Eat Drink SLC 2016

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I often write about dining events in groups, but when a very special one comes along, it deserves to take center stage. Eat Drink SLC is one of those events. Indeed the inaugural event last summer was easily one of my favorite food focused events of 2015. And I’m annoyingly picky about these things.

For a debut event I’ll hold my hands up, I didn’t expect the level of execution and excellence and was thoroughly blown away – the whole event took me completely by surprise. So much so, I’m on pins for this years sophomore event. I’d implore you to stop reading now and buy tickets. But of course, I am sure you want a little more information first…

As the name suggests, Eat Drink SLC has two main draws: food from some of SLC’s finest restaurants with libations galore to match. At the time of writing the following food partners are confirmed to attend: Provisions, Pago, Stoneground, Manoli’s, Copper Onion, Frida Bistro, Avenues Bistro, Cucina, Avenues Proper, Cannella’s and 3 Cups.

Expect that list to keep growing over the coming weeks and expect a who’s who of the Salt Lake culinary scene to be in attendance. Offerings range from small canapes, to more substantial plates, with some restaurants presenting multiple choices. Here are some food shots from the 2015 event:

eat drink slc tara juhl craig gerome annex 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Tara Juhl, Craig Gerome creating cuisine for The Annex
eat drink slc craig gerome dish 2015
Eat Drink SLC: The Annex dish
eat drink slc avenues proper liam connelly 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Liam Connelly, Avenues Proper
eat drink slc avenues proper chicken sandwich 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Avenues Proper fried chicken sandwich
eat drink slc forage 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Forage
eat drink slc logen crew current fish and oyster 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Logen Crew and Current Fish and Oyster
eat drink slc pork belly 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Provision’s pork belly
eat drink slc frida bistro tacos 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Frida Bistro tacos
eat drink slc finca 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Finca
eat drink slc food
Eat Drink SLC: Red Rock
eat drink slc 2015 salmon
Eat Drink SLC: Salmon dish
eat drink slc 2015 3 cups amber billingsley
Eat Drink SLC: 3 Cups dessert by amber Billingsley

And that’s just a fraction of what was on offer in 2015. I didn’t get close to sampling every last dish – which may or may not have been related to me going back for seconds from some restaurants. And of course, saving room for the odd drink or three.

The drink side of the show is just as stellar. Around the grounds of the event, you’ll find restaurants paired with a drinks partner. Grab a bite on one side and then a drink handily right next door. Wineries, distillers and brewers are all in attendance meaning there’s something for everyone and then some.

eat drink slc mo segrave daly copper common 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Mo Segrave-Daly of Copper Common
eat drink slc scott gardner and medley brothers for naked fish 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Scott Gardner and Medley Brothers
eat drink slc naked fish bourbon cocktail 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Naked Fish bourbon cocktail
eat drink slc red rock brewing 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Red Rock Brewing
eat drink slc rutherford wines 2015
Eat Drink SLC: Rutherford wines

And then of course there’s the location. Held on the verdant grounds of Tracy Aviary, the setting couldn’t be much more perfect; even on a balmy summer evening, the lush setting helped knock a few degrees off the temperature.

The expansive grounds provided an almost garden party like vibe; and despite a maximum capacity of 500 guests, the whole evening felt intimate and relaxed – even if there was the odd friendly resident interloper…

eat drink slc outside
Eat Drink SLC: outside
eat drink slc tracy aviary grounds 2015
Eat Drink SLC: tracy aviary grounds
eat drink slc tracy aviary grounds 2 2015
Eat Drink SLC: tracy aviary grounds
eat drink slc tracy aviary grounds 3 2015
Eat Drink SLC: tracy aviary grounds
eat drink slc tracy aviary grounds 4 2015
Eat Drink SLC: tracy aviary grounds
eat drink slc tracy aviary grounds 5 2015
Eat Drink SLC: tracy aviary grounds
eat drink slc wildlife 2015
Eat Drink SLC: wildlife

All proceeds from the event benefit three local non-profits that enhance the SLC community. In 2016, the beneficiaries are Tracy Aviary, SB Dance, and Race Swami.

Eat Drink SLC 2016 takes place on Thursday, July 7th at Tracy Aviary (6-9 p.m.). Tickets are $85 in advance and $95 the day of the event – which includes all food and drink. In 2015, Eat Drink SLC sold out 3 days in advance – I anticipate the 2016 event will sell out much quicker, don’t dawdle.

Tickets can be purchased online now. I’ll see you all there.

Disclosure: In 2015 I was invited to the event for free as a media partner. Regardless, I’d be there in a heart beat and so should you.

Stuart avatar

Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you!  I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune.  I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.

I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade.   I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand.  I ate all the pies.

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