonis, who met in the in the early ’90s in Park City. Ritzinger was working at Park City Pizza Co. learning more English and picking up some cooking skills. DeBonis was earning praise for his Olive Barrel Food Co. restaurant in Deer Valley that featured classic Mediterranean foods from Italy and France, including pizzas from a traditional wood-fired pizza oven, a bit of a novelty at the time. “Eric came to the Pizza Co. and said they needed a pizza chef and wanted me to work for them. I told them I could show them how to make pizza because I like to the share knowledge but I couldn’t leave the Pizza Co.,” Ritzinger says. But, after some negotiating and encouragement from Ritzinger’s boss that he should take the opportunity, the Austrian left for what, with hindsight, looks like a rendezvous with destiny. “I was making pizzas at the Olive Barrel and then Eric had this recipe for his grandmother’s focaccia bread and he wanted me to make it. My father was a baker in Austria but I only had a little knowledge about baking. I never really got into it,” he says. “But I gave it a try making this focaccia.” After much experimenting, Ritzinger got the recipe to work and the bread became a signature at Olive Barrel.

28 Devour Utah • October 2017



Rendezvous with Destiny




Launching Off of a Barrel

Ritzinger relates that one night, the cozy Deer Valley restaurant was buzzing, as Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck was dining there. “Wolfgang asked Eric, ‘who was baking this bread and pizza?’ and Eric pointed at me and said, ‘One of your countrymen.’ I didn’t really know who he was, but we talked for quite a while and he said he wanted me to come to California and open a bakery. I told him no because at that time I had my dogs and I loved the mountains and I didn’t want to go live in L.A.,” he says. Despite that, Ritzinger soon found himself headed to California but for a crash course with a different celebrity chef. “Eric thought I had potential and wanted me to take the next step,” he says. That next step was three months in Petaluma, Calif., working with French-American baker Pascal Rigo whom DeBonis had met during one of his European forays. Rigo had lit the fires of artisan bread baking in the U.S., turning out European-style crusty loaves and flakey pastries decadent with butter and local ingredients at his traditional boulangeries in San Francisco. After returning from California, Olive Barrel closed and DeBonis took Ritzinger along for his next venture opening the Mercato Mediterraneo Di Nona Maria, essentially a larger version of Olive Barrel, on Park City’s lower Main Street. Ritzinger had a bakery in the basement of the building and began supplying European-style breads not only to the Mercato restaurant but other establishments in Park City. DeBonis’ Olive Barrel proved to be an incubator for culinary talent that has invigorated the Park City/Salt Lake City dining scene. In addition to launching Ritzinger on a successful baking career, DeBonis recruited his Cornell University classmate Bill White to the Olive Barrel kitchen. White is now operator of the Bill White restaurant group that includes Park City standouts such as Grappa, Chimayo, Windy Ridge Café and Billy Blanco’s among others. Also doing time on the Olive Barrel line was John Murcko, who went on to helm kitchens for White and, later, Talisker Resorts including the groundbreaking The Farm at Canyons and Talisker on Main. After a detour to rebuild and rebrand the restaurants for Sun Valley, Murcko is now back on Park City’s Main Street earning raves with his own restaurant, Firewood.

Flowers, Gifts & Gallery

You’ve just got to come in!

1344 S. 2100 E. | 801.521.4773 Devour Utah • October 2017 29

Growing a market

30 Devour Utah • October 2017


For a time, Volker’s bread could be found in area Costos, but Ritzinger soon exited the arrangement and reduced the number of restaurants he supplied, preferring to sell his product directly to customers a the markets and his retail store in Kamas. “When we did Costco, they had a price they wanted and I had to cut back the ingredients because it was costing me almost as much to make the bread as I was getting back. I didn’t realize it then because I was just so happy to have the contract,” he says. “I can make the bread better quality and load up the ingredients because I’m getting most of the money back directly at the markets.” Today, Ritzinger splits his time overseeing his baking operation, organizing the farmers market, coaching hockey to local youth and hunting his beloved mushrooms. “I think I’ve got things where I want them now,” he says taking a break from installing a new freezer unit at his bakery. “That is what is great about this country.” Ritzinger is now a U.S. citizen—another story in itself. “I started out washing dishes, but if you see opportunities and do the work, you can be successful and make a good life.” ❖


