Josh and I experienced a pop-up restaurant in Salt Lake City for the first time last weekend with SLC Pop. Some of you may have caught Mist last year around the time of Sundance. If you’re not familiar with the idea, a pop up restaurant is simply a restaurant with no place to call home. They invade kitchens that don’t belong to them and set up shop for a night or two. In many larger cities pop-ups function as a way to get your feet wet in the restaurant industry without much financial investment or risk, since you don’t have a lease or permanent staff to pay. On the flip side, pop-up restaurants are now a hip way to dine, finding out about them usually only through word of mouth or social media due to their lack of permanency and desire to be underground. And reservations are limited and prized among dining enthusiasts.
We met chefs from around the city as well as locals just interested in a more unusual dining experience. We talked about our favorite restaurants in town, our top meals, and our cross-cultural dining experiences while traveling abroad. The people I met ended up being a highlight of the evening for me.
And not only were the diners interesting, the chefs preparing the meal were as well. Every once in a while when they weren’t too busy I’d sneak in a question or two to try and get to know them a bit. Some of them graduates of the Salt Lake City Art Institute and others, participants in the Mist Project. I tried not to chat too much as to not get them in trouble with the head chef of the night, Art Institute Instructor, Katie Weinner, who was up-beat and energized while also keeping her crew in line.
The crew of chefs prepared each dish with intense care and perfection, creating unusual works of art with each course. We ate from wheat grass gardens and miniature meat clothes lines. Here are some photos of the food, each with unique flavors and even more unique displays…
We ended our 10 course evening with a bang, as we lit two small rose chocolate truffles from Amano by their sugar fuses. If you’re looking for an unusual dining experience with innovative food and an energized staff, you should try out SLCPop.
SLC Pop – check out their site for future dates and locations