September 1, 2010

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At Your Service

Log Haven Brings Utah’s Own to the Table

Gaylen Webb

September 1, 2010

Visitors to Log Haven Restaurant in Millcreek Canyon get a true taste of Utah, from the beautiful mountain setting, complete with nearby streams and waterfalls, to the delectable food that is often prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

“The first date with my boyfriend was at Log Haven. It was so romantic with the snow and the huge fireplace inside,” says frequent patron Shauna South. “The food was terrific; the evening was terrific. I’m sure it was an important first step, which led to our marriage a few months later.”

Romance is certainly on tap at Log Haven, says owner Margo Provost. “We have been named one of the top 50 most romantic restaurants in the country. We can’t guarantee it, but we always say if you start at Log Haven you’ll have a much better chance,” she jokes.

Indeed, Dave Jones also met his wife at Log Haven, where he has been executive chef since the restaurant re-opened in 1995.

South remembers often eating Sunday brunch with her family at Log Haven in the 70s. But after the original owner died, the subsequent owners let the place fall into disrepair for several years until Provost arrived from California and began transforming it into the renowned restaurant that it is today.

“The property had actually been condemned and was due to be torn down when I bought it,” explains Provost. The historic building—originally a private residence—was built in 1920 with logs transported from Oregon. Provost purchased the property in 1994 and completely renovated the mountain retreat.

Now Log Haven is proud to be a Utah’s Own restaurant that uses top-quality ingredients from local growers and suppliers.

“When I was in California, we had agreements with about 35 small-acreage growers who supplied our specific needs,” says Jones. “That seemed like something we could do here, so we’ve developed agreements with local growers who can deliver products within a day of harvest from the field,” he says.

Many of the businesses Jones works with provide unusual or unique products. One such purveyor is Creminili Fine Meats in Draper. “These people are transplants from Italy and are using a 400-year-old family recipe for their meats, and we get to use them in our menu,” says Jones. He is a fan of Jamie Gillmor and Morgan Valley Lamb.  Jones indicated it is a privilege to have such a quality lamb product in Utah and work with someone like Jamie that gives so much back to the community. 

“Then there are others like Amano Chocolate, which is one of the premiere chocolatiers in the country, and Beehive Cheese with their fine, aged cheddars. So it’s pretty exciting to have these guys around and to be able to use their products,” he says.

“It’s also about Dave’s talent in creating unique ideas for the menu,” adds Provost.

“Sometimes he’ll just approach a local purveyor with an idea and get them to add something special to their product [line], which is also very fun.”

Provost and Jones say it takes more effort to use specialty purveyors than just going to a warehouse store for supplies. But for them, the benefits of using locally produced, fresh products far outweigh the challenges.

“It’s not really that difficult to obtain freshly harvested items, some even grown just for us,” says Jones. “With technology today, you can often just go to the grower’s website and click on the items that are available today, and they’ll deliver it a day or two later.”

In addition to supporting local growers and businesses, Provost says Log Haven wants to help the environment by utilizing organic products when possible—products that are created using techniques that keep the environment as clean as possible.

“I do feel that Log Haven is a real part of this community,” she says. “We just try to do the best job that we can providing a unique experience here in the mountains.”

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