I find it incredible that other people, oftentimes strangers, can explain my own thoughts and ideas better than I can myself. I love talking with people and finding that their passions are the same as my own. It's easy to find kindred spirits this way, and I always feel inspired and even more passionate about my philosophies after meeting them. This very thing happened when I was invited to attend a breakfast at communal with a number of fabulous utah bloggers. I felt like a guppie at the long wooden table full of incredibly inspiring women, but it was wonderful sharing conversation, company, a breakfast that you may get to experience yourself, and a food philosophy.
but first, the breakfast.
When it comes to local, seasonal and handmade restaurants, our little big town has a lot of room to grow. Colton Soelberg and Joseph McRae created both Pizzeria 712 and Communal, and they are the first of their kind in our little valley. Colton and Joseph are setting a precedent for dining experiences that highlight and illustrate the best of utah by sourcing their food from local and organic farms with the seasons as delegate. Every dish is delicious because they use pure ingredients. They also have an understanding of the ingredients they use. Each dish is created from an obvious adoration and respect for what the ingredient is, who cultivated it, and how it was grown. I'm telling you, there's a relationship with food that you may be missing out on if you aren't involved with it from the roots up.
At the breakfast, we tried everything on the menu. It felt as though I were walking through an art exhibition or watching a dance concert, each dish influenced and enhanced the other. The order they were served made a big impact on our eating experience. Chef Colton created our breakfast, and started us with the house made granola with clifford farm honey + winder farms milk, and steel cut oats with dried banana + brown sugar. They were both subtle and demure dishes that were simultaneously comforting and familiar. The layers of flavor and texture increased as each following dish was presented, photographed, then nibbled. We noshed on french toast with spiced apples, blueberry muffins, an omelette with herbes and crème fraiche, bacon, 'home fries', biscuits and housemade sausage gravy, steak and clifford farm eggs with salsa verde, and my favorite - baked clifford farm eggs with tomatoes and chorizo. It had the perfect bite of heat, and the textures = fantastic. Then there was the presentation in individual enamel pots. I need a set of those mini cocottes. It was wonderful knowing exactly where each ingredient was from, and assuring to know that they purchased their food from the same places we buy our own. Alice Waters said "when you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because the food tastes like what it is... let things taste of what they are". Communal is Alice's word in action.
Not a soul left dissatisfied, which is what they were hoping for. Colton said they wanted the dining experience at communal to be like a big hug, I couldn't describe it any better. There's something about sharing a good meal with good friends, it was like we were celebrating an exciting event (we were), and I wanted to stay and chat for a little longer while picking at crumbs of blueberry muffins from peeled squares of parchment and sipping my grapefruit juice.
Might I make a suggestion? When you visit, take a group, order one or two of everything, and try it all. Also, I heard mention that if you have special dietary needs, you can call in advance and they are more than willing to accommodate you, making sure your experience is still a delicious one. They're like a good friend that way. A big thank you goes out to them for inviting me, it was a lovely morning.
One of my favorite things about my communal experience was when husband and i went for a special dinner on a separate occasion. We got to chatting with our server, maybe he was the maitre'd, maybe the seater? He was a kindred spirit, and so enthused about the philosophy that Colton and Joseph stand behind that we almost didn't notice our dinner had been served. Similar conversations were had when I first met Melissa and Chris, Rachel and Zach, Dale, Lindsey, and every time I see Robin, not to mention so many other inspiring people. The slow/conscious/real/whateveryouwanttocallit food movement is upheld and fueled by wonderful and passionate people.
p.s. have you heard? communal is now serving breakfast. it's totally yesterday's news = exciting event.
now for the best part, i have a $25 gift certificate to give one of my readers so you can experience communal firsthand. You get to choose the meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner; and I get to choose who tips.
only joking. although if you do need a dining partner i'm only a couple streets away...
considering the numbers of the last giveaway i'd say you have a pretty good chance of winning.
hip hip for good food!
leave a comment with your email address either in your comment or connected to your profile by wednesday afternoon, december 8.
a few things:
- you have one week to enter. this giveaway closes wednesday, december 8th at naptime/whenever i close comments.
- the winners will be chosen at random and announced at the bottom of this post.
- please leave a reliable e-mail for me to contact you. if there is no e-mail to contact you with, i pick again = you lose = sad day.
- blog, facebook or tweet about this giveaway and you get one extra entry per shout out. leave a link in your comment. i.e. tweet + link in comment = one separate entry, blog + link in comment = one separate entry.
- anonymous comments don't count.
are you craving that french toast yet?
Unfortunately I didn't get as many stunning photographs as I did memories and food descriptions to make husband jealous, but I hope you will visit communal to see and taste the food in person, or peruse the blogs of those who came to whet your appetite from their beautiful photography. Be sure to check them all as they may be having a similar giveaway within the next while, which means you may have more chances to win, and maybe even more than one? just a thought.
other ladies that broke their fast with me and will be/are having giveaways: carina, jenny, allison, becky, susan, lindsey, natalie, veeda, kami, kimberly, kalli, quinn, rachel, hannah
stay up to date with the heirloom group:
heirloom group blog
heirloom group on twitter
p.p.s. happy december.
UPDATE:: We have a winner! Dalene, you should be receiving an e-mail from me soon. Congrats and thank you everyone for playing! I wish I could have sent you all a giftcard. When each of you do end up dining at Communal, my offer still stands as a buddy. I'll even cover the tip.