This Immeasurable Place (Hardcover)

By Lavinia Spalding, Blake Spalding, Jen Castle

HBG Press, 9780999458815, 264pp.

Publication Date: November 22, 2017

List Price: 40.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of Wilderness is the long-awaited
second cookbook from James-Beard nominated Hell's Backbone Grill and Farm in Boulder, Utah.
This Immeasurable Place continues the inspiring story of how two women-chef-co-owners Blake
Spalding and Jennifer Castle-started their award-winning, Buddhist-based, farm-to-table restaurant
in a tiny, traditionally Mormon town on the edge of the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument. Filled with seventy new recipes; gorgeous images by world-famous
photographer Ace Kvale; and stories of the restaurant, organic farm, and town, This Immeasurable
Place is much more than a cookbook. It's a food-justice primer, a guide to eating consciously, and a
meditation on connecting community to land and table.

About the Author

JEN CASTLE grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was taught to prepare
New Mexican and Polish cuisine by her mother and twelve aunts and uncles, who
viewed mass-quantity cooking as standard procedure. She began cooking and
experimenting with food when she was a very young child, spending much of her free
time in the kitchen, imitating the tastes she grew up around and always making enough
food to feed a crowd. She later moved to Flagstaff, Arizona, where she worked at
Macy’s European Coffee House, Bakery and Vegetarian Restaurant and learned the ins
and outs of running a restaurant: ordering, organizing, time and staff management,
recipe-writing, and multi-tasking. This was where she learned to cook multiple major
items simultaneously. While working at Macy’s, Jen also began cooking for trips on the
Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, for groups of thirty or so trail-crew workers for
weeks at a time, and later she continued to do outdoor catering for more river and
backcountry trips. She traveled extensively and discovered culinary inspiration in foreign
cultures. Jen moved to Boulder in 2000 to open Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm with her friend Blake.
BLAKE SPALDING, originally from New Hampshire, began cooking when she was a
small child. By the time she was eight years old, she was preparing full meals for her
family. Blake began working in the restaurant world at an early age and at the age of
sixteen moved with her family to Flagstaff, Arizona. In her twenties Blake began cooking
as a river chef, mostly on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and continued to do
this for many years. She also worked for Greenpeace, during which she helped with an
anti-pesticide campaign that inspired her passion for organics, sustainability, and all
things biochemically and genetically unaltered. While working as a river chef, she began
another career: “extreme catering”—cooking in remote, isolated locations, including a
deserted island in the Bahamas and the Amazon rainforest. She also opened a catering
business in Flagstaff. As a practicing Buddhist, she was often asked to cook for Tibetan
lamas, and this directed her relationship with food into one fused with spirituality and
meaning. In the year 2000, the opportunity to own Hell’s Backbone Grill presented itself,
and she moved to Boulder with her friend in cooking, Jen Castle.
Our darling Lavinia is series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing; author of
Writing Away: A Creative Guide to Awakening the Journal-Writing Traveler; and
co-author of With a Measure of Grace, the Story and Recipes of a Small Town
Restaurant and This Immeasurable Place: Food and Farming from the Edge of
Lavinia introduced the reissued e-book edition of Edith Wharton’s classic travelogue, A
Motor-Flight Through France, and her work has appeared in many print and online
publications, including Tin House, Post Road, Yoga Journal, Sunset, Inkwell Journal,
Off Assignment, The Guardian UK, San Francisco magazine, Airbnb magazine, Every
Day with Rachael Ray and World Hum. Her essays have been anthologized in An
Innocent Abroad (Lonely Planet), Days Like This (Independent Bookstore Day) and The
Best Travel Writing, volumes 9 and 10.
Lavinia teaches writing workshops and is available for speaking engagements,
storytelling workshops for businesses, private editing and coaching. She is a member of
the San Francisco’s Writers’ Grotto and Peauxdunque Writers’ Alliance, a faculty
member of the annual Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference and
co-founder of the award-winning monthly travel reading series Weekday Wanderlust.
She lives in New Orleans.

Praise For This Immeasurable Place

"Blake Spalding and Jen Castle are alchemists, truly changing the world through their
hands, their hearts, their farm, their food. In community, everything is possible.Theirs is
a leadership of love." -- Terry Tempest Williams, author of "The Hour of Land."
“Blake Spalding and Jen Castle pioneered farm-to-table cooking, creating the Rocky
Mountain West’s first women-chef-owned restaurant with full-scale farm. The authors
lay out the seasons of the restaurant with humor, gentleness, and joy, but underpin it
with their steely, unflinching resolve. Buy this as a cookbook and a keepsake of the truly
immeasurable spirit of this community and the land.” -- Cheryl Alters Jamison, four-time
James Beard award winner and author of eighteen cookbooks
“The inspirational story of a remote but remarkable restaurant that you’ll need to put on
your life’s fine-dining list.” -- Tim Cahill, Outside magazine editor at large and author of
nine books including Hold the Enlightenment
“The wisdom found in the pages of this beautiful and surprising book is immeasurable.
It’s wisdom from the edge, from one of the most glorious hidden kitchens there is. The
story of Blake and Jen, true kitchen sisters — their cooking, friendship, and farming--is
expansive and illuminating. Land, food, family, stewardship, and spirit all course through these tempting, gorgeous pages. A book that feeds us on so many levels.” -- Davia
Nelson, NPR’s Kitchen Sisters