Provecho Press
With a Measure of Grace

With a Measure of Grace:
The Stories and Recipes
of a Small Town Restaurant

Written by Blake Spalding and Jennifer Castle
with Lavinia Spalding
Foreword by Terry Tempest Williams
Photography by Eric Swanson

With a Measure of Grace recounts with sensitivity and wit the tale of a women-owned, Buddhist- based restaurant becoming a community anchor in a small Mormon town. Within the book’s 176 beautiful, color-photographed pages, former backcountry caterers and professional river chefs Blake Spalding and Jen Castle share their struggles and successes as the coowners of Hell’s Backbone Grill. Spalding and Castle began with the goal to meld their ideas of place-based, seasonally appropriate cuisine, right livelihood, environmental ethics and social and community responsibility into a restaurant they would operate with compassion, generosity, loving kindness and grace. They were unaware at the time that given the unusual circumstances of their venture, this plan would be the restaurant’s only chance of survival.

Located in the heart of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Boulder, Utah, was the last town in the nation to receive year-round mail by automobile. Today it has no stoplight, cell phone service, ATM, grocery store or medical facilities. But it has Zagat-rated Hell’s Backbone Grill, which despite all odds, has won the acclaim of national and international media. Sixtyfive favorite recipes accompany charming anecdotes, old-fashioned rural wisdom and introductions to captivating local characters, making With a Measure of Grace a warm and earthy, unforgettable read.

“One of the zestiest, most innovative—and most tolerant—restaurants in the West…Hell’s Backbone Grill is an anomaly, an unexpected but happy melding of cultures, cuisines, and religions.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“For the last couple of years…travelers have been following the breathtaking trail to Hell’s Backbone Grill in this tiny canyon-land hamlet. The restaurant, whose ever-changing menu describes its cooking as a blend of Western Range, Pueblo Indian and Southwestern, opened four years ago on the grounds of the Boulder Mountain Lodge along Scenic Byway 12…[It] has become a favorite stop for travelers in the wilderness area.”

New York Times