Right sized


Ritzinger saw an opportunity to sell his artisan bread beyond Park City’s posh eating establishments as farmers markets began sprouting in the late ’90s. By the early 2000s he had started his own bakery business and his vintage delivery trucks emblazoned with a huge red “V” and Grateful Dead-style dancing bears painted on the sides were and remain a common site at farmers markets across the state. In the 2001 season, Park City officials said the market would have to be closed to prepare for the Olympics. “I said, ‘You can’t just close. The farmers have been growing things for this and they need a place to sell,’” Ritzinger says. After talking with friends and owners of the nearby Canyons Resort, Ritzinger secured a location. The market went on and continues today with Ritzinger as its full-time director recruiting and vetting vendors each year. Wherever his trucks went, Ritzinger preached to gospel of local food and quality ingredients and helped launch farmers markets in communities like Ogden, Vernal and others.

4670 S. 2300 E. HOLLADAY MONDAY-FRIDAY 6AM-8PM SATURDAY 6AM-9PM SUNDAY 7AM-6PM 385-237-3091 Devour Utah • October 2017 31


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ailing originally from Albuquerque, Hell’s Backbone Grill co-founder Jennifer Castle grew up with a love of bold Southwestern flavors. Those spicy underpinnings show up today on HBG menu items like the addictive Super Spicy ChileMigas and their luxurious lamb pozole stew, but are nowhere more evident than in her eponymous breakfast Jenchilada. “When I was a kid, we’d take leftovers from the previous night’s supper and use them to make enchiladas for breakfast,” Castle says. Well, the popular version at Hell’s Backbone Grill isn’t made from leftovers, but begins with “toasted and torn” corn tortillas, which are smothered in a zippy New Mexico-style red chile sauce, jack cheese, “smashed” sage-potato pancakes, pinto beans and brown rice, with a freshly made flour tortilla alongside and fried egg on top. ❖ —Ted Scheffler Photos by Faith Scheffler

Devour Utah • October 2017 33

Viking Feast Like a

Exploring Nordic cuisine & culture

in Utah


By Maya Silver

as the current Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah made you want to adopt a Viking lifestyle? While setting out in a longship to raid a distant village might not be in the cards, eating like Scandinavians of yore is. For the Vikings, life revolved around pig, cattle and sheep farms. They roasted their meat on spits over embers or open flames and also enjoyed seafood. As in many ancient food cultures, bread played a pivotal role. And while Vikings get a bad 34 Devour Utah • October 2017

rap for table manners, they actually did use utensils on occasion, such as bone spoons for soup. Here’s another myth to bust: Vikings weren’t the big hunters they’re often depicted to be. “Hunting is a bit special and most likely more a part of societies’ upper-class occupation than food providing,” explains Antje Wendt, a curator at The Swedish History Museum, which created the traveling Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibit. “This kind of meat would be eaten only at very special occasions.” So, you don’t have to pull a hunting permit and abandon cutlery to eat like a Viking. And it just so happens there are a few places right in the Salt Lake area serving cuisine befitting Valhalla itself.


