salt Lake magazine Dining Award winners pull flavors, ingredients and techniques from cuisines all over the world, becoming ever more particular in the source of their ingredients. Take a peek into the pantries of Utah’s best restaurants.

The Secret Ingredient: Vinegar

When cooking or seasoning food, many cooks, amateur or professional, often overlook the use of vinegar or acidity as an ingredient. “The idea of using acidity in addition to salt to season food is an absolute game changer. Finding the perfect balance between salt and acidity can truly transform flavors from good to exceptional. At Table X we use acidity in one form or another to season everything that goes out of our kitchen. It could be plain old distilled white vinegar to add a kick of acid to a rich dish, red, white wine, cider vinegar to complement the use of other ingredients in cooking, lemon juice to finish a plate with a fresh zip of acidity, or a house made fermented product to add depth and tanginess. Every dish you eat at Table X will feature a balanced acidic flavor.”

 

2019 Dining Award Winner Table X

The edgiest restaurant in the state, this experimental kitchen run by three chefs—Nick Fahs, David Barboza and Mike Blocher—is also one of the most idealistic. That means it’s the strictest, preparing foods using classic techniques infused with forward-thinking imagination. The kitchen makes its own bread, its own butter, has a thriving garden out back and names the sources of all its meat—Jones Creek, Christiansen Farms, Morgan Valley. From pristine ingredients come vivid flavors: dry-aged beets with five-spice peanuts, house-made labneh and sweet and sour beet tops. Fennel-roasted heirloom carrots with white bean puree, beet molasses and fennel pollen. Vegetable “steak,” coconut curried leeks, autumn squash, spiced ghee. Still, when asked about essential ingredients, the trio of chefs agreed on a seldom-mentioned classic.

 


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