Jackson Hole, WY News

Chef Notes - Butter

Amelia Hatchard and Marcos Hernandez launched Butter Cafe in Victor, Idaho, a few months ago.

Doesn’t the name Butter call out to you?

Yum. It sure calls to me.

I fell for Butter Cafe when I first heard its name before it opened June 16.

I am a fan of Amelia Hatchard and Marcos Hernandez, the owner couple who brought us Streetfood at the Stagecoach in August 2014. The taste and quality of the food they present at Streetfood has brought them many loyal fans on both sides of the Tetons. Lately the Streetfood taco truck at events such as Music on Main spreads the word even further.

Now they offer a delicious selection of breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch choices in downtown Victor, Idaho.

Hatchard grew up in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and brings with her an extensive culinary background. Her first big adventure in cooking was attending pastry school at the famous Cordon Bleu in Paris. She returned to the Northeast to attend the New England Culinary Academy in Montpelier, Vermont, before moving to Jackson Hole in May 2006 to intern as a pastry chef at the Four Seasons in Teton Village.

Hernandez grew up in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico, where he learned how to cook at his mother’s side. In 2005 he came to Jackson to visit his sister. He started working at the Four Seasons as a dishwasher before being promoted to work as Hatchard’s steward.

As they say, the rest was history.

They married months later and continued to make beautiful food together, dreaming of the day they could open their own restaurant. When the opportunity to have their own place appeared, they jumped right on it.

After four successful years at the Stagecoach they lept at the opportunity to open Butter.

Opening Butter Cafe happened at lightning speed.

They signed a lease for their new restaurant on May 17, the same day the building that houses Butter changed owners. They opened one month later.

Hatchard and Hernandez have created a light-filled, art-filled welcoming space. Local artists’ works are available for purchase. However, the new mural that graces the wall will be staying.

The breakfast menu has an assortment of interesting choices made with local ingredients. Whether it is eggs, baked goods, coffee or dairy products, the makings are sourced from Idaho as often as possible throughout the menu.

The breakfast menu is divided into four sections: “Handheld,” “Your Favorites,” “Our Favorites” and “Basics.”

The Americana includes soft scrambled eggs, bacon and cheddar on a Philadelphia Amoroso roll. Their breakfast burrito includes chorizo, manchego and Streetfood salsa with eggs and potatoes. The Italian Breakfast Panini has eggs, tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil butter on focaccia with an option to add bacon or pancetta.

“Your Favorites” offers classic American-style breakfast egg and pancake options. “Our Favorites” are a bit more inventive.

The Al Pastor Hash has Mexican-style ham, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and nopalitos over hash browns, topped with eggs.

The Tropical French Toast features passion fruit butter, mango chutney and toasted coconut.

And the Maple Bacon Benedict. Just picture it. My mouth is watering. It is composed of maple butter toasted English muffin, bacon, local Onsen eggs and hollandaise.

“Basics” includes one or two eggs, hash browns, meat choices, daily fruit, Irish steel-cut oats, pastries and house-made granola. As summer is my favorite time to fill a bowl with fresh berries, stone fruit and melons plus a big sprinkle of granola on top, we have chosen granola as the shared recipe.

Their lunch menu also has four sections: “Late Risers” (three breakfast options available during lunch), “Keeping It Light,” “Streetfood Favorite” and “Between the Bread.”

Four salads are available for a lean and healthy option under the “Keeping It Light” section.

The Caprese with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and aged balsamic is perfect in this season. The Truffled Grain Salad is more substantial with farro, roasted tomatoes, feta, olives and truffle vinaigrette. The Smoked Trout Cobb has a base of hearty greens with smoked trout, Idaho potatoes, kalamata olives, egg, herb vinaigrette and crispy onions.

The Kale and Arugula Salad might be familiar from the Streetfood menu, delicious as always with Parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. Also from Streetfood, one will find my all-time favorite fish tacos with garlic, cilantro and Mexican slaw.

There are six mouthwatering sandwiches in the “Between the Bread” section.

The Buttery Steak Sandwich — with herb butter, hanger steak, and onions three ways on an Amoroso roll — is tender and tasty. Two Wagyu Beef “Butter” Burger Sliders on brioche buns are served with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and herb butter. The Med Veg is a selection of roasted Mediterranean vegetables and basil pesto on Gaston’s focaccia. The “Bulgogi” Chicken Sandwich is slathered with kimchi butter, marinated chicken, pickled vegetables and cabbage.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are offered in two national styles: The Italian has roasted garlic butter, basil, tomato and mozzarella and an optional prosciutto, whereas the Mexican offers smoked poblano butter, caramelized onions, grilled pineapple, al pastor ham, manchego and jalapeno aioli. It sounds fantastic.

Brunch is planned to be easily expedited for the kitchen on busy weekend days. Their brunch menu is made from selections pulled from their breakfast and lunch menus served all week, and it includes a bonus dish of Huevos Rancheros, made with fried corn tortillas with ranchero sauce, black bean sofrito, chorizo, queso fresco and two eggs done any style.

I look forward to my return. 

Bru, who cooks for private clients, writes about the valley’s talented chefs. Contact her via columnists@jhnewsandguide.com.

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