One of the cornerstones of the Viking lifestyle is, of course, the cold. After all, the people now known as Vikings were living in the northern reaches of Europe between 750-1100 C.E., before the days of modern heating or down jackets. But here in the Wasatch, we’re no strangers to chilly temps either. That’s why winter is the perfect time to truly dine as the Vikings did. And the best place to do so is The Viking Yurt. While the yurt is located at Park City Mountain, it’s privately owned by wife-and-husband team Joy Merritt Vik and Geir Vik. The four-hour experience begins with a 23-minute sleigh ride that gains 1,800 feet up to a wood stove-heated yurt. There, the Viks take visitors through a culinary Viking



The Viking Yurt

journey that begins with a glass of glögg and sails through five more courses, including an appropriately meaty entrée such as braised short ribs and a cheese course served on an aspen slab designed to be eaten by hand, Viking style. Every year, the Viks gain new inspiration for their menu by traveling to Geir’s native Norway. It was a trip there that gave Joy the idea to start serving her intermezzo course—a sorbet palate cleanser—in a dish made from Norwegian rocks. “A famous Norwegian geologist made 50 rocks for me from rock collected all over Norway,” she explains. The Viking Yurt opens Dec. 15 for service, but you can begin making reservations Oct. 1. 435-615-9878 Devour Utah • October 2017 35

If you can’t wait until December for a taste of Norway, head to Finn’s. The café has more or less been around since 1952 when Finn Gurholt first opened this tribute to his Norwegian heritage atop Parleys Way in Salt Lake. After closing down in the early ’90s, Gurholt’s son, Finn, Jr., reopened it in Sugar House in 2006. Take advantage of warmer fall days and head straight to the patio, where suspended sail-like blue cloth panels offer shade and just the right amount of sun. Finn’s serves breakfast all day, so you can enjoy Norwegian waffles with wild lingonberries or a traditional Scandinavian breakfast for lunch if you please. Scandinavia has developed a reputation of late for open-faced sandwiches, and you can sample these, too, with selections like roast turkey with lingonberry jam and dill-laced bay shrimp salad. For a truer Viking experience, dig into the craggy hand-formed spicy meatballs in the Norwegian vegetable soup, or brave the signature Pyttipanna—chopped beef, potato, carrot and onion crowned by a poached egg. And, appreciate the steadfast Viking dedication to the loaf still alive at Finn’s, which bakes all its own breads (except the English muffins). 1624 S. 1100 East, SLC 801-467-4000


Finn’s Cafe

The Old Dutch Store

2696 S. Highland Drive, SLC 801-467-5052

36 Devour Utah • October 2017


Few Viking adults lived to be older than 34 and at one ancient site, the average age of death was as young as 23. That means to live like a Viking, you must live it up. So, forego dieting and frugality and go on a Scandishopping spree at this adorable grocery store in Sugar House. You can even make an afternoon out of it, procuring a brat or sandwich at the deli in the back to eat on the little sidewalk patio beneath a row of northern European flags waving above. Start by investing in a Scandinavian cookbook, then pick up some authentic imported condiments, snacks and—why not—salt licorice.


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Devour Utah • October 2017 37

Harmons Grocery

The Vikings loved bread so much, they often carried it with them to their graves—literally. Archaeologists have discovered the humble loaf in burial sites. It’s fitting, then, that when the Viking exhibit launched at the Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake’s favorite local grocer decided to create a special bread in its honor. In June and July, all Harmons locations featured a Bread of Vikings based off historic ingredients. They also baked up a batch for NHMU’s Viking Festival in September. While you can’t buy the loaf anymore in-store, you can place a special order (minimum of a baker’s dozen) if you’re dying to try it. Or, you can recreate it at home with Harmons’ recipe:

Bread of Vikings Recipe INGREDIENTS 6 cups Lehi Roller Mills white whole-wheat flour 1 tablespoon, plus ¼ teaspoon instant yeast 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 3⁄4-3 cups warm (not hot) water

DIRECTIONS In a mixing bowl with a dough hook, combine all ingredients, except water. With the mixer running on low speed, add the water in a long, slow stream. Continue mixing for 2 minutes on low speed, then stop. With a rubber spatula, scrape dough from sides. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape dough from sides again. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45 minutes. On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal pieces, approximately 12 ounces each; cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Form each into desired shape and place on an oiled baking sheet or on parchment. Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes, until doubled in size. Spray each loaf lightly with water, then score with a razor or very sharp knife. Bake at 390 degrees F. for approximately 20 minutes or until its internal temperature reads 190-200 degrees F. (190 for softer loaf; 200 for crusty, chewy bread). Notes: Times and temperatures might vary; allow to cool before slicing.

