A Conversation with Blake Spalding and Jen Castle

Dec 19, 2017

Tuesday, we're talking to Blake Spalding and Jen Castle, chef-owners of one of Utah's most notable restaurants. Their cuisine draws inspiration and ingredients from their desert surroundings, but will recent decisions by President Trump change that?


In 2000, Blake Spalding and Jen Castle moved from metropolitan Arizona to Boulder, Utah, population 180. They were both talented and lifelong cooks, and not long after meeting they opened a farm-to-table restaurant in the middle of the red-rock desert before farm-to-table was cool. Hell's Backbone Grill is now a destination as intriguing as the national monument that surrounds it. But Spalding and Castle worry that changes to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument could spell the end of their dream.


Blake Spalding and Jen Castle are the chefs and owners of Hell's Backbone Grill & Farm in Boulder, Utah. Their new self-published book is called This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of Wilderness. It is currently on backorder until February 2018.