Ski School Updates with Chris Katzenberger

Chris Katzenberger, Recruiting and Adult Program Manager at the Deer Valley Ski School

JF: First and foremost, what makes Deer Valley Children Ski School different?

CK: From the beginning, Deer Valley Resort has taken a holistic approach to family skiing. In fact we’ve targeted adults and children together. For instance, we don’t have a separate adult and children ski school; every instructor is expected to teach both adults and children. Again, the main goal is to take care of the entire family, not just the adult that walks in the door. Instructors are trained to understand children mentally, physically and emotionally. We’re also always looking to new technologies as well, like the “SunKid” conveyor lifts that are a great way to gently introduce kids to the use of various lifts without creating unnecessary worry on the part of parents.

JF: I’ve heard about your Deer Valley mascots; what’s their purpose?

CK: The mascots play a very important role in our program with Quincy the Bear, Ruby the Raccoon, Silver the Eagle and Bucky the Deer. They are part of a story book for children and each has a different role. Once children learn the story through our coloring books and indoor activities they get to me meet the Mascots on the Mountain. Our instructor assistants that help smaller children with riding the lifts and other activities also dress-up as Mascots, so if we have a “snow cone” day, or an “avalanche-dog day,” the mascots are there to encourage children participation into  what goes on, and get their undivided attention! We’re expending more into creating a children’s friendly environment in which they get the fantasy they need within our great mountain scenery. To complement this year’s new trail map, we continue to offer a coloring book that tells the story of Silver the Eagle, Quincy the bear, Ruby the Raccoon, Bucky the Deer, and explains what each character does specifically in terms of safety, staying warm, etc. 

JF: What’s new for kids this season at the Deer Valley Ski School?

CK: The big thing are the four new conveyor lifts, called “SunKid,” with three of them on Wide West and one at Silver Lake. Even though children still learn how to side-step and herring-bone to climb, these conveyors make it easier for them as small children don’t have to get tired out by doing it over and over. To accommodate these new surface lifts, Snowflake has been moved up by two or three lift towers. The first “SunKid” will be fenced in green, the next one fenced in yellow and the top one will be fenced in blue. The blue one is the longest at 380 feet, and takes approximately 2 to 3 minute to move the children up the hill.

 

JF: How do children benefit from these special lifts?

CK: These conveyors keep children rotating quickly and learning fast on that special area. Before they move to a chairlift, they will have learned how to control their speed, stop, make different size turns and will be familiar with riding up the hill. They’ll be able to hone their skills like changing directions, experimenting with a variety of turns and gaining valuable mileage by practicing up and down a lot. The other “SunKid”, also available in Silver Lake, will cater to children taking private lessons and will be a convenient amenity for guests staying at the Montage or around the Empire area.

JF: What else is new?

CK: We’re also introducing, a new trail map for children and in the next years, our plan is to make it totally interactive with our Deer Valley website by adding more excitement and a sense of adventure. In addition, we’re offering special children-friendly trail signs, featuring a new snowflake icon and indicating specific children’s ski features. These trails signs will stand as extra markers to bring attention to these special areas… 

JF: How was your family program ranked by SKI magazine?

CK: We were happy that we received the #2 spot again on the family program. Other resorts have smaller facilities but ours is quite large. In our Center, parents can confidently drop their children in a friendly environment. Our Center is sectioned off into areas for each age groups; for instance the 5 to 6 year-old room can accommodate 200 kids, while the 4 year-old room is large enough to receive 80 to100 kids and the 3 year-only room will welcome 60 to. 80 kids. Of course there’s our Pre-School, the Deer Valley Academy Program, that operates through the school year with a highly qualified staff that can take care of everyone…

JF: How does a typical day go?

CK: The 3 and 4 year-old program is pretty much the same for both age groups, with indoor activities like reading, craft-time and puppet shows. Typically a 3 year-old skis one-on-one with the instructor; that’s right, one child per instructor, for about one hour and then transitions into our Childcare Center for indoor activities.

