I've never been to Chez Panisse. I've only read about it, imagined it. Its food is legendary, but just as vital as its revolutionarily simple yet divine menu is the philosophy of the great Alice Waters: from local farm to table with a focus on community. Bringing that philosophy to life in Salt Lake is Avenues Bistro, a comfortable little Avenues restaurant where I was greeted one recent afternoon by a friendly hostess, and an old chalkboard with the hand-written words: Community, Conversation, Cuisine.
To get a sense of how popular kombucha is, you need to go no further than your local Whole Foods and see the many rows of various branded and flavored bottles of the probiotic tea, referred to by many as a healthy elixir. All of those bottles were shipped hundreds of miles to reach refrigerated shelves in Salt Lake City. "There's no reason why kombucha should travel 800 miles in order for us to drink it," says Christy Jensen, the 28-year-old founder of Salt Lake City-based Mamachari Kombucha. "The tea and the sugar already travel far enough."
A relaxing retirement is well earned by Ardean Watts. But he doesn't seem keen on spending it reclined in an overstuffed chair. Watts, after all, has always been a man of activity and engagement. One of Salt Lake's living institutions, Watts spent the greater part of his long life in this city nurturing and growing the arts. Despite his numerous achievements it's Watts' peculiar admiration for mushrooms that has earned him, more recently, an extraordinary amount of attention.
The omnivore's solution.
—by Jane Laird
It's been great to watch the fast growing locavore movement blossom here on the Wasatch Front. It has grown so much, in fact, that it's getting hard to keep tabs on all the new restaurants, stores and organizations. By contrast, I remember the bleak old days—I mean like seven or eight years ago—when people thought a Rhode Island Red was some kind of wine imported from New England.
Meet some tea purists, M.C. (Michael) Rivetti and Jason Woodland —CEO/president and vice president respectively of The Emperor's Tea. This Salt Lake-based company's mission is to provide the highest quality, freshest, most flavorful tea leaves possible as the popularity of premium tea and tea-like beverages continue to rise. In 2011, Americans imbibed over 65 billion servings of tea. This is still well behind U.S. coffee consumption, with 150 million daily sonsumers; but tea is on the rise.
Each month, CATALYST brings our readers tales of fascinating local endeavors—entrepreneurs launching new restaurants or retail businesses, gardeners digging, composting and planting their way to greener communities, or locals organizing to improve the vitality of the city we share—but this month, we're going to take you on a tour of a local business bringing all of these ideas together in the vision of one mover and shaker who understands that, if you want the fruit, sometimes you just have to climb out on a limb. For Kathie Chadbourne, proprietor of the Avenues Bistro on 3rd, out on a limb is par for the course.
You stroll through the sliding glass doors and fumble for the grocery list at the bottom of your reusable bag. Immediately, you have the sense that something's different in this store. Friends told you that would be the case. You can't put a finger on it, but, yeah, something is definitely different here.
Beyond Boston baked beans or California-style pizza are foods through which we can actually reach a deeper communion with place. Cheese is one of these foods, its alchemy dependent on the subtle unseen of a place, as the microorganisms that permeate the environment work away to alter the raw material into the final product.
Spring’s arrival has brought big changes and weighty revelations to our backyard poultry ranch, not least of which is the snow melting. Bigger yet, though is this news: our goose is laying! I say “goose,” because, contrary to what our previous beliefs of the gender distribution of our American buff goose flock – that is, two geese, one gander – it’s recently been revealed to us that we in fact have two ganders and one goose. That’s been a tough pill to swallow.