In the Pacific Northwest, large cities of Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland dominate the food scene and usually get a significant amount of media coverage and food awards. However, the food scene in Boise, Idaho, has really been exciting in recent years. Various factors have catapulted Boise’s rise to stardom. One of these factors is the rapid growth of Boise over the last decade. Since 2010, the population in the Boise metropolitan region has increased by about a fifth, making it one of the fastest-growing American cities. The increase in population has fueled creativity among an ever-growing audience in the city. Another reason for the growth of Boise is the low cost of living, which allows cash-strained businesses such as restaurants to experiment more by reducing their cost of operation. Still, in some way, the city’s food scene is pretension free, and it is the kind of place that allows you to enjoy an excellent multi-course dish all while in your hiking clothes.
State & Lemp is undoubtedly the most creative restaurant to have graced Boise’s food scene, and perhaps Idaho as well. The amount of creativity State & Lemp has adapted over the years is simply mind-blowing. The Modern and eclectic restaurant was known as the go-to restaurant in Boise for some of the most thoughtful and creative meals in Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest served in a space that gives you the best dining experience. The meals were very sophisticated, incorporating various facets, and were visually appealing. The food served at State & Lemp didn’t just resemble a work of art; it actually was. The cooking wizardry of State & Lemp’s Chef de Cuisine ensured that every visit to the restaurant left you with a desire to visit the restaurant at least one more time. Some of the meals in the restaurant’s menu included teriyaki lamb tongue, duck breasts with roasted persimmons, and squash soup. The poster child for State & Lemp’s success, Kris Komori has been nominated twice for the James Beard Best Chef in the Northwest Award.
Interestingly, few people thought that State & Lemp would thrive when Jay Henry and Remi McManus set up shop at 2870 W. State Street, and not without reason. In 2013, the concept of creating a menu specially designed to offer meal and wine combinations that cost over $100 a plate was a challenging idea to sell in the region. However, through the culinary genius and savvy aesthetic of Chef Kris Komori, State & Lemp gained ground in the region and grew to become a beloved dining destination that rarely had empty seats.
Before starting State & Lemp, Remi McManus was a pro cyclist while Jay Henry was a restaurant Manager and Chef. The two owners met and developed their culinary skills at Franco Latino and Mortimer’s restaurants under Chef Jon Mortimer’s tutelage. They spent a couple of years as guerilla-style chefs in pop-up areas and people’s homes before venturing into State & Lemp. When they ran into Kris Komori, who had just relocated to the city, the three clicked instantly and formed a culinary team.