Earlier this year, Slow Food Utah was faced with the question of how to attract more 20- and 30-somethings. Many lectures just preach to the choir—not tantalize newcomers, like Slow Food Utah wanted.
“Most of our events [a book club, a potluck dinner, etc.] usually attract a smallish crowd—10 to 15 people—mostly 40- to 65-year-olds,” says board member Chantelle Bordeaux. “However, [20- and 30-somethings]—maybe they initially missed the boat or are just newly interested—are catching the buzz, but there’s not an ongoing way for them to plug in.”
The organization decided on a new outing, SLC Bites: a quarterly, seasonal event at an art gallery, where a local chef/restaurant is featured while local musicians play tunes. It is as hip as it sounds.
The inaugural winter event was held at Alpine Art and featured Forage’s owners/chefs; the spring showcase was at the Salt Lake Art Center, which featured Copper Onion chef Ryan Lowder (his chilled asparagus soup with crab is pictured), with wine pairings by local sommelier Francis Fecteau. Both Bites sold out—capacity is gallery-dependent—as will, most likely, this month’s 100-person summer shindig at 15th Street Gallery.
Backed by the jazz musings of Joshua Payne Orchestra, Takashi’s chefs Tommy Nguyen and Ryan Manning, along with Forage’s Viet Pham, will flex their creative and culinary muscles on a chai-spice braised short rib in banh mi to accompany Manning’s signature cocktail “Pine Fuse”—Qi smoky tea liqueur, pineapple sorbet—among other delectables. The menu isn’t season-specific by crop, but rather by flavor. SLC Bites is more about fun, education community and accessibility than about being dogmatically locavore—the way it should be.
15th Street Gallery
1519 S. 1500 East
Monday, Aug. 22, 7-9 p.m.
$20 food, $10 wine