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If you’ve been curious about all the earth-moving equipment along Park City’s Highway 224 at the newly dubbed Bill White Farms (billwhitefarms.com), you’re not alone. “We’ve received more inquiries about the farm than all of our restaurants combined,” says Mary Potts Olsen, director of operations for Park City’s signature restaurant empire, Bill White Enterprises. White and his staff remain mum about what public events or activities are planned for the farm (though organic farmer Brian Dick was hired in September), proclaiming simply on the farm’s website that its mission is to “create a cooperative, community-based experiment by enhancing the entry corridor into Park City.” Stay tuned.

Sitting atop Park City’s restaurant scene buzz since it opened in the latter half of 2014 is Handle(136 Heber Ave, 435.602.1155, handleparkcity.com). Chef Briar Handley (formerly with Talisker on Main) teamed up with his wife Melissa Gray and business partner Megan Nash to create a restaurant “for the way we like to eat,” Gray says. Small plates are the rule, including the buffalo cauliflower, a vegetarian riff on chicken wings, and the house-smoked trout sausage. The wine list is short but creative and unexpected. “We chose wines that we hope spark conversation.” The décor is modern with a hipster clientele to match. “We wanted to get rid of the white tablecloths and just have a space where people can relax and enjoy.”

The High West Distillery (703 Park Ave, 435.649.8300, highwest.com) marked 2014’s December 5th Repeal Day (commemorating the end of Prohibition) by firing up its new still at the Blue Sky Ranch (2701 S State Rd, Wanship, 435.336.2636, bluesky-adventures.com). The still was handmade in Scotland and will be used to make all High West spirits.  On Repeal Day the distillery also announced the second release of its limited-edition Valley Tan whiskey, available only in High West’s General Store.

Fourteen aspiring chefs went through the Park City Culinary Institute’s (435.659.5075,parkcityculinaryinstitute.com) inaugural professional certificate program, held September 22 to November 14, 2014. Students haled mostly from Utah but also came from California, Texas, and Massachusetts. This winter the Institute is hosting a full roster of cooking events open to the public, including a three-day Valentine’s Day make-and-take class with award-winning cookbook author Mary Cech, Feb 8−10.

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