Here’s a unique event to pop into your calendar for this weekend – Taste For The Space. Held at the Shops at South Town this Saturday (May 6th), noon – 4 p.m.
The first of its kind event in Utah pits 13 local chefs against each other head to head, for a major winner takes all prize. The winner of Saturday’s event wins their own restaurant space, rent free, at South Town for six months – worth a whopping $50,000. The event is 100% free and open to the public, all ages welcome tool. All you have to do is show up, sample the thirteen different chef’s offerings and cast your vote.
Each each chef will provide a free signature-dish sample (outlined below) for public tasting and voting; plus there will be games, crafts and live music too.
The public votes will be tallied along with a panel of community judges and one lucky chef will will win the $50k prize of a lifetime. Votes will be gathered at the Taste For The Space event and the winner will be announced at the Utah Restaurant Association Award Dinner held May 16th.
The chefs/restaurants then – some you will likely know, others maybe not so much – and in no particular order:
Owner/operator: Jerry Liedtke, 49, Salt Lake City.
Casual fine dining. American, European, Middle Eastern. Known for bread puddings, lamb sandwich, duck confit, brussel sprouts and moroccan cauliflower. Signature dish: Lamb sandwich with signature fries and bread pudding.
Vision: The Tin Angel is a lively, welcoming, locally driven café where the rituals of dining are lovingly balanced with a practiced, irreverent and creative culinary palate. Our vision is to create a connection between people and their community using food as the catalyst.
Owner/operator: JohnGun Kim, 43, Taylorsville.
Korean BBQ in a cup. Signature dish: Combo CupBop which comes with two selections of meat plus noodle.
Vision: We want to grow up as a company never stopping to improve food and service and introducing warm loving Korean culture to as many people as we meet in the world.
Owner/operator: James Veylupek, 39, Pleasant Grove.
American, menu items have military theme names. Signature dish: The Wiskey-Tango-Foxtrot (WTF) – hand pressed hamburger, cheddar cheese, Jack Daniel’s whiskey caramelized onions, hardwood, smoked bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, and our own special sauce on a local baked brioche bun.
Vision: We want to become a franchise that is a completely veteran owned business model. The experience we provide customers is unique and the food delicious. We attract those that take pride in America. We donate time and food in support of veteran organizations.
Owner/operator: Jeremy Sidwell, 22, Eagle Mountain.
Turkish/European Doner Kababs. Signature dish: Original BAMB Kabab: roasted beef and lamb, with garlic-yogurt and chili sauces, fresh greens, sliced tomato, shaved red onion, pickled cucumber, purple cabbage on a toasted pide bread.
Vision: The Doner Kebab in Europe is about the culture of quick, fun food with friends and family, and we are bringing that to America in a fresh, healthy way. For those who have experienced Kebabs on their vacations to Europe, it is an experience they remember and long for when they return home – we give them the opportunity to experience those feelings again in Utah.
Arancini Snack, LLC
Owner/Operator: Paolo Antulio, 46, Sandy.
Sicilian Italian. Specializing in pizza, arancini, cipolline, lasagna and spaghetti wrapped eggplant – as well as Italian coffees. Signature dish: arancinis and lasagna.
Vision: I would like to expand throughout the United States, and to open at least 10 locations in every state starting with Utah. I want to be well known and with good reputation to help the economy of the communities.
La Salsita Grill
Owner/Operator: Fernando Velazquez, 49, Kearns.
Mexican food. Gourmet carne asada quesadillas. Signature dish: TBD. Either an enchilada, smothered burrito or quesadilla.
Vision: The food truck has been a good business for the past two years and we are ready to grow.
Owner/Operator: Jeffrey Sanich, 39, Sandy
American contemporary. Signature dish: Kalbi short rib over vermicelli
Vision: World domination through the culinary arts.
Owner/Operator: Seunghwan Kim, 37, Lindon.
Sushi. Signature dish: Special rolls with a variety of topping options.
Vision: Our vision is to create an experience that can not be achieved elsewhere. We want to share our passion for food and create delightful experiences with all of our customers. We want to break the cultural barrier of food by creating items that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and culture.
Owner/operator: Colby Hall, 29, Sandy.
American. All food is served in a bowl: pastas, acai bowls, rice bowls and fresh salads. Signature dish: Caprese pasta created with handmade wheat pasta, ripened cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, a honey balsamic reduction and herb infused olive oil.
Vision: Good food can change people. I want to change others, impact people’s health and have a strong influence on the local food scene. We are about promoting healthy lifestyles and helping others less fortunate than myself.
Owner/operator: Meagan Boulton, 27, Salt Lake City.
American gourmet macaroni and cheese. Signature dish: Mac’n Cheese with a selection of high end toppings.
Vision: Put the great state of Utah on the map for having the greatest mac’n cheese on earth.
Owner/operator: Eddee Johansen, 46, Murray.
Asian offering sushi, rice bowls, soups and salads. Signature dish: The Enso: a combination plate with the Raging “Bull” and Godzilla sushi rolls.
Vision: To keep growing. We are the best fast casual concept featuring rice bowls and sushi. Time to let a wide audience know.
Owner/operator: Vini Joseph, 41.
Indian. Mix of South and North Indian dishes. Signature Dish: Salmon Tandoori – salmon marinated in tandoor spices and grilled in clay oven, served with flavored rice and a side of veggies.
Vision: Our vision at Cafe India is to create a unique, comfortable environment where our guests enjoy our Indian
fusion cuisine in relaxed environment. Each customer will be greeted with friendly smile and served with customer delight in mind. We pride ourselves on our sourcing farm to table ingredients that yield high quality and a consistently tasty meal.
Owner/operator: Scott Harris, 31, Herriman.
American BBQ. Signature dish: One of three most popular burgers: Pork Burger, Nacho Burger or Philly Burger.
Vision: Serve the best BBQ in Utah while making sure every customer leaves with a smile.
“We want to do more than simply fill a vendor space, we want to build a food community and support local small business,” says manager Heather Nash. “Our center belongs to the community. So, of course, we want to involve the public in shaping the future and flavor of their local dining.”
Tickets are 100% FREE, but please register online if you plan on taste testing to help participants anticipate how much food to prepare – http://shopsatsouthtown.com/tasteforthespace.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.