Salt Lake Food

#47: The Big O Doughnuts - 100% Vegan, and Slightly Naughty

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In early 2015 Ally Curzon and her mom Jessica Curzon were driving through Salt Lake City when they were hit with a craving: they wanted a doughnut. While Utah has some fine doughnut options, none would work for the Curzon family because they are vegan -- and vegan doughnuts can be hard to come by.

It was then that a craving turned into a business idea. Ally and her mom drove home to share their new idea with Ally's 15-year-old sister, Leah, but were met with skepticism. Leah had seen her mom's last food project, a small chocolate truffle business, start with high hopes... but never get off the ground. So Leah Curzon issued her mom a challenge: "Mom, this can't be one of those things you don't follow through on."

So Jessica hit the kitchen with her daughters, working toward a perfect vegan doughnut. And when they felt they had the recipe dialed in, they rented a booth at a local farmer's market in town. They were received well, which led their doughnuts into Sugar House Coffee and a few other local coffee shops in town. With momentum, lots of passion, some newfound fans from their Farmer's Market presence, and their unique vegan doughnuts, Jessica Curzon put a new commercial kitchen on a credit card and went all in, rising to meet her daughter's challenge.

Today we're joined by Jessica Curzon, her 15-year-old daughter Leah Curzon, and Jessica's boyfriend and business partner Zak Farrington, to talk about their journey starting an all-vegan doughnut shop and their upcoming new location at 171 E Broadway in downtown Salt Lake City, where they'll open in just a few weeks.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#40: Naked Fish Japanese Bistro – The Flavor is in the Details

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When thinking about high-quality, fresh sushi, a restaurant in Utah doesn’t immediately jump to mind. But Johnny Kwon, one of the founders and the owner of Naked Fish Japanese Bistro, is working to dispel that assumption. High-quality, authentic sushi can be found in Salt Lake City, and it will change your expectations about what sushi, and Japanese cuisine, can be.

Before Naked Fish Japanese Bistro arrived on the Salt Lake City food scene in 2009, the Latitude Group owned and operated numerous restaurants throughout Salt Lake City, Park City, and the Wasatch front. Mikado, the first Japanese restaurant in the state, was under their umbrella. After a series of unfortunate legal issues, Mikado and the Latitude Group went under. What was left in the wake were some of the top chefs in the state, and a hole that needed to be filled.

Johnny Kwon and his business partners took on the challenge, and Naked Fish Japanese Bistro was born. Their goal and focus was to  put authentic Japanese cuisine and high-quality food as a priority in all of their decisions. With Akane Nakamura serving as Executive Chef and Sunny Tsogbadrakh as Executive Sushi Chef, Naked Fish places an emphasis on quality and attention to detail both in the front, and back, of the restaurant.

Join us as we learn about the detailed sourcing that goes into the food, beverages, and preparation of every item at Naked Fish, as well as the tips and tricks to eat sushi like a pro.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook,Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#36: Amour Spreads - "And so we said, let's make jam!"

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Amour is the French word for love, and that's the perfect way to describe how the local jam company Amour Spreads began. It was in 2011 that John and Casee Francis were looking to start a new chapter in life. They felt they were in a rut with their careers and needed a change, or as they say in the episode… they wanted a sign: something that would signal to them what their next life chapter had in store for them.

It was when Casee and John were hiking in rural Idaho in the summer of 2011 that the sign they wished for appeared. Just not in the way they expected. A few miles from their cabin, they stumbled across a field with thousands of berries. Unable to stop themselves from picking them, they spent the morning filling bails with fresh-picked berries. But what do you do with thousands of berries when there's no way to bring them back to Utah? After some reading online, Casee and John decided to experiment with making jam. And that's where their new journey began.

Their first batches of jam were a hit. Friends and family loved their local, low sugar, high-quality recipes, and John and Casee's interest and excitement grew. Every new batch was an experiment, and what started as a hobby grew into a passion.

With further encouragement from their friends at Pago and Liberty Heights Fresh, John and Casee decided to take the plunge and grow Amour Spreads into a business. With a booth at the Farmer's Market, jam's at Liberty Heights Fresh and Caputos, and partnerships with Pago and Solstice Chocolate, Amour Spreads has quickly established themselves as an essential part of the Utah food scene.

Join us on The Utah Foodie as we sit down with John and Casee and learn how their humble jam interest grew into an award winning, state-wide hit. From the humble beginnings at an Idaho cabin to being a finalist in the Good Food Awards, the only way to go for Amour Spreads is up.

