Utah Stories

Curtis Lindley of Pago

Curtis Lindley embodies the Farm to Table brand at Pago.


Curtis Lindley. Photo by Steven Vargo

Ever wonder where the “Farm to Table” style originated in Salt Lake? Who started the trend?

Take a walk to the popular corner of 9th and 9th and you’ll see Pago, a local-sourcing dining experience. It is no wonder why Pago’s Head Chef, Curtis Lindley, fits right in with this fresh, authentic style of cooking.

Pago stands out for its down-to-earth, inviting, and adaptable cuisine. When they say they source local items, they mean it. Apart from many other restaurants that claim they are “farm to table,” Pago engulfs this idea entirely. Each item on the menu reflects the foods that are optimally harvestable at that time. It’s not about convenience with this modern eatery, but about honorable and organic ingredients.

Lindley gives all credit for these ideals to owner Scott Evans (owner and operator of Pago Restaurant Group). He was one of the first to frontier this “farm to table” movement here in Salt Lake. “He’s very committed to this idea. We’re all very committed.” Evans even maintains a farm on his property where many of the ingredients for Pago are sourced. Wow, you can’t get more local than that!

Heirloom Tomato with fresh Mozzarella, Ricotta, gremolata, basil and Saba. Photo by Steven Vargo

Not only do these ideals set Pago apart, but also their goal to help the farmers. They’ve been partnering with farmers to help develop their processes for when to harvest, how to do it, and what chefs they want to look for. “We’re different in the sense that not only are we ordering the ingredients from these farmers, but we’re working very closely with the farmers to get them up to par on how the restaurants are going to best utilize their products.”

Fortunately for Pago, there has never been a better fit than Curtis Lindley. His humble and spiritually-tuned attitude is perfectly aligned with Pago’s goals.

“The beauty of a chef’s job, and my role at Pago, is that if we push sustainability and all this great product, it actually becomes easier to be a chef. if you have great product, you don’t have to over-manipulate anything. It’s already good to begin with.”

Lindley discovered his inspiration and love for food as a child when his stack of school book fair orders were only cookbooks, and by watching his grandparents open a small fried chicken restaurant in Texas. Though he hasn’t been a Utahan for very long, his skills aren’t short of amazing.

After attending Culinary School in California, Lindley journeyed to Napa Valley where he worked for some of the top chefs and later opened his very own restaurant. He values hard work, influential learning opportunities, and the simple, small moments in life. He contributes a lot of his success to the influential, genuine people in his life.

What a better pair is Chef Lindley and Pago. Where the menu is updated by the season, the atmosphere is open to anyone, and the food is more local than your last meal, Pago continues to stand true to the Farm to Table lifestyle.

“We believe it’s better for the environment, for our guests, for our health. It’s just better. It’s our mission and it’s what we’re here to provide. We’re not going to compromise.” 

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