To discover more about the Vikings and their diet, visit the Vikings: Beyond the Legend exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah before it closes Jan. 1. For more information, visit 38 Devour Utah • October 2017


Devour Utah • October 2017 39

Scheff’s Table: Ingredients:

Black Mussels with Chorizo

2 tablespoons olive oil 1½-2 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced (Note: make sure you’re using cured, Spanish chorizo, which has a salami-like consistency, not raw Mexican-style chorizo.) You could also substitute Portuguese linguica. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 shallot, peeled and minced ½ pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved ½ cup dry white wine 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper 2-4 pounds black mussels, cleaned and debearded (figure on about a pound per person as a main serving) 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley

Recipe and photos by Ted Scheffler


find few things to be more comforting than a big pot of steamed mussels. I prepare them in all sorts of different ways, but this recipe—which includes Spanish chorizo—is one of my very favorites.

Method: Using a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo slices and sizzle, stirring occasionally, until the slices begin to get brown and crispy. Add the garlic, shallot and fennel seeds to the pot and cook until softened a little. Pour the wine into the pot along with the tomatoes and black pepper. Bring the wine to a simmer. Simmer the wine until it’s reduced by about half. Add the mussels to the pot and stir well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mussels have all opened, about 6-8 minutes. Discard any mussels that don’t open. Sprinkle the parsley onto the mussels and serve with some of the broth. ❖

40 Devour Utah • October 2017





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Devour Utah • October 2017 41

A Spooky Spirits Guide Vintage Cocktails for Cinematic Soirées Words and photos by Darby Doyle


lthough Utah might be known more for kid-friendly “trunk or treat” candy raids in church parking lots than boozy costume parties, that reputation is changing. Last Halloween, several downtown SLC bars collaborated on costume-mandatory bar crawls, making for even more grown-up opportunities to get out and about in your favorite get-up on All Hallow’s Eve. But for those choosing to keep the revelry close to home, might we suggest a movie-night theme? Bring a bit of the silver screen to your spooky soirée this year with sippers built with your favorite cinematic trope at the forefront. From alien invasions to pillaging pirates, these spins on vintage cocktails are as delicious as they are dramatic.

continues on p. 44

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Sangria T

here might be as many great sangria recipes as there are blood-bath-themed vampire movies and slasher films combined. Apropos, as the Spanish word for blood is sangre. Wine punches have been enjoyed across Europe for centuries (think Jane Austen’s ubiquitous Claret Cup punch), but particularly so in Spain and Portugal. Sangria became popular in the U.S. after the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, where it was served in the Spanish pavilion to rave reviews. And with good reason: Sangria makes for an almost-perfect party standard, easily mixed up beforehand with simple ingredients. While Rioja is the traditional wine used for sangria in Spain, wines like Bordeaux or cabernet sauvignon make a lovely punch; the addition of brandy, a touch of fruit juice and whatever fruit you might like make a pretty forgiving platform for the base wine. Might we even suggest, as Hannibal Lecter did with his oft-quoted liverand-fava-bean meal in Silence of the Lambs, you use Chianti?


44 Devour Utah • October 2017

Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Blade (1998)

Sangria (serves 6-8) 1/3 cup brandy 1 bottle (750 ml.) red wine 1 cup pomegranate juice 1 cup red grapes, halved 2 clementines, sliced into rounds 2 black plums, pitted and sliced thinly 1 can blood orange soda (such as San Pellegrino aranciata rossa) Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, classic punch bowl or cast iron cauldron (in this case, my vintage bean pot). Add large blocks or spheres of ice to keep the punch cold but slow melting.

