Out of the Frying Pan
Some chef personas aren’t meant to be walled within the confines of a restaurant kitchen. Asi Yoked, head chef and owner of Park City’s beloved Reef’s (710 Main St, 435.658.0323, reefsrestaurant.com), is that kind of chef. He doesn’t use recipes, didn’t go to culinary school, and is not limited to cooking when it comes to creativity. Which is why, after 10 years of life behind the line, Yoked is embarking on Reef’s next chapter: a food truck to operate in Salt Lake City. (Food trucks are not allowed within Park City limits or elsewhere in Summit County. Stay tuned, however, as the county is currently working on revising its process for mobile vendor permitting.)
“Reef’s in a pita” is how Yoked describes the food he’ll be serving out the window of his newest project. The menu will change on Yoked’s whim, a freedom he’s excited to explore. On any given day, you may find Reef’s popular lamb stew, falafel, or even the brussels sprouts as the filling du jour, ready to be served up in a warm, homemade pita pocket. Cooking outside the boundaries of a set menu and connecting directly with the people eating his food are part of what fueled Yoked’s decision to go into the food truck biz. “It’s the best feeling when someone’s face lights up when they take a bite of your food,” Yoked says. “That’s something you rarely get to experience as a chef in a restaurant.”
Reef’s food truck is easy to spot: Yoked had a photograph of a Utah sunrise and sunset wrapped along the side, an image he shot himself from Antelope Island. Not only is this kitchen on wheels beautiful on the outside, but the galley’s clean, modern efficiency is higher-end than many brick-and-mortar versions. And the custom-designed rig is outfitted with a clean diesel engine, making it easy on the earth as well. Look for Reef’s distinctive roadster at popular valley food truck locales. (Check out roaminghunger.com for a detailed and timely map.)
While Parkites can still indulge in the flavors of Reef’s at his family-run restaurant on Main Street, Salt Lake locals can now conveniently get a taste of Yoked’s Mediterranean-inspired creativity as well. Look for Reef’s new wheels roaming valley food-truck hot spots as well as concerts and private parties. (Check Instagram or reefsrestaurant.com for daily info about where Yoked is parked.) The flavors coming out of Yoked’s kitchen—available on Main Street and now on wheels—are worth seeking out.