“People who love to eat are always the best people,” said Julia Child. It could also be said that, “People who feed others are always the best people.” Brooke Woffinden, owner of Urban Pioneer Foods, is one of “the best people.” With 25 years of kitchen experience, Woffinden prepares magnificent dishes for her clients. “I love attention to detail, and working with beautiful food,“ she says.
Through Urban Pioneer Foods, Brooke makes magic, offering event catering and pre-made entrees to take home. Woffinden makes a variety of tantalizing dishes ranging from traditional comfort food such as Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Rosemary Potato and Green Beans, to creative vegetarian options like Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Soup with mint basil and a balsamic reduction. Her catering game is on point as well, providing visually appealing, mouth-watering dishes. “What I love most about catering is the diversity of events and clients for whom I am privileged to create beautiful, memorable, delicious menus,” she explains. Using seasonal produce and popular local products such as Laziz Foods hummus, Urban Pioneer Foods is unique. “We work one-on-one with local growers, locally owned markets and local small food artisans,” says Woffinden.
Her diverse education developed from hard work, learning from some of the best Salt Lake City bakers and chefs. “I didn’t go to school, but have definitely been taught by some very talented people in this business!” Woffinden exclaims. “My first opportunity to get real training in food production was when I worked for Carlucci’s Bakery. I started doing pastry work and making bread. I learned a lot from the amazing Theresa Roper, the owner and pastry chef.” says Woffinden. “Later, at Avenues Bakery and Bistro, I had the opportunity to work with more amazingly talented women, Beverly Hill and Amber Billingsly. I spent a year in Nashville as a pastry chef in a fine dining restaurant called Flyte World Dining and Wine where I was challenged to bring it all to the table. It was terrifying and probably my greatest learning experience,” she says. “Later, I worked for Ian Brandt at Cali’s Natural Foods as his production manager. I learned about gluten-free baking, vegan food production, sourcing local products, fermentation and so much more.”
In addition to catering and making meals to go, Urban Pioneer Foods will be at The Salt Lake City Downtown Farmers Market this summer with mason jars full of seasonal delicacies. Since Woffinden works with seasonal, local produce, you never know what she’ll come up with, but rest assured, it will be delicious. Pesto, Bloody Mary Mix and pickled veggies are examples of indulgences to take home to compliment the produce you’ve picked out.
The future looks bright for Urban Pioneers. Woffinden is currently a student of the Utah Microloan Foundation’s program Banking On Women. “I’m hoping with this opportunity that the storefront will be better than ever with more choices of meals, various sizes, other artisan products available and extended hours and days of operation.”
Urban Pioneer Foods is located at 389 W 1700 S, SLC. Open every other week Tuesday-Thursday, 2 pm-6 pm. Follow their Facebook page to keep up with daily specials and announcements.