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Devour Utah • October 2017 45


dark Night and stormy


Stormy, a trademark vigorously enforced by Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Their concoction—hailed as the national drink of Bermuda—specifically calls for 1½ ounces of their rum over ice in a highball glass and topped with ginger beer; as several famous bars and cocktail bloggers can attest, using any other booze brand when making a Dark ’n’ Stormy will promptly get you a cease and desist letter. (Sorry, Gosling’s, but Devour’s pockets aren’t that deep). This spooky cocktail goes to the dark side with addition of squid ink—a tip picked up from Copper Common bartender Ross Richardson—to create a distinctively dramatic black hue with a subtle saline note. Bonus: An optional split black fig garnish represents the dark “heart” of the sea. These dusky drinks are a perfect addition to sip along with a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon or Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea film-fest.

ow many of our favorite horror stories start with, “It was a dark and stormy night…”? According to the manufacturers of Gosling’s Rum—a key ingredient in the classic Dark ’n’ Stormy—British sailors stationed in Bermuda during WWI mixed the distinctively dark-colored and flavordeep Black Seal Rum with spicy ginger beer made on the island at the Royal Naval Officers Club. Although an image of a svelte black seal graces the modern label, the brand originally got its name from the thick black wax used to seal rum-refilled champagne bottles decanted straight from barrels at the distillery. Gosling’s claims that the famous cocktail name came from an old sailor, who when looking into his glass said it was “the colour of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” Full disclosure: The recipe printed here is definitively not a classic Dark ’n’

RECOMMENDED MOVIE PAIRING 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

46 Devour Utah • October 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)

A Dark (and Stormy) Night 1½ ounces Gosling’s Black Seal Rum ½ ounce diluted black squid ink* 2 ounces ginger beer Juice of a ¼ lime To a hurricane glass filled with cracked ice, add all ingredients. Stir briefly to combine; garnish with a split fig. *Squid ink is available at many specialty markets, but the viscous liquid must be diluted with up to an equal part water and strained to make it smooth enough for cocktails.


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Roswell incident F

rom the cantina scene in the original Star Wars to indigo-hued Romulan ale illegally imbibed in almost every corner of the Star Trek Federation, the universal galactic theme remains: Drinks throughout the cosmos are apparently as violently colored as they are potent. And there are quite a few alien-themed cocktails fitting that description found through the time-sucking wormhole called Pinterest: the Area 51 Jägermeister-based shooter, the Alien Brain Hemorrhage (which is as disgusting looking as it sounds) and the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (thanks, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). So, while there might not be very many tasty vintage cocktails built around a sci-fi theme, we certainly have lots of vibrant and kitschy precedent for making a cocktail that packs quite a visual wow-factor. This original cocktail includes some flavors of classic beach drinks like the rum-forward Blue Hawaii, but made with Pisco, a brandy distilled in South America from white muscat grapes and easily identified on the shelf by the famous black Easter Island head bottle shape (a nod to our friends who watch way too much Ancient Aliens on the History Channel). Enlist some early party arrivals to help make “alien eyeball” garnishes by inserting maraschino cherries into whole peeled and pitted lychee fruit. Booze Geek Bonus: Add a splash of tonic water to the cocktail; the quinine naturally found in tonic water glows quite dramatically under black lights.


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Roswell Incident 1½ ounces Pisco ½ ounce white rum ¾ ounce blue curaçao ¾ ounce pineapple juice juice of a ½ lime To a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients. Shake until tin is very frosty. Drizzle some grenadine or Luxardo cherry syrup into the bottom of a laboratory beaker or highball glass; swirl to coat the bottom of the glass. Strain the cocktail into the glass over a large ice sphere. Garnish with “eyeball” lychee fruit stuffed with cherries. Cue the eerie theremin soundtrack.

