Chefs of the Canyon

Chefs of the Canyon Forget the Spam, the beans and rice, the freeze dried dinners and half-cooked hamburgers. Don't even consider trail mix, pork 'n beans, cheese and crackers or Beanie Weenies, if you plan on traveling with a Utah guide and outfitter. Instead, prepare yourself for a culinary experience, the likes of which you'll find only in fine restaurants.

It is a stated fact, Utah river guides are expert chefs, and they intend to dazzle you with their expertise at meal preparation. Having set their kitchen up, next to the water's edge, guides prepare for their duties by donning aprons, chefs' hats and colored neck scarves. Going Dutch Along the RiverFrom their chef's kit they pull out sharp knives, cutting boards, potato peelers and wire whisks, while assistants place well seasoned dutch ovens on tables. Camp stoves are fired up and coals ignited. Then from the ice chests and food coolers comes an endless array of fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.

While the entrees are being prepared, appetizers are arranged neatly and decoratively on a separate table. It could be crab dip, shrimp cocktails, fruit bowls or nachos with a spicy cheese sauce.

Guides consider each evening's meal a masterpiece, and they work hard to produce it. On a particular night, you might have poppy seed chicken with rice pilaf and glazed carrots or marinated steaks cooked to order with dutch oven potatoes and a Mandarin fruit salad. Then, as if by magic, A Moveable Feastthere appears on the camp table a delicious dessert. It is the crowning effort of the guide's time in the kitchen. It is their moment to shine. They'll bake chocolate cakes and marble cakes, spice cakes and upside down cakes. Fresh fruit cobblers, apple pies, lemon and vanilla puddings, strawberry shortcakes, blueberry cheesecakes, hand cranked ice cream- it's a wonder to behold what a guide and his/her dutch oven can do.

And while you're swapping stories around the campfire and enjoying after dinner mints and cowboy coffee, your guides will clean up the dishes.

Information courtesy of Utah Guides & Outfitters Association.

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