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visittheutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

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#33: Sage's Cafe & Vertical Diner - Vegan and Vegetarian Before it Was Cool.

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Vertical Diner and Sage’s Cafe are two leading restaurants in Utah that promote plant-based foods on their menu, with large offerings of exclusively vegetarian and vegan dishes. Today, vegan and vegetarian menu options aren't uncommon -- but 17 years ago, in 1998, it was rare... and the thought of opening a vegetarian-only restaurant in Salt Lake City seemed impossible.   

It was then that Ian Brandt, owner of Vertical Diner and Sage's Cafe, set out to popularize a non-meat diet (beyond tasteless leafy salads!) and provide better dining options for vegetarians and vegans in Salt Lake City. Brandt started with a small vegetarian, gluten-free food truck --thought to be the state's second-ever food truck to hit the streets-- and peddled his approachable vegetarian food at music venues and popular business locations.

After encouragement from loyal customers, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike, Ian Brandt opened his first permanent location. In the late 1990's, and named after Ian's firstborn son, Sage's Cafe was born.

Now today, 17 years later, Brandt runs two successful vegetarian restaurants in Salt Lake City at the center of a significant movement in the veganism movement. Tune in to today's interview with Vertical Diner and Sage's Cafe owner and chef, Ian Brandt, as we discuss why people choose a vegetarian and vegan diet, and talk about the horrors of modern day factory farming and animal cruelty. Join us.

Vertical Diner

801-484-VERT

http://verticaldiner.com/

2280 South West Temple, SLC

 

Sage's Cafe

801-322-3790

http://www.sagescafe.com/

234 West 900 South, SLC

 

For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#32: Solstice Chocolate - Artisan Chocolate... "How hard could it be?"

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Scott was comfortable in his career as an air traffic controller and DeAnn was a sales manager at a local Utah business. But their kids were growing up and leaving the house, and behind the scenes Scott and DeAnn's homemade chocolate was becoming much more than a hit among friends and family, and was turning into an obsession.

So late in their careers and in mid-2013, DeAnn and Scott Querry made the leap into a new chapter of their lives and opened Solstice Chocolate out of a a small 800 square foot location in the Central Ninth district of Salt Lake City. In this small, single-room location they received small boxes of imported cocoa beans, arriving from distant countries known for their cocoa beans, like Madagascar and Bolivia.

Solstice Chocolate's "bean-to-bar" model has proven that carefully controlling the entire chocolate-making process pays off. Today, just two years later, Solstice Chocolate bars can be found in over 170 locations across the United States and Europe.

On today's episode of The Utah Foodie, we take you through Solstice Chocolate's founding story, talk about the bean-to-bar model and roasting process to make fine chocolate, and get to know their owners DeAnn Querry and Scott Querry.

You can find their chocolate online at Solstice Chocolate's website, or at the Blue Copper Coffee Room or Publik Coffee Roasters.

Solstice Chocolate

solsticechocolate.com

facebook.com/solsticechocolate

 

For more episodes and information, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!

#31: "An Evening Out in SLC" - Food Tips With Foodies

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Welcome to The Utah Foodie! On today’s episode we bring in two of our state's top food writers and critics to help us craft a perfect night out on the town exploring Salt Lake City's food scene.

This is our third installment in our monthly "Food Tips With Foodies" series where we bring in local food experts and talk food for an hour on a pre-selected topic. Last month, we explored Breakfast & Brunch in Utah with Chris Holified of I Am Salt Lake and Chelsea Nelson of Heartbeat Nosh. In October, we brought in Amanda Rock of Amanda Eats SLC and Jeffrey Steadman from Yelp.com to talk Fine Dining options around the state.

Today we’re on with Kathy Stephenson and Heather King:

Kathy Stephenson has been The Tribune food writer since 2000, covering all aspects of eating including dining, alcohol and agriculture. A Utah native, she began working at The Tribune in 1982 while a student at the University of Utah. She honed her journalism skills covering various topics including communities, education and (fun fact) Figure Skating during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Heather King is a food writer and restaurant critic for The Salt Lake Tribune, Devour Utah, Downtown SLC magazine and Examiner.com. She is the co-founder of The Utah Review where she writes about arts, culture, food and travel. She is the founder of Utah's Ladies Who Lunch groups, a member of the Association of Food Journalists and a proud Great Dane owner.

