The Urban Studio on Ogden’s Historic 25th Street made the perfect setting for a fall-themed dinner party among a group of Ogden locals. When it comes to dinner parties, food is just as important as the company.
Chef Steve Ulibarri of Cuisine Unlimited designed a menu with a laid-back, family-style presentation. The casual feel helped to facilitate interaction between guests. Seasonal ingredients were infused throughout, and notes of Cajun influence added interest to what can often be a stuffy occasion.
Guests were welcomed with a starter so they felt a part of the dinner from the time they arrived. Butternut squash puree balanced out spicy andouille sausage, with an earthy flavor added through a fried sage leaf.
“I wanted to feature fresh harvest produce. Using a range of early fall vegetables showed off the range of what you can get during the season. Squash, brussels sprouts, and pepitas are all examples of additions you can make to your menu you don’t always think of. I think it is important to feature these things instead of just throwing them on the side,” says Ulibarri.
A signature cocktail was also offered before dinner started, mixing Oomaw Gin from local New World Distillery with black currant liqueur, honey, and lemon. Individual sticks of honey substituted for stir straws, allowing guests to customize the sweetness of their drinks.
Harvest produce was incorporated throughout the meal, starting with the salad. Field greens were topped with chunks of sweet potato, dried cranberries, chevre, and pumpkin seeds for some crunch. It was all tied together with a light champagne vinaigrette.
Crudité staples like cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini were joined by golden beets, turnips, fingerling potatoes, and radicchio for some seasonal variety. Hummus accompanied the roasted vegetables using pepitas in place of the traditional tahini.
Local lamb chops were marinated in spices before being grilled and served atop shaved brussels sprouts. Roasting created tender brussels sprouts with nice, crisp edges, and toned down the bitterness that sometimes turns people off from the cruciferous vegetable.
A second entrée of shrimp and grits also acted as the starch for the dinner table. The dish brought a welcome seafood addition, and carried on the Cajun theme from the sausage in the starter.
Flatbread baked with coarse sea salt and rosemary was a perfect palate cleanser between the flavorful dishes.
Naturally, the night couldn’t come to a close without dessert. The galette was served straight from the oven, with freshly baked apples and pears soaking up the cinnamon and spice inside a flaky crust. Blackberries on top introduced a tart bite.
The atmosphere of The Urban Studio combined with the mouthwatering dishes created by Ulibarri made for an enjoyable night in the company of friends.
See this food come to life in: A Lofty Affair