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lamorous, elegant and subtly floral, a WWII-era Arsenic and Old Lace cocktail fits the bill when streaming dark poisontrope comedies like Heathers (1988) or the 1944 film staring Cary Grant after which the cocktail was named. A popular favorite of community theater troupes since playwright Joseph Kesselring opened the Broadway play in 1939, Arsenic and Old Lace tells the slapstick dark comedy story of Mortimer Brewster, a young man who goes back to visit the elderly aunts (Abby and Martha) who raised him through childhood. He discovers that they are killing off lonely old bachelors to end their presumptively “suffering” singlehood by serving them a soupçon of arsenic, strychnine and cyanide mixed in elderberry wine. Unlike Abby and Martha’s erstwhile cocktail of carnage, this drink is a stiff yet floral version of a martini, best made with a very traditional London dry gin so that the flowery tones don’t get too overwhelming. This is a cocktail that should smell slightly like perfume without tasting like it. Most cocktail historians note its similarity to the gin and violet liqueurbased Aviation, with the addition of anise notes from absinthe. Break out Grandma’s vintage crystal for that extra-dramatic presentation.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic & Old Lace 1½ ounces London dry gin ½ ounce dry vermouth ¼ ounce crème de violette A splash of absinthe Lemon Zest

RECOMMENDED MOVIE PAIRING Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

50 Devour Utah • October 2017

Heathers (1988)

Brazil (1985)

To a mixing glass with ice, add the gin, vermouth and crème de violette; stir until well chilled. Add a generous splash of absinthe to a pre-chilled coupe glass, swirl to coat the entire inside of the glass and pour out the excess. Strain the gin mixture into the absinthe-rinsed glass. Zap the surface of the cocktail with the oil expressed from a piece of lemon zest and drop the zest into the drink. It’s magically delicious.

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Devour Utah • October 2017 51

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association



or over nine years the Utah Restaurant Association has been encouraging food enthusiasts and the food curious alike to become a part of our restaurant community by eating out often. Long before the rise of hashtags and food photography, the Utah Restaurant Association has been encouraging Utahans to engage with the restaurant community with two little phrases… “Let’s Eat Out!” and “Eat Out Often!”. Food is a necessity of life and how it is shared creates a strong and vibrant community. We know URA valuable part of our restaurant industry. Eating out can be a little intimidating, trying new restaurants and exploring the culinary landscape. Most recently, through our programs like TeenChef Pro and Taste Utah, we encourage you to join us on eating adventures that will open your mind and tastebuds to new restaurant experiences all over Utah. This fall, we invite you yet again to participate in our “You Be The Judge” contest where you can watch the dishes prepared on TeenChef Pro every

52 Devour Utah • October 2017

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association


Saturday morning at 11:00AM on Utah’s CW30. Following each weekly episode, visit the restaurants of our three MentorChefs to taste for yourself and judge which dish you thought should win for that weeks episode. Our MentorChefs are also the TeenChef Pro MentorJudges, they are tasked weekly with discerning which team’s flavors ultimately rock their world. Outside of TeenChef Pro and our MentorChef’s own restaurants we asked the question: “Which restaurants, dishes and chefs they are most excited about?”. Continue reading on the following pages to discover their favorite food spots. One of our favorite ways to support our restaurants is by educating our restaurant patrons on how to experience the very best Utah has to offer encouraging you to #TasteUtah, #LetsEatOut!, #TheresAlwaysAReason, and #EatOutOften. Follow Taste Utah and TeenChef Pro on Instagram. Get your food photos seen and find your next great eat using the Utah Restaurant Association’s hashtags.

Devour Utah • October 2017 53

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association

You Be The Judge! Do you want a seat at Judges Table?

Get involved in this exciting season of Emmy award winning TeenChef Pro! Each week you have the exclusive opportunity to participate by sampling the dishes created by our aspiring TeenChefs. Be sure to visit all three of our MentorChef’s restaurants; Blue Team’s MentorChef Logen Crew from Trio Park City, Red Team’s MentorChef Justin Shifflett from Stoneground Kitchen in Salt Lake City, and Green Team’s MentorChef Mark Mason from Black Sheep Cafe in Provo to decide for yourself which team created the winning dish. Remember TeenChef Pro has moved to Utah’s CW30 on Saturdays at 11:00AM beginning October 7, 2017 and every week you can enjoy our TeenChef Pro dishes. That’s right, we invite “You To Be The Judge!”.

