Blake Spalding & Jen Castle
Owners of Hell's Backbone Grill & Authors of With A Measure of Grace
Blake Spalding and Jen Castle own and operate Hell's Backbone Grill in Boulder, Utah. Boulder has a population of just 180; while at the same time, it is the largest town geographically in Utah, after Salt Lake. "A remote, tiny, tightly knit community, most of whom are Mormon Ranchers" one of the country's least accessible towns and the last to receive regular mail service by mule train in 1942. Sounds like the perfect place to open a fine dining restaurant right? Well to these two extraordinary women it did. They have. And it's remarkable. The book about their experiences (and the food they cook) is tremendous.
Hell's Backbone Grill takes its name from one of the most dramatic bridges in the world, a narrow, wooden engineering feat of a passage that straddles Box Death Hollow, one of Utah's more precarious and rugged corridors, Hell's Backbone Bridge.
Former river caterers, Jen and Blake used to plan menus for three meals a day for up to three weeks and take all they needed on river rafting expeditions. To do so they needed to plan and pack everything: food, cocktails, cooking equipment and would have to bring back everything (leave nothing behind). Having done that running a restaurant in remote Utah seemed easy! Jen and Blake tell Mark and Francis their story of running a fine dining restaurant in a remote location in a Mormon town and becoming a part of that community.
Podcast Date: 8/9/2005