Utah is experiencing a food diversification. No longer must we settle for chain restaurants, or the same three cuisines over and over again. With our expanding food scene comes more options for consumers, better quality food, and a large variety of options for those who have specific dietary needs. Pulp Lifestyle Kitchen truly highlights how this expansion is not only benefiting the vegan, vegetarian, and diet-conscious consumers, but entire neighborhoods. Because who doesn’t want affordable, local, from-scratch food?
There’s been a re-veganing. Our podcast serves many purposes, but our biggest priority is to educate and surprise Utahns with our growing and diverse food scene. And nowhere is that more apparent than this episode where we not only surprise you with the bountiful vegan and vegetarian options in our community, but also surprise you with super special guest host, Amanda Rock!
Omar Abou-Ismail doesn't have your typical restaurant owner story. Originally born in Lebanon, Omar and his family traveled and lived throughout West Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, and the Middle East, and eventually settled in Utah. After studying geophysics and mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, he began working with the U.S. Navy as a geophysicist. And then, in 2005, he opened Rawtopia. You could say it was a bit of a leap in career.
What started as a curiosity about the raw food movement became a passion, and his love for sustainability and care for the earth only fueled the flames. After he switched to a raw food diet, Omar began to feel more healthy, happy, and energetic. This new-found life style change felt akin to a spiritual awakening, and Omar wanted to share this feeling with the Salt Lake City community.
Rawtopia opened in Sugar House in 2005, and has become a staple in Salt Lake. Along with providing high-quality, healthy food, it also serves as an educational resource for people who are unfamiliar with what the raw food diet entails. Overcoming adversity, trials, and tribulations, Rawtopia has also celebrated many victories.
Join us as we sit down with Omar Abou-Ismail, and dive into his fascinating story, and all the lessons and changes that led to the creation of Rawtopia. We also learn what it means to eat raw food, and how the physical, mental, and sometimes spiritual benefits of a healthy and raw diet.
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.
2280 South West Temple, SLC
234 West 900 South, SLC
Jake Boyd has always been passionate about organic food and environmental sustainability, but didn't know the best way to make an impact. After working full-time and moving to Park City to explore the famous Utah ski slopes, his childhood roots came full circle and he ventured into the food world. Having been raised by parents that grew up farming, the passion and drive to start a company from scratch that focused on non-GMO, sustainable, organic snack foods.
Hence began All Good Provisions, a local Utah company that has expanded to over 400 stores throughout the country. With products in Whole Foods, Caputos, and Liberty Heights, All Good Provisions has exploded throughout the organic food scene. With a focus on highlighting and working with environmentally conscious farmers, Jake and his small team have taken this idea and grown it into a company that is focused on providing delicious, healthy snacks that all are focused on a cause. With one percent of every sale going towards environmental organizations throughout the world, their products have a further reaching impact than the immediate nutritional benefits.
Jake has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new product, The Oven Stoked Series, and are planning on rolling out more products throughout the state, and throughout the country.
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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 http://www.zestslc.com
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.
Sugar House: 1597 S 1100 E
Downtown SLC: 219 E Broadway