54 Devour Utah • October 2017

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association

where utah chefs eat M

ost Utah chefs spend the majority of their time in the kitchen, preparing food for other people to eat and making certain the quality and caliber of their menu items are on point. Truthfully most of these amazingly talented chefs have very little time themselves to enjoy dining in a restaurant that isn’t theirs. But we were curious, where are Utah Chef’s eating out? Which fellow Utah chefs inspire them and who do they look to for amazing eats? We asked TeenChef Pro MentorChefs / MentorJudges; Chef Logen Crew, Chef Justin Shifflett and Chef Mark Mason, “When you have a rare night off - where are you making a reservation?”.

Chef Logen Crew Executive Chef Trio

Portobello Burger with shishito peppers Chef Logen Crew has his go to spots. He doesn’t get out to eat as often as he’d like but when he does it’s usually later in the evening, after closing down his kitchen. He frequently checks in on the exciting new menus of Chef Buzz Willey’s food and style at Pallet! Along with the extremely focused and delicious menu of Chef Justin at Stoneground Kitchen. But most of the time Logen heads over to Copper Onion or Copper Commons. They’re open a little later and he feels the Copper Group is also the most consistent restaurant in the city. They have a solid reputation in Utah’s restaurant community and an exciting new addition in Chef Amanda Mcgraw heading the kitchen. Chef Mcgraw is a strong talent that may be flying under the radar right now, but not for long as she consistently brings ingenuity to the menu and nightly specials. Her versatility and understanding of cuisines

from all over the world helps her create food you want to gorge on. His favorite thing to eat on the menu? “OMG the freaking Portobello Burger is hands down my favorite thing between two pieces of bread anywhere! I know the flavor combo of portobello, peppers, balsamic and onions is the over played vegetarian stand by for most chefs but this one is absolutely perfect.”, says Chef Crew. “I don’t know how she does it . . . but I crave it. It’s perfect.” Outside of Mexican food and hotdogs, it’s the only thing he craves. Rich, juicy and succulent, he’d order it over an actual beef burger any day of the week. “It’s freaking perfect, along with the churros.” Chef Logen recommends a quartino of red wine, the Portobello Burger and the arugula salad for absolute satisfaction for any chef getting off the late shift or anyone looking for a late night date with perfection!

Devour Utah • October 2017 55

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association

Fire & Slice pizza truck

Chef Justin Shifflett:

Executive Chef Stoneground Kitchen / The Garage on Beck

When we asked Chef Justin which restaurant he prefers to spend a night off in, he had a hard time answering this tough question. And after some serious deliberation, Chef Shifflett had to go with an unconventional pizza joint, the food truck Fire & Slice with Chef David Kimball at it’s helm. Chef Kimball is creating authentic, rustic wood fire pizza from a portable oven, made to order. “His dough is perfect”, says Chef Justin, “and what I love about it most is he told me he doesn’t really use a recipe it just has to look right!” The

throngs of people lining up outside the Fire & Slice food truck at different events around the state are certainly in agreement with Chef Justin. “At Stoneground our pizza is great but Chef David has something up his sleeve to create the perfect ‘za’.”, explains Shifflett. It has inspired him to raise his game and given him a new challenge. Plus he just really likes Chef David Kimball. He’s a humble family man who just really wants to make great food.

