Melva Sine, eat your heart out. It looks like Utah is getting a grass-roots restaurant association.
Salt Lake's culinary "spring" has arrived. At least that's what it felt like Sunday night at The Rose Establishment. The barely formed SaltLake Kitchen Collective threw a launch party that jammed the house with hipsters. Even without the aid of alcohol the scene reached a fever of clubby excitement that made it difficult to hear Justin Soelberg explain what the party was all about.
The gist is that a bunch of local chefs and restaurants—many of them there serving tidbits—
are joining together to, oh, do all sorts of idealistic things via food. The group, including Soelberg who is chef at Bistro 222, Phelix Gardner of Finca/Pago, Eva, Communal, The Rose Est., Bodega, and Happy Sumo, plus others I'm sure I'm forgetting, meets at Bar X and are going to invigorate Salt Lake's food scene in a number of ways. Like pop-up dinners benefiting charities and needy individuals. Mentoring sessions with culinary students. Something with the homeless?
Yes, it sounds idealistic and hopeful and completely opposite the hipster cynicism we hear about. But to me, that nearly naive can-do optimism is the best of Utah's heritage and this enthusiastic group expects itself to make good things happen.
And yes, the specifics are vague. But the energy is intense. As the SLC/KC gets its act together and takes it on the road, you'll hear about it here.