For more episodes and information, visit theutahfoodie.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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#27: Rubadue's Saucey Skillet - Food Trucks, Catering, & Hospital Food

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Carl Rubadue has spent over 40 years in the food business, so you can say he’s been around the block here in Utah and around the food scene. He got his start at the Mariposa restaurant at Deer Valley resort in 1981. He’s since worked for a variety of resorts and catering services, cutting his teeth in kitchens all across the Western US.

A few years ago, Carl Rubadue started his own catering service — Rubadue’s Saucey Skillet. If it sounds familiar, it's probably because you’ve seen his food trucks around Salt Lake Valley or Park City. Saucey Skillet's food truck can be found at "Food Truck Thursdays" at the Gallivan Center, the Utah Beer Festival, or the Twilight Concert Series, and a variety of other places around the state.

In addition to his catering and food truck business, Carl offers cooking lessons through Saucey Skillet Academy.

On today's program we talk with Carl Rubadue about the growth Utah is seeing in its food scene, his time as executive chef of the University of Utah hospital, and his latest venture in food -- a kitchen no wheels. Tune in.

Rubadue's Saucey Skillet http://sauceyskillet.com/

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#24: Dolcetti Gelato - Finding love through gelato

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Welcome to The Utah Foodie! On today's show, we sit down with Dolcetti Gelato, one of the cornerstones of the 9th and 9th neighborhood. Founded by Elizabeth and Mark England over ten years ago, this neighborhood staple specializes in home made, locally flavored Italian delicacies that will take your mouth on a scenic tour of the Italian countryside.

When Elizabeth and Mark began their endeavor into the food scene, Mark wanted an excuse to spend more time with Elizabeth. What better way to spend time with someone than through launching a gelato business together?

After evolving from Italian Ice, they began to explore the world of gelato. From gelato making classes to traveling through Italy to learn the local secrets, Mark and Elizabeth began a small gelato cart at Rico's Mexican Market. Selling wholesale to groups throughout the state, Dolcetti Gelato grew to the point where their own store front was a necessity.

With their beautiful and artsy location at 902 E 900 S, Elizabeth and Mark have crafted over 75 seasonal, artisan flavors of gelato that sample from local flavors such as peach, honey, and lavender, to exotic flavors such as their popular coconut sticky rice.

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#22: Laziz Foods - Nothing lazy about this hummus

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Our guest today is Moudi Sbeity, co-owner of Laziz Foods.
Laziz is a local maker of Middle Eastern spreads like their popular hummus, muhammara, and toum garlic sauce that can be found in a variety of local grocery stores like Whole Foods and Liberty Heights Fresh.

Moudi grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, a country known for food of incredible spices and flavors -- and of course, their hummus. Hummus in Lebanon is much like salsa in Mexico: it's everywhere, and can be used in a variety of dishes and is served with almost every meal.
So when Moudi moved to Logan, Utah from Lebanon and couldn't find any good hummus, he set off to make his own. He and his partner Derek Kitchen began sharing their homemade hummus with friends, who eventually convinced them to start re-purposing cream cheese containers and buy their own packaging to start selling their new spread.
Today, several years later, Laziz sells their hummus in over 15 grocery stores, and are just a few weeks away from breaking ground on Laziz Kitchen, a new chapter and extension for their business: a deli in the central ninth district in downtown Salt Lake City. They have plans to open next year.
Join us on today's episode as we sit down with Moudi Sbety to hear his entrepreneurial journey in the food business, making hummus.
Laziz Foods
www.laziz-foods.com

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#19: Zest Kitchen & Bar - Healthy eating with Casey Staker

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Zest Kitchen & Bar is a 3-year old restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City that was launched by Casey Staker in late 2012. It's an organic, vegetarian, gluten-free restaurant with a fresh juice cocktail bar and they’re right on 275 S 200 W — across from Red Rock, right around the corner from Squatter’s and the convention center. Zest is trendy, it’s upscale, and their food is lightweight and healthy. And at night, the cocktails flow — all fresh juice and ingredients but with a creative twist. Drinks like a jalepeño margarita, a ginger spice whiskey cocktail with a fresh apple slice, and a summer beet sangria.

But on the weekend nights, Casey's history in the nightclub business shows through: at 10p on Friday and Saturday nights Zest has music and dancing, and the small vegetarian restaurant goes from dinner to nightclub, with great DJs, music, and club atmosphere.

Casey Staker’s career started in 2004 when he bought in to a new nightclub at the time, the W Lounge. And almost 10 years later, Casey closed it down to pursue his next project — a place he would actually want to hang out at… a restaurant with healthy food and drinks that’s open late, and he could go to on the weekends. So in 2012, Zest Kitchen & Bar was born.

