The restaurant business was new to her when she opened the Black Sheep Cafe in February 2012. The cafe was able to bring together her life passions.
“I have three favorite things,” Bleu Adams, cafe owner, said. “Art, food and my culture. A restaurant was the best career path I could think of to incorporate all three of these.”
Her half-Navajo and half-Mandan/Hidetsa heritage and experiences growing up in the Southwest had a strong influence on the kind of restaurant Adams wanted to open. A lot of Southwestern food is influenced by Native American or Southwestern agriculture, corn, squash, chilies and potatoes being some examples of foods indigenous to that region.
“A lot of people don’t realize that,” Adams said. “When I was thinking about opening the restaurant, I did an about-town kind of interview where I asked a lot of people what they thought of Native American cuisine, and they really didn’t have an answer. Part of my goal in opening the restaurant was to educate people.”
Popular dishes at the Black Sheep Cafe include goat cheese burgers, green chile navajo tacos or Adams’ personal favorite, green chile stew.
“We do incorporate a lot of traditional ingredients, and we’re also very contemporary in our approach in our plating,” Adams said. “Our kitchen uses French and Italian techniques as well as ingredients, so it’s basically fusion cuisine.”
The Black Sheep Cafe also fuses together restaurant, gallery and shop elements. The atmosphere and decoration around the room include a glass display of jewelry for sale.
“The jewelry is all handmade by a man named Winston Masen, who is the owner’s father,” Tony Mihaly, lead server, said.
The store used to be larger, but the space was needed to help run the restaurant. However, Masen still takes orders for jewelry upon request.
Mihaly has been working as a server at the cafe for the last year and a half and enjoys the environment of the restaurant.
“The concept, the people, the atmosphere and just the type of restaurant is very unique to Provo,” Mihaly said. “You don’t have a lot of fine dining here, and this is a place that everyone can enjoy.”
Black Sheep Cafe brings an element of fine dining to a level college students can participate in. Sheilagh Fox, a senior studying exercise science, said her experience at the cafe made her want to go back again.
“I got the green chile Navajo taco,” Fox said. “It was absolutely delicious. The atmosphere was good, and it was classier than what I expected.”
The unique atmosphere and delicious cuisine make the Black Sheep Cafe a great experience for anyone looking for a fun new place for lunch or dinner.