In reverse order, to wrap up June: news, press releases and info that reached us over the last few weeks, that didn’t make it into any other article…
Oasis Cafe named only Utah OpenTable Top 100 Brunches in America
Oasis Cafe on 500 East has been honored as Utah’s only winner of the newly released OpenTable 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2017. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 10 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 24,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“We are very pleased by this acknowledgment from OpenTable diners! It tells us what our regulars already know,” said GM Will Keesen. “Our weekend brunch is a crowd favorite, often surpassing dinner under the stars on our beautiful garden patio. It’s a high honor knowing how many great weekend brunch options are available in Utah and we congratulate the other winners nationwide.”
“Brunch has become as synonymous with Mother’s Day celebrations as it has the weekend, and the repertoire of dishes associated with the midday meal has expanded exponentially,” said Caroline Potter, OpenTable Chief Dining Officer. “No longer an afterthought, this meal at these winning restaurants has become a showcase for culinary diversity, with restaurants serving everything from classic Eggs Benedict and buttermilk pancakes to succulent fried chicken with waffles, chorizo scrambles, and luxe buffets with made-to-order stations and raw bars that would delight even the most avid eaters.”
The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America list is generated solely from more than 10 million verified OpenTable diner reviews collected between March 1, 2016 and February 28, 2017. All restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews for which “great for brunch” was selected as a special feature. Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2017 according to OpenTable diners. The complete list may also be viewed at https://www.opentable.com/m/best-brunch-restaurants-in-america-2017.
151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Chef Ivan Ruiz has been named food and beverage director and executive chef at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa, where he will oversee the resort’s entire food and beverage operation including the marketplace, banquet operations and two award-wining restaurants, Edge Steakhouse and Drafts Sports Bar & Grill.
Ruiz has extensive culinary and operational experience in the hospitality industry. For the past eight years, he worked with Carlson Hotels, launching and managing restaurant and banquet operations for some of the brand’s most upscale properties across the country, such as Radisson Blu Chicago and Radisson Blu Philadelphia.
His training has taken him around the globe where he has studied under some of the best chefs in the world, including a James Beard award winner and multiple Italian Culinary Master Chefs. Ruiz is a graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Additionally, chef Felipe Facchin has been named the chef de cuisine of Edge Steakhouse at Westgate Park City Resort & Spa. Facchin has more than 10 years of culinary experience, holding every position in a kitchen from dishwasher to chef de cuisine.
Born in Brazil, Facchin came to the United States to pursue a career in the culinary arts and has spent most of his culinary career in Park City where he learned fine dining techniques at some of the area’s top restaurants before taking over the lead role at Edge.
His culinary philosophy includes sourcing as many local ingredients as possible and infusing influences from his Brazilian upbringing and Italian heritage.
Westgate Park City Resort & Spa
3000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City, UT 84098
The Utah Restaurant Association, in partnership with Devour Utah magazine, hosted their 2017 Utah Restaurant Industry Awards Gala recently, naming corporate chef Zane Holmquist of Stein Eriksen Lodge, Utah’s only Forbes five-star hotel and spa, as chef of the year.
The annual award ceremony has honored food service professionals for the last 30 years, and past winners are among the elite of restaurant professionals. Award recipients are nominated by their industry peers.
“What an honor it is to receive this award among such talented company in Utah’s restaurant industry,” said Holmquist. “My team and I are so passionate about the dining experience we’re able to provide our guests, and I am incredibly grateful to be part of the Stein Eriksen Lodge family who allows me to do what I love every day.”
Holmquist joined the Stein Eriksen Lodge team in 2000 and was promoted to executive chef in 2001 and corporate chef in 2016. In 2005, Holmquist was invited to showcase his work at the renowned James Beard House and was the recipient of the Governor’s Culinary Artisan Award. He has made appearances on NBC’s TODAY Show, Sirius Radio’s The Martha Stewart Show, ABC’s Good Things Utah, Park City TV and Park City’s KPCW radio program. Holmquist’s cuisine has been featured in publications such as SKI Magazine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Sunset Magazine, Food Arts, Salt Lake Magazine and City Weekly.
Deer Valley Resort promotes Chris Gibson to Silver Lake executive chef
Deer Valley Resort has promoted Chris Gibson to Silver Lake executive chef, effective immediately. Chris joined the Deer Valley team in 2006 and most recently was the sous chef at the resort’s Royal Street Café.
A native of Salt Lake City, Gibson has worked in many of Utah’s best restaurants and with some of Utah’s most celebrated chefs. He began his career at Deer Valley as the Silver Lake Restaurant sous chef during the 2006-2007 season and was quickly promoted to sous chef at Royal Street Café in 2008. Gibson’s passion for charcuterie helped launch a resort program where he began making all of Deer Valley’s bratwurst and veggie burgers, as well as a selection of hams, salamis, smoked sausages, bacon and prosciutto.
In his new role as Silver Lake executive chef, Gibson will oversee The Mariposa, Royal Street Café, Bald Mountain Pho, Silver Lake Restaurant, Silver Lake Snack Shack and Deer Valley Artisan Cheese.
“We are lucky to have had Chris’ culinary talents and charcuterie offerings at Royal Street Café for so long,” said Jodie Rogers, Deer Valley Resort director of food and beverage. “Chris’ creativity will now be showcased on a larger scale and will greatly benefit the menu diversity throughout Silver Lake.”
Chris lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Breanna and their two little girls, Sydney and Madelyn. In his time off, Chris enjoys mountain biking, gardening and camping with friends and family.
