written by: Mary Brown Malouf
President Clinton designated Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante a national monument, but Blake Spalding and Jen Castle put it on the world’s culinary map.
Their restaurant, Hell’s Backbone Grill, on the grounds of Boulder Mountain Lodge, has received kudos from The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune, Oprah, The Wall Street Journal, Sunset magazine, National Geographic and received awards from Salt Lake magazine, many times. My friend Ted Scheffler at City Weekly named it restaurant of the year. The two chefs were semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Southwest award in 2017. Recently, the two brought out their second cookbook, This Immeasurable Place–a companion to their first book.
This is more than a cookbook, though. It is an art book, and it is a permanent record. Take your time with the images. Taken by photographer Ace Kvale, there are images of food and the Hell’s Backbone farm, but photo after photo portrays the rare and extraordinary beauty of this fragile landscape, an extraordinary and beautiful wilderness haven in the middle of a crowded human world.