Slow Food Utah microgrant recipients grow the cause of healthy local food.
—by Katherine Pioli
Ah, the lovely tomato—so beautiful in its simplicity, elegance, versatility and nutrition. This is the garden prize we wait all summer for—whether we meticulously planted, fertilized and trained our plants on cages and twine, or we carefully select each fruit from our favorite growers at the farmers market. That first vine-ripe black krim or cuor di bue (shaped like a perfect ox heart!) sprinkled with a touch of sea salt, well...it's just heaven.
The Biocentric Brothers, Chase and Kyle England, are by now familiar faces in the Salt Lake food and farm scene. Natives of Layton, Utah, they began selling locally grown medicinal and culinary mushrooms at the Salt Lake Downtown Farmers Market in 2012. Recently Chase England stopped by CATALYST to share some exciting news. After three great years in business, Bio Brothers is expanding their operations.
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.