Park City is a picture perfect ski town with an enviable food scene. The city is known for being Utah’s most luxurious winter destination and the culinary scene has a lot to do with that.
Recently, I visited this alpine oasis and had the opportunity to attend the prestigious James Beard Foundation Dinner. Well technically it was their preview! However, the same dishes that will be served in New York City on September 20th were served that night as a run through for these five, award-winning Park City chefs.
The five restaurants/chefs mentioned below were selected by the Park City Restaurant Association for their excellence in their craft. Accolades from the group range from regular guest appearances cooking on Today, Forbes Travel Guide Four Star ratings and the prestigious DiRoNA award to Salt Lake Magazine’s Best Restaurant, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Zagat Top 10 Restaurant awards and many more.
Each chef served a course that represented Park City’s diverse, creative and hyper innovative food culture. If you’re visiting Park City anytime soon these are five eateries that you should add to your itinerary.
1. Deer Valley Resort: Chef Jodie Rogers
We started off the meal with a fresh pea and watercress salad. This was a surprising duo since you would normally expect for a salad and soup to be separate, but they were presented in the same dish. The salad was wonderfully earthy and mushrooms definitely helped this flavor profile. The salad was accompanied with a small amount of hearty pulled pork, adding a more full flavor to the light salad and delicate soup. DeerValley.com
2. Handle: Chef Briar Handly
Our second course was a smoked parsnip, granny smith apple, beetroot, puffed rice and candied seeds. Visually this dish was very colorful and reminded me of the vibrant colors of autumn that paint the Park City Mountains. The texture that the puffed rice and seeds gave the dish was spectacular. There were a few pickled onions that were a perfect balance of crispy but not harsh in flavor. The smoked parsnip was an excellent base for the dish and reminiscent of smoked bacon, so much so that it took a second try for my palate to realize it was not a well-smoked cut of meat! HandleParkCity.com
3. Stein Eriksen Lodge: Chef Zane Holmquist
The third dish was a rabbit porchetta with a cider braised rabbit leg, foie gras, carrots and mushrooms, topped with an apple mostarda. This dish really surprised me, although I knew we were having rabbit, some bites were so rich in flavor that I thought it was a tamer tasting pork dish. The apple mostarda added a bit of acidity to the super rich taste of this dish, much like how applesauce and porkchops compliment each other. SteinLodge.com
4. Riverhorse on Main: Chef Seth Adams
The fourth dish offered a locally raised wagyu beef short rib, king trumpet mushroom, huckleberries, oxtail toast and ricotta pierogis. This plate had so much to offer that the task of finishing it completely was daunting! I loved how the proteins and vegetables were either charred or prepared in a way that let you know it was going to be deep in flavor. The wagyu short rib and the oxtail were the highlights of the dish, both of which were tender and offered full flavors. The pierogis were soft but not soggy and offered great textural balance. RiverhorseParkCity.com
5. Tupelo: Chef Matthew Harris
Last but most certainly not least, came the dish that completes the meal; dessert. We had chargrilled figs with goat’s milk ricotta and honeycomb. The figs reminded me of tiny fruit crème brules; with a thin sugary crispy coating that when broken, displayed the soft interior of the fig. The dessert was drizzled with a Russian imperial stout and chocolate reduction that added more smoky and chocolaty character. Dessert was also presented with a small cloud of cotton that was full of sugary fibers and exuded fresh vanilla essence. TupeloParkCity.com
Visiting Park City soon? Then read my suggested weekend getaway itinerary here!