Watch out, New York City. Flavor with mountain altitude is on its way. Five of Park City's best chefs have been invited to the renowned James Beard House on September 20 to serve up a collaborative culinary showcase. And, Park City Magazine had the distinct (and delicious) pleasure of recently attending the dress rehearsal as Chef Jodie Rogers, Deer Valley Resort's Director of Food and Beverage; Briar Handly, Chef/Partner of Handle; Seth Adams, Executive Chef and Owner of Riverhorse on Main; Zane Holmquist, Vice President of Food & Beverage and Corporate Chef for The Stein Collection; and Matthew Harris, Chef/Owner of tupelo Park City combined their diverse talents in an evening filled with Utah-centric, altitude-inspired dishes.
An invitation to prepare a five-course meal at the James Beard House is an honor reserved for only those in the top echelon of the culinary world, akin to performing on Broadway or at Carnegie Hall. Between accolades, awards, and guest appearances cooking on Today and Forbes Travel Guide, these highly decorated chefs have also played an instrumental part in elevating Park City's culinary scene to a level worthy of the breathtaking surroundings. "Being asked to cook at the James Beard House is one of the highest honors for a chef," says Jodie Rogers. "Each chef will lead a course, but this is truly a collaborative effort. As a team, our goal is to be a great representation of Park City's talented dining ensemble."
To ensure everything goes according to plan on the big night, the five chefs came together last week for a dinner rehearsal at Deer Valley. Following the format of the New York dinner to a tee, guests began their evening with exquisite hors d'oeuvres, which included compressed Green River melon, Tupelo Farm sunburst tomatoes, and hop-smoked Utah trout, paired with signature cocktails from High West (see below for recipes). Seated at tables arranged exactly as those of the James Beard House, diners then tucked into the five-course menu of fresh pea-watercress salad; smoked parsnip with granny smith apple, beetroot, puffed rice, and candied seeds; rabbit saddle porchetta and cider-braised rabbit leg with foie gras, carrots, mushrooms, and apple mostarda; Snake River Farms wagyu beef short rib with king trumpet mushroom, huckleberries, oxtail toast, and ricotta pierogi; and grilled figs with goat’s milk ricotta and honeycomb. Each plate, of course, came with a carefully-curated beverage pairing and a pre-dessert sampling of High West's new release A Midwinter Night’s Dram.
If the test run at Deer Valley is any indication, Park City's culinary reputation is in excellent hands. The only downside: unless you have some serious connections, you probably won't be able to attend the already sold-out James Beard House event. That said, if you want a little DIY taste, try whipping up one of these High West drinks to be featured during the cocktail hour.
- 1.5 oz. Double Rye
- 0.75 oz. Earl Grey syrup
- 0.75 oz. lime juice
- 0.5 oz. guava syrup
- 2-3 tarragon leaves
- 2 oz. Rendezvous Rye
- 0.5 oz. Demerara sugar
- a couple dashes of Angostura Bitters
- Orange/lemon peel for garnish
Of course, you can also experience the food par excellence of these chefs any time you stop by their restaurants in Park City--and that's a pretty tasty consolation prize, if you ask us!