After hiring Butter + Salt to cater a few of our events and hearing the enormous praise for their service and food, we knew they had to be a Tahoe Unveiled vendor. Owners Aubry and Tyler are the perfect team in the kitchen and out, specializing in intimate dinners and multiple course meals, they also give their clients the time and attention needed for a once in a lifetime event. We wanted to know a little bit more about the inner workings of Butter + Salt so asked the couple (who are also married) a few questions.
Who taught you about food and entertaining?
We attribute our knowledge of food and entertaining to our parents and our education. Our parents adored entertaining. From having a few people over for wine and cheese to a huge backyard bbq. The ease of pulling things together to entertain seems to be in our souls. We refined our culinary skills to prepare high-end food for events when we both graduated from the best culinary school in the country, The Culinary Institute of America. The chefs and instructors that influenced us not only shared how to deliver unique flavors and dishes, they also shared the ease of how to do it professionally.
What inspires you to come up with your ideas?
We have a tender love for gardening and growing fruits and vegetables. We both worked at farm-to-table restaurants and find value in using seasonal ingredients far more than just to say it’s seasonal. Butter + Salt has it’s own 800sq. ft. garden in Gardnerville, Nevada about twenty minutes from Lake Tahoe. Food tastes better straight out of the ground. Our menus tend to reflect that love for fresh and cyclical produce. We have been lucky to travel to Europe and value the way Europeans eat; garden-fresh, homemade and simple. Butter + Salt’s name is actually derived from our philosophy of balance of flavors and utilizing the best ingredients to highlight the natural flavors of food.
What is your mission behind a menu?
Our mission is to always evoke a memory, create a lasting impression and focus on our client’s preferred flavor profiles and dishes.
What are some of your clients’ favorite dishes?
We are always developing new menus for each of our client’s. However, some see our sample menus from previous events and request it. Our current requested dishes is our Ahi Tuna Tartar with Avocado on a shaved Watermelon Radish and our Mexican Street Corn of shaved grilled corn with cotija cheese, lime, cilantro + smoked paprika. The one dish that has always been requested and adored is our Cumin Roasted Carrots with Strained Honey Yogurt, Goat Cheese and Shaved Almonds.
Any creative ways to dress up that ubiquitous chicken entree?
Haha! Chicken can be ubiquitous. However it can always be made really well. We like to roast chicken, grill it with lavender and orange, deep fry it and serve it with honey for guests to self-drizzle and even cover it in Greek oregano and serve it with tzatziki!
What are some of your favorite dishes?
We really love making homemade breads; focaccia, brioche, country loaf, brown butter cornbread to name a few. We make flavored salts and butters to go along with them too. We like developing deep flavors in our slowly braised stews like Pork Adovada. We also like creating dishes from influences of different cultures. Our Cumin Roasted Carrots with Strained Yogurt, Goat Cheese and Shaved Almonds might be our number one favorite.
What are the newest food trends you’re seeing in entertaining?
We see our clients wanting elevated comfort food more and more. We love it. Hushpuppies are a classic. We make them with crab and serve them with citrus aioli to put a sophisticated twist on them. We also see simple food becoming trendy. The simplest foods made with wholesome ingredients and prepared correctly can say more than most dishes. We have been doing more and more simple cakes and unique desserts for our clients. We make modest cakes with lavender buttercream, doughnuts with rose sugar, caramel apple pies with bourbon whipped cream; twists on the classics to make it familiar but still contemporary.