I’ve been working in the food business and writing about food for 36 years. In that time, I’ve been thrilled by many new tastes and new products and new ideas about food: the rise of American regional cuisine, including New Southwest; the innovation and enthusiasm for cheese in the U.S., including the development of domestic cheese; the advent of good bread; a new understanding of food as a social force, culturally and environmentally; the explosion of local beer and spirits; the blossoming and respect for female food professionals.
I’ve eaten a ton of food and tried a lot of “new” foods. And mostly, I feel about new dishes the way I feel about new cocktails—most of our best ideas are in the past.
So I can hardly convey the thrill last week when I was served a dish at Provisions that knocked my socks off. That just hardly ever happens anymore. But this!
The overall concept is a simple portmanteau one: combining two excellent dishes into one amazing one.
In this case, Chef Tyler Stokes used shredded duck combined with sautéed cabbage, shiitake and onion to fill a fried egg roll.
But THEN, he rolled the roll inside a rice paper wrapper with leaves of fresh mint and arugula so the finished roll looked like a spring roll. And served with a hoisin-soy dipping sauce.
The flavor explosion was amazing—a word I try not to use in food writing since it signifies nothing, really, except a shortage of vocabulary. So I’ll try to do better—the rich duck meat enhanced by the sautéed veg inside a crispy fried shell satisfied every umami bud in my mouth and gave me a luxuriously fatty mouth-feel with the tender meat offset by the crunch of the wrapper. The freshness of the leaves and the slight chew of the rice paper contrasted with the inner roll for an explosion of flavor that, well. I think I said about the socks.
Tyler calls them Crispy Duck Fresh Rolls. They’re technically on Provisions’ appetizer list, but I think I’ll get two orders next time I go and call it dinner.
PROVISIONS: 3364 S. 2300 East, SLC, 801-410-4046, slcprovisions.com.