First Bite: Bambara’s New House-made Charcuterie Program 

Hotel Monaco’s Bambara recently reopened after a months-long renovation that is part of a more extensive hotel overhaul. The impeccable signature service is as unwavering as ever. I can only think of one other place that has provided that level of high-quality service in the past year. The Executive Chef, Patrick LeBeau, comes to the *ahem* table with a great culinary background and a focus on simple, quality ingredients that come together in non-stuffy fine dining dishes. 

What really stands out is the new house-made charcuterie program that launched with the recent opening. Chef LeBeau explained, “We were talking during the renovation. What do we want to be known for? How do we want to set ourselves apart from the other restaurants in the city?” They noticed that many places feature a charcuterie board but aren’t making it in-house. So, he decided to start an in-house cured meat program. And he is well-positioned to bring it to life. 

“When I was working in Chicago years ago, I had the opportunity to learn under a really great executive chef who taught me the art of making charcuterie,” Chef LeBeau said. “Back then, we did everything from whole legs and prosciutto that would take a year and a half to cure to smaller muscles like bresaola. We’d also do different salamis there and play around and experiment with what we could do. That one was a lot larger program with a lot more dry age involved and things that took a lot longer and required certain steps in the process to be controlled and monitored.” 

While he has a different capability currently at Bambara, he wanted to start with a program that was still rooted in tradition but didn’t have the long cure times. “We decided to go with the route of things we can cook that is still very traditional, like doing a country paté, which is one of the more traditional old-school modes of charcuterie,” he said. “You would take all of your end cuts, your trimming, the pieces that you couldn’t use for anything else, and you would marinate them, grind them up, bake them off, make your patés. I have a really good recipe for a rustic paté that I’ve been using for years and enjoy. Getting some really great pork is the key there.” The Duroc Pork Paté is rustic rather than smooth ground and spreadable (which is my preference) and comes paired with local beer mustard, which I personally paired liberally with everything else on the plate I got. 

In keeping with the “things we can cook” theme, Chef LeBeau also has duck rillettes on the menu. “Duck Rillettes is a really simple, easy preparation that people understand,” he said. “You take duck legs, salt cure them for a couple of hours, confit them in their own duck fat, and afterward you pick all the meat from the bone, whip a little bit more the duck fat inside, and season however you want to.” Rillettes are one of my favorite at-home entertaining dishes because they feel swanky and surprising without feeling too ‘pinkies up’ fancy. Served with a berry jam, this one also paired nicely with some of the cheeses on the menu. 

Photo by Lydia Martinez

Finally, there is a cooked Elk Summer Sausage on the menu. “Our sausage is 100 % Elk. So, we use all of our elk-trimming scraps. Which then marinates for over 24 hours. I add a little bit of fennel, paprika, garlic in there as well, and then grind it, stuff it,” Chef LeBeau explained. “Once we marinate ours, we add the fermenting factors to it and then just roast them off in the oven for a couple of hours, and it comes out as a beautiful product. I’m really excited about this one.” Eventually, Chef wants to be able to smoke the summer sausage. In the meantime, this was a rich addition to round out the board, along with some tart bread and butter pickled fennel. 

When you visit Bambara, look for a standby favorite, the Prosciutto Beignets, and the new to-the-menu bison tartare (with bone marrow aioli). The Coffee Crusted Rocky Mountain Elk was delicious and tender. At the same time, the Dry Aged Bison Steak Frites came with shoestring fries that the entire table couldn’t resist. All told, we fit pork, duck, elk, and bison into one meal while enjoying the updated atmosphere and stellar service that Bambara is known for. 

If You Go:

Bambara (Inside Hotel Monaco) | 202 S Main St, Salt Lake City

Reservations Recommended 

See more stories like this and all of our food and drink coverage. And while you’re here, why not subscribe and get six annual issues of Salt Lake magazine’s curated guide to the best of life in Utah. 

Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez
Lydia Martinez is a freelance food, travel, and culture writer. She has written for Salt Lake Magazine, Suitcase Foodist, and Utah Stories. She is a reluctantly stationary nomad who mostly travels to eat great food. She is a sucker for anything made with lots of butter and has been known to stay in bed until someone brings her coffee. Do you have food news? Send tips to

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