On today's show, we sit down with Casey Staker to talk about his life growing up in rural Utah, to running one of the hottest clubs in Salt Lake City, to today where he works out of Zest, dreaming up healthy food and cocktail menu items, and planning for expansion. Tune in.

 

Zest Kitchen & Bar 275 S 200 W, Salt Lake City 801-433-0589 http://www.zestslc.com

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#18: Tony Caputo Retires

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Tony Caputo: we all know the name. He’s the man, of course, behind Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli — a downtown Salt Lake City staple.

Caputo's has been a large part of the Utah food scene since 1997, when Tony opened up across from Pioneer Park. It’s part deli, part market, and today.. a large third part that is their online store, where they ship out hundreds of boxes each day filled with fine cheese, chocolate, meats, oils, jams… in fact, they’re the largest premium chocolate company in the United States.

Tony Caputo is now 66 years old. It was about this time last year that he started thinking about retirement and his intentions to hand the reigns of the business over to his son Matt, and Matt's wife Yelena. But it was just a few weeks ago that Matt published a moving blog post on the Caputo's website where he spoke fondly of his father and how he would miss spending time with him at the downtown location they are still in over 18 years later.

The deli and market are such a large part of the Caputo family and Matt’s post was moving.. and officially kicked off a new chapter for the family business.

On today's show, we sit down with Tony Caputo to reflect on his career and hear stories of his days running Caputo's Market and Deli. If you know Tony, you know him as a caring, passionate, and friendly person and over the years he has had a large influence on the Utah food scene. Listen in as we celebrate his career and wish him well in his retirement as he starts his next chapter now that he's officially retired from Tony Caputo’s Market and Deli.

 

Tony Caputo's Market & Deli

www.caputosdeli.com

801-531-8669

314 W 300 S, Salt Lake City

 

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#15: The Chocolate Conspiracy - A story of healthy eating & a career in chocolate.

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AJ Wentworth attended the world's largest nutrition school in New York City, after spending years as a health coach and working at a retreat center in rural Arizona where he taught his patients about raw food and holistic, healthy living. To put it simply, AJ doesn't have the background you'd expect of a chocolatier.

In NYC, AJ fell in love with the idea of healthy, raw chocolate -- made of real cacao beans and while staying healthy, remaining sweet, and well... like chocolate. So he started making his own version of chocolate in his apartment, and peddled them at school to make a few bucks and get feedback from his fellow classmates.

When he returned home to Salt Lake City, AJ Wentworth opened The Chocolate Conspiracy and today, just six years later, they have a large wholesale presence where they sell in over 10 states, a few countries, and out of their small chocolate shoppe in downtown Salt Lake City at 774 S 300 W.

AJ joins us today to talk about how he reconciles his passion for health, and his passion for sweets... and how he started The Chocolate Conspiracy back in 2009 as a young creative, with no background in business.

Join us on today's show of The Utah Foodie, with AJ Wentworth and our host Chase Murdock.

 

The Chocolate Conspiracy

774 S. 300 W. (Unit A)

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

www.eatchocolateconspiracy.com

 

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#14: Rico Brand & Frida Bistro - Mexican Food & The American Dream

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Jorge Fierro has an incredible story. He left university in Chihuahua, Mexico in his early twenties to start a new life chapter in the United States, despite his parents' desire to have him complete his studies at law school to become an attorney.

When he arrived in America, he spent his nights on the streets and in homeless shelters while he learned English and struggled to find a way to make ends meet. His first job was herding sheep in rural Wyoming, before he finally made his way to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ten years later, in 1985, Jorge opened Rico Brand -- a small pinto bean distributor bent on bringing authentic Mexican Food to to the United States. Slowly, Rico evolved. First, as a market in downtown Salt Lake City where he made authentic, fresh, ready-to-eat Mexican food that he sold to customers who came by his store or stopped by his booth at the Farmer's Market. A few years in, he finally caught his big break when a Smith's executive contacted him with an inquiry to carry his food in one of their stores. And the rest is history.

Today, Rico Brand is a multi-million dollar success story located in the Granary District with a large manufacturing and distributing arm and sister company, Frida Bistro, that serves up high-end, creative Mexican Cuisine in a sit-down, fine dining environment.

On today's show we hear from Jorge firsthand to his story about his pursuit of the American Dream, starting a food distributing company, and eventually launching a restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City.