2250 Deer Valley Dr S, Park City, UT 84060
The Park City Area Restaurant Association (PCARA) presented Samantha Carone with their $1,000 annual scholarship June 6th at the Eccles Center. The award was presented by PCARA co-president Jodie Rogers, director of food & beverage at Deer Valley Resort.
“There were several strong scholarship candidates this year, but Samantha Carone’s integrity, enthusiasm to attend college and unique passion for the culinary arts helped her stand out amongst her competition,” said PCARA executive director Ginger Ries. “We’re proud to support her on her next adventure, and we wish her every success as she chases her dreams.”
Carone will attend Washington State University this fall and major in Hospitality Business Management. However, her ambitions don’t stop there. “After graduation, I intend to go to culinary school and get my Master’s in Pastry Arts,” said Carone. “My dream is to open my very own patisserie, maybe even right here in Park City, UT.”
Always passionate about food alongside a successful luge career, Carone grew up with a love for cooking and enjoyed experimenting with new recipes for family and friends. In 2015, Carone decided to pursue an internship in the kitchens of Montage Deer Valley.
“After several months, I discovered by true passion was in pastry,” said Carone. “At the end of my internship, the executive chef was impressed by my work ethic and offered me the chance to stay on. Learning pastry skills from a 5-star executive chef has been worth all the hard work.”
Waterpocket Distillery releases first spirits
Waterpocket Distillery has released their first spirits, in conjunction with their recent grand opening on June 2nd and 3rd. They include an amaro, a white rum, and a recreation of a forgotten Danzig liqueur.
Their first Amaro, called Notom after the sleepy desert hamlet which is the first stop as you head into the backcountry of the Waterpocket Fold, finds its roots in the kräuterlikör traditions of the frontier of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Bittering agents such as gentian and rhubarb root are balanced with an aromatic palette of anise, cassia, and clove. This will be the first amaro, bitter, or bold botanical spirit on the challenging end of the spectrum and is released under the Toadstool (unique rock formations in many of Utah’s canyons) umbrella brand.
Long Lost is a second umbrella brand at Waterpocket distillery. The first Long Lost release is called Oread, and is based on a forgotten botanical liqueur from the Danzig tradition. A blend of botanicals includes sage, star anise, rosemary, sweet orange peel, galangal, and roman chamomile. Distilled like gin and lightly sweetened, this spirit resurrects a lost spirit of the 19th century. It is named after the Oread, feminine spirits of the mountains and alpine valleys in ancient mythology. The Long Lost line of spirits is dedicated to the resurrection and reinterpretation of forgotten spirits from the golden age of French, German, and Italian botanical liqueurs.
Waterpocket distillery is also proud to release their first rum, a Blanco or white rum. Made from Louisiana blackstrap molasses and turbinado sugar (with the emphasis on the blackstrap in this release), it is a full-bodied sipping rum with lots of character. This rum showcases the capabilities of the distilleries Mueller pot stills, equipped with the proprietary flavor-focusing Aromat technology.
The Utah DABC is evaluating all three spirits now.
2084 W 2200 S, West Valley City, UT 84119
EATS Park City welcomes Jenae Ridge as its new xecutive director, effective July 1, 2017. Most recently, Ridge served as Fruitshare Program Coordinator for Green Urban Lunch Box in Salt Lake City. Ridge brings her multi-faceted experience gained through various positions in non-profits, farmers markets and gardens to the EATS organization.
“Jenae’s holistic approach and unique perspective will greatly benefit EATS and the goals we aim to achieve as we work with Park City schools, students, families and the wider community,” said EATS board president Courtney Caplan. “We’re thrilled to have her coming on board.”
Ridge earned her Bachelor’s degree in social work from Michigan State University where she learned how food systems impact societies and her career path was established. Her experience developing programs, relationships and administrative protocols are an ideal fit for EATS at this stage of its growth.
“I am excited to continue pursuing my passion for community growth through food,” said Ridge. “One thing that we all have in common is the need to eat. Using this common thread, everyone in the community can be included and tied to one another. I was brought up on fast food and frozen dinners, and only later in life did I find a connection to earth, food and farmer. The happiness that came from those things merging is what I am hoping to share with and inspire throughout the Park City and Summit County communities.”
Beehive Distilling wins ‘Utah Distillery of the Year’
Beehive Distilling has a new reason to raise a glass after taking home four prizes at the world renowned New York Spirits Competition. The organic distillery was named “Utah Distillery of the Year” in addition to receiving silver medals for Jack Rabbit Gin, Barrel Reserve Gin and another silver medal for their new Beehive Organic Vodka. Over 600 Spirits were submitted to the competition from over 23 countries, as well as entries in more than 50 categories.
“Being named Utah Distillery of the Year is pretty incredible but the best prize is when we find that people love our products,” says Beehive co-founder Chris Barlow. “For a distillery of our size it’s a huge honor to have all of our products recognized by qualified trade buyers and I am proud of our team for their hard work and expertise.”
What sets the New York Spirits Competition apart is its trade-only blind judging panel. Judges for the competition are restaurateurs, sommeliers, retail spirit buyers, distributors and importers who work with spirits and their customers on a daily basis. Each panel is assembled with judges from different disciplines to ensure diverse viewpoints are considered for evaluation. Medals are awarded by a majority vote. A full list of winners can be found on the New York Spirits Competition website here: https://nyispiritscompetition.com/2017-winners/
Beehive Distilling was launched in 2013 by Matt Aller, Chris Barlow and Erik Ostling – three Salt Lakers with shared passions for design, photography and spirits. For more information and a list of restaurants and bars serving Beehive spirits, visit www.beehivedistilling.com.
Founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review. Former restaurant critic at the Salt Lake Tribune. Stuart is largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words he doesn’t understand. Ate all the pies.