FEATURE: CULINARY CONFESSIONS

By on July 19, 2017

Epicurean revelations from the valley’s rising food eminence.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – If you want to learn a thing or two about resilience, start with the food and beverage industry. Even the most seemingly intelligent, capable folks fizzle when they don a server’s apron or a chef’s hat. Indeed, it takes superhuman qualities to endure the pressures of working front or back of the house, whether at a restaurant, a catered event or a pop-up dinner.

Front of the house folks are veritable diplomats. They must quickly charm fussy customers in situations where there are no escape routes. During every shift, they attempt a near impossible task: to always be the bearers of good news. A skilled server, after all, will never let a customer leave unhappy.

For those working in the kitchen, it’s a battle to stay out of the weeds, until they’re in them, that is. Employing laser-like focus, then, becomes one’s only salvation until the rush dies down and kitchen staffers can return to a pace other mortals might recognize as halfway normal. For these folks, the days are long and hot, the battle wounds (read: burns) are abundant, yet their love for food, for how it brings people together flows in surplus.

When these specimen coalesce, the ultimate team is born. And here in Jackson Hole, there’s no shortage of ‘em. That writer Josi Stephens, who happens to work as a server and bartender at Bin 22, wrote a poignant, heartfelt tribute to Bin’s executive chef, Matt ‘Bardo’ Lombardo, for this issue says as much about the man as it does about his front of the house colleague and the bonds they’ve cultivated working together.

That Trio’s new chef de cuisine is a 28-year-old woman (an anomaly no matter where you go) whose co-workers gushed with pride when I showed up to take her photograph elucidates how restaurants foster a familial atmosphere akin to, well, nowhere else. That everyone profiled in this issue wanted to somehow shift the focus off themselves and onto someone they work with speaks to the type of people magnetized to Jackson Hole’s food scene: selfless nourishers.

So let us cheers to the PJH summer food issue. This edition celebrates some of the lesser-known folks who humbly fill our bellies and bring us together in the name of inspired sustenance.
– Robyn Vincent

BEYOND MORELS

Calm Fire

Mediterranean Vibes

Cucinato Con Amore

Slices of Science

The Kid is All Right

Nourishing Ambassadors

Dreamy Bites

Adventure Eating

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About Robyn Vincent

Robyn is the editor of Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine and former editor of Planet Jackson Hole. When she's not sweating deadlines, she likes to travel the world with her notebook and camera in hand. Follow her on Twitter @TheNomadicHeart

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