Rico Brand www.ricobrand.com

Frida Bistro www.fridabistro.com 801-983-6692 545 W 700 S, Salt Lake City

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#13: Vive Juicery - All About Local, Cold-pressed Juice

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Vive Juicery is cold-press juice shop in Sugarhouse that makes fresh fruit and vegetable juices -- and it's the product of Brittany Thaxton's blood, sweat, and tears over the past two years.

And just this week, Vive is celebrating the grand opening of their second location in downtown Salt Lake City, right by People's Coffee on 219 E Broadway. So today we sit down with Brittany to reflect back on their last two years, starting all the way to their farmer’s market days, to their original Kickstarter campaign that got them the startup capital they needed to make Vive a reality, and all the way up to today, where they have 20 employees, two locations, and press a lot of juice.

Join us today on an episode of The Utah Foodie that takes us through all this and more with Vive Juicery owner Brittany Thaxton and our host Chase Murdock.

Vive Juicery

www.vivejuicery.com

801-824-9190

Sugar House: 1597 S 1100 E

Downtown SLC: 219 E Broadway

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#9: Spitz - All about the Döner Kebab & Mediterranean street food + a new Sugarhouse location!

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After traveling all over Europe, Tanner Slizeski and Josh Hill weren't struck by the art or by the architecture. It wasn't the history, or any of the museums that kept Tanner and Josh up at night. It was the Mediterranean street food. Specifically, it was the döner kebab: the food cart staple made with beef and lamb cut off a marinated spit.

In fact, one of Spitz's owners even jumped in a river in Amsterdam off of a bet when his friend told him a döner kebab was on the line. And that's how Spitz was born: two young and fanatical Turkish food lovers set on bringing it to Utah with an American take, good local beer, and a great atmosphere.

In October 2013, Spitz opened its doors right downtown on 35 E Broadway and today they are one of Salt Lake City's busiest lunch destinations and late-night stops for dinner and a beer. On our show they announce a second location in Sugarhouse, talk about how they got the restaurant started, address their previously criticized wait times on their food, and told us where they're headed in the future.

Join us for a fun episode all about European street food and getting to know Josh and Tanner, the fun duo behind Utah's Spitz restaurant.

 

Spitz SLC

35 E Broadway, SLC

801-364-0286

Spitz Sugarhouse

1201 East Wilmington Ave, SLC

Coming in July 2015

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#6: Even Stevens Sandwiches - Talking food with a cause, local, and growth with Jamie Coates & Sara Day

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Today we talk sandwiches with Even Stevens' creative director Jamie Coates and director of community engagement Sara Day. But not just any old sandwiches... sandwiches with a cause. For each sandwich Even Stevens makes, they donate one to a local nonprofit partner here in Utah. And after just one year of crazy growth, Even Stevens now has two locations --and a third on the way-- and have donated a whopping 75,000 sandwiches. Awesome.

In this episode our host Chase Murdock sits down with Sara and Jamie to learn about what drives Even Stevens and how they got started. Their founder Steve Down is intriguing. He's not your stereotypical restaurant guy. As their blog puts it:

Steve Down dons a suit daily, quotes Goethe, orates words like compassionate capitalism, and carries Steve Job’s biography in his back pocket. And he lays it out on the table: he isn’t a “restaurant guy”. Blue eyes don’t lie has perhaps been his creed since birth. He isn’t a 20-something hipster with tousled hair jetting off to developing countries. He doesn’t use Instagram. (The rest of the team does plenty of that)

We applaud the vagabond millennial, but Even Stevens is a tale of it’s own. Think of your parents’ wisdom mixed with the progressive spirit of youth. A New York Stock-exchange meets Woodstock kind of romance. Steve has forever been a champion for the next generation.

 

And like their founder Steve, Even Stevens isn't stereotypical either: they're making a large splash in the Utah food scene and showing all of us what it means for a business to be authentically engaged in their community and focus on local, while simultaneously creating a large, multi-location restaurant brand.

We also go into Even Stevens' food menu, their beer pairings, and talk about how they use local ingredients in at each location. You can hear Sara and Jamie's passion for what they do and in this episode it's clear that Even Stevens isn't just building a restaurant -- they're building a movement.

Listen in.

 

EVEN STEVENS DOWNTOWN SLC

200 S 414 E  |  385-355-9105

EVEN STEVENS SUGARHOUSE

2030 S 900 E  |  801-953-0357

EVEN STEVENS DRAPER

COMING SOON!

 

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