General Tso cauliflower at HSL

Chef Mark Mason:

Executive Chef Black Sheep Cafe

Chef Mark Mason took no time at all when sharing where he loves to eat when he’s not at his restaurant and which Utah chef is currently inspiring him. He loves to indulge his chef taste buds at Handle in Park City and HSL. Chef Mason celebrates flavor close to his upbringingsouthwestern spice and deep interesting smoky flavors. Of equal value to flavor for Chef Mason is the investment in sourcing local, supporting essential relationships with Utah farmers and purveyors. He is truly inspired by the

56 Devour Utah • October 2017

creativity of Chef Briar Handly. Chef Briar is constantly taking something traditional and familiar and turning it up a notch with an impressive commitment to Utah specific sourcing. Chef Mark’s favorite vittle offered at Handle and HSL is the cauliflower. “I love the the buffalo cauliflower”, says Chef Mason, “He takes something familiar to the palate and puts his own creative spin on it.” The General Tso cauliflower at HSL is also an imaginative spin on a classic asian chicken dish.

Content provided by Utah Restaurant Association






ZERO ELECTRICITY Twelve teens compete on the Emmy award winning series TeenChef Pro for a four year scholarship to Johnson & Wales University and the ultimate title of TeenChef Pro champion. Beginning October 7, 2017 on Utah’s CW 30 at 11:00AM.


Behind every good food story, is a great people story. Join your hosts Katy and Jami as we take a bite out of Utah’s food culture with this food forward weekly series. Each episode is a road trip across our state where we discover unique Utah dining destinations, chefs, farmers and the stories behind their craft. Season 3 of Taste Utah begins January of 2018 on Utah’s CW 30 at 11:00AM

Get Tasting With Us! Devour Utah • October 2017 57

Last Bite:

Cooks are born in the trenches

of culinary failure. By Vanessa Chang


espite what the glossy cookbooks and magazine covers show, cooking and eating are inherently messy pursuits. Yet I find so many people who make themselves feel bad because their result isn’t the exact replica of a recipe found in a beloved coffee table book. Or, even worse, they eschew the act of cooking and sharing food all together to avoid the “inevitable failure” of their efforts. Anyone who has ever cooked, tried to feed other people or even grown food knows that the process usually involves several tries— and lots of trial and error—before anything comes to fruition that’s respectable or anywhere close to the posed perfection the media tends to portray. Cooking, eating and life are pretty much one in the same: As righteous as your intentions might be, they don’t always turn out as planned. And it’s OK. Really. That tomato sauce you think you’ve burned? (We’ve all done it, especially in the age of Netflix and chill.) You can salvage it by serving what’s above the caramelized layer. Or scrape a bit of the charred bits and purée everything with a hand blender or regular blender. Charred tomato sauce—equally good on ravioli as regular sauce. The multi-course feast you’ve planned for your squad on Friday night? You’ll learn that a few hours after work isn’t enough to get everyone fed at a decent hour. On your next attempt, you’ll be

fine with a hearty casual affair of make-ahead dishes like slow cooker carnitas and supplement that meaty beauty with a quick run for fresh tortillas and store-bought salsas. You don’t need to make everything from scratch. If you did and you still have your sanity, great. If not—and you still want your friends to come around—there are plenty of places that sell decent pico de gallo. Even tried-and-true recipes inevitably vary thanks to a careless mind (swapping salt for sugar is comedic in hindsight) and the elements (humidity levels, altitude, Mercury in retrograde). Chocolate chip cookies always turn out differently thanks to how well the flour absorbs moisture or how finicky the oven temperature setting might be. I have friends who say a little prayer to the biscuit gods before they bake a big batch. Sometimes, the result is disastrous and you simply chuck it and move on. Try again or opt for something else. Other times, it is a sublime (and edible) testament to effort and persistence in food. That’s how cooks are born—in the trenches of culinary failure and triumphs. And it’s those qualities, not the award-winning Instagram shot, that are the real purpose in food, cooking and eating. But go ahead and post that picture of the wonky roast chicken anyway. Chances are, it’ll still get all the likes from the folks who only dream of cooking. ❖

Pictured: Costine di maiale

Host your next private event with us! 282 S 300 W • Salt Lake City • (801) 328-3463 58 Devour Utah • October 2017

Devour Utah • October 2017 59

60 Devour Utah • October 2017