For Chef Justin Shifflett of Stoneground Kitchen, cooking has been his life since birth. Growing up, he always wanted to be in the kitchen with his father, and cooking is infused in his blood. With the aspiration to one day cook for food lovers like himself, Chef Shifflett kept his goals hot and his pathway ready.
After enrolling in all of the home economics classes in high school, he attended Atlantic Culinary Academy, an hour out of Boston. His advice to aspiring cooks? You get out what you put into culinary school. Create relationships with teachers and learn your passion in the way that’s most beneficial to you. Believe in yourself and your goals.
Before he made it to Stoneground Kitchen, he cooked for popular Salt Lake City restaurants including Metropolitan, Café Trio, and Biaggi’s. There, he learned about the corporate side of the restaurant industry, becoming both a chef and a businessman. He also learned the value of treating his staff with kindness and understanding, and voila! The perfect head chef was made.
Chef Shifflett continued to keep his ambitions at the forefront of his mind. Right after accepting a cooking position in Park City, he was called by Bob McCarthy, owner of Stoneground, and was offered the head chef spot of the newly restored, up-and-coming restaurant. Bob’s fun-loving, trendy, and relatable vibes snatched Shifflett’s attention and he quickly fell in love with the idea of being part of the Stoneground team. Keeping his initial goals in mind, he took the offer with satisfaction and thrill for the new challenge.
With the assistance of Bob, Chef Shifflett reconstructed Stoneground’s menu to what it thrives on today. Makes sure to try these menu items the next time you’re craving the cool and casual atmosphere and freshly house-made dishes that the kitchen creates:
Bolognese – A traditional Italian pasta dish compiled over a delicate two-day process with specially created sauce. “Sauce is always better the second day, flavors melt together so much more,” says Shifflett.
Braciole Crudo – Chef Shifflett describes it as a “ ‘Sunday dinner’ kind of dish.” Fresh wagyu beef, frozen and cut paper thin, topped with truffle paste, parmigiano reggiano, basil, and arugula.
Polenta Tots – A popular starter item today, it was originally created to be a unique appetizer for a catering event during Chef Shifflett’s first year at Stoneground. Attendees amusingly described the dish as “polenta tater tots,” and fortunately, the name stuck.
Thank you Stoneground Kitchen and Chef Justin Shifflett, for creating dishes with genuine, house-made ingredients for local Italian lovers and wandering travelers that come to Salt Lake. Head over today for a cozy night on the patio before it gets too cold.
New menu items are being cooked next week and are ready for eager appetites to enjoy!