Cow Camp Catering | Second Helping | Salt Lake City Weekly

Cow Camp Catering 

Jim Yearsley serves home cooking with a side of history

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If you're craving food from the old days—like the really old days—try Cow Camp Catering. Cooking primarily with Dutch ovens, cowboy-turned-caterer Jim Yearsley serves home cooking with a side of history.

Dutch ovens are a delicious part of our state's heritage. Mormon pioneers carried the cast-iron pots in handcarts on their journey to their new home. The Dutch oven is even the official cooking pot of the state of Utah.

Yearsley is a character, with his long gray mustache and drawl. A former cattle breeder, he started the catering company after a successful family dinner using Dutch ovens. Using simple recipes and fresh ingredients, he makes the kind of comfort food we all dream about. A recent lunch included tender barbecue turkey that was as flavorful as it was moist. Corn on the cob, picked that morning, made a delicious side dish, along with rich, cheesy potatoes studded with chunks of ham. Cornbread was served with housemade honey butter. For dessert, peach cobbler was served hot, with vanilla ice cream melting on top. Housemade rootbeer was made on site, complete with dry ice.

Yearsley is 73 and still going strong, thanks to his positive outlook on life. He's heavily invested in his community, working with the 4H and other youth groups. In fall 2002, he received the Point of Light award from former Gov. Mike Leavitt. "You must always keep a good sense of humor. Don't take yourself too seriously," he warns. "There are enough people out there who are legends in their own minds."

The food is outstanding, and it's accompanied by quite a lively show. Yearsley sets up early, and cooks everything right in front of the guests, sharing his cowboy wisdom. Cow Camp Catering is willing to travel throughout the state, and will happily cater groups as small as nine or as large as 700.

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