The 4 year-old skis quite a bit more; typically two and a half hours, with additional indoor activities for the rest of the day. We’re excited about our new permanent outdoor play area that will also be new this year and complete with snow…

The 5 to 6 years-old Reindeer group spends most of the day on snow from about 10 am to 3:45 pm . These children can be dropped off as early as 8:30 am and start to get ready  for class between 9:30 and 10 am, then head out on the snow till 11:30 when they stop for a warm lunch (turkey hot-dog, chicken Parmesan, etc.) From 2:15 pm to 2:30 pm there’s the hot chocolate break, then they return to their skis, have perhaps a special activity in the meadow like safety talk, snow fun games, scavenger hunt, etc. and after that they ski till 3:45 pm when the lesson ends.

Our 7 to 12 year-old, Adventure Club group follow a similar schedule with the same kinds of breaks, plus the use of special on-snow, off-trails areas like Quincy Cabin, Ruby’s Tail and Bucky’s Backyard…

JF: In conclusion, how do your children’s programs contributes to Deer Valley being #1?

CK: What makes our children’s program a leader in its class are the people in our ski school. The instructors we hire in the position have great empathy for their young students and a full understanding of what goes on in a parent’s mind. They understand their fears and apprehensions and are skilled at turning them into fun on the snow, not just for the children, but for the entire family. Our guests like what they experience and keep returning with us. We have students that were in our “Bambi Club” years ago, and today, are returning to work with us as ski instructors!

Thanksgiving Means Skiing

Well its official, I have had my first day of skiing for the 2011-2012 season today, Nov. 19. I can’t tell you where it was… Ok I guess I can, our friendly neighbors next door PCMR.  The conditions were perfect for early skiing so I know when we open the skiing will be great! However, I had a panic attack while on the chair. It registered with me that when PCMR opens it’s usually around Thanksgiving. I realized its only five days away, a week out from our opening which means Celebrity Ski classic and trying to beat the boys.

Excitement and anxiety came across me all at the same time. I’m excited to get the season rolling again but a bit scared because when it starts rolling it’s the end of the season before I know it. Am I organized enough at this point?

Hmmm time will tell.

So as I thought about Thanksgiving and trying to get organized what are my plans? This year we are celebrating with our good friends and children the Lacobelli’s. If you don’t know them take a look at deervalley.com. They are the poster family all over the site.

Their name, Lacobelli, should be a giveaway as to how our Thanksgiving will be mapped out. It should be a blast. I’ve been told to be prepared for an Italian Thanksgiving.

“There’s Italian and then there are those who want to be Italian!” I guess I qualify as “I want to be Italian for a day”. So I guess weight loss isn’t an option before I try and fit into my ski pants DV opening day Dec. 3.

So following my Italian Thanksgiving experience I can turn my thoughts to opening day.

I anticipate opening day will be much of the same as I take part in the Celebrity Ski Fest. Phil, Steve, Tommy and I will be trash talking each other trying to psyche each other out and trying to be the one with the fastest time. I need to make sure my starts are strong. There is nothing like coming out of the gates of competition opening day. The weekend as a whole is so much fun. The skiing, competition, teammates, friends, and the evening receptions equal a great time and celebration to the beginning of 2011/12 season.

I’m grateful for this time of season. The energy in the air for the upcoming season and holidays can be cut with an edge! That is a sharp ski edge! See you on the slopes.

 

Cheers,

Thanksgiving in the Bakery

Thanksgiving Day? How about Thanksgiving LIFE?

Living in Park City is an exercise in daily gratitude… for my life. That I am raising two boys with a love of the mountains, a love of skiing, alongside a spouse who appreciates it as much as I do is a gift. It’s always touching and amusing to hear the “I’m Thankful For…” moments at our Thanksgiving table, because they may include things like, “fresh powder,” and “new skis,” and “Star Wars Lego sets!” which perfectly offset my emotional mush ball moment of praising the virtues of each of my children—I’m generally overwhelmed with gratitude for their health, their dad’s, my own, and all eight of my children’s grandparents and two great-grandparents. The blessings are plentiful—and it feels like bad luck to count them.

However, it doesn’t escape me that the blessings are many outside my home as well. Like the fact that I get to make friends with likeminded folks—from my ski-buddy-moms to Deer Valley’s celebrated pastry chef, Letty Flatt.

Yesterday, I walked into the buzzing Snow Park Bakery, and found four bakers hard at work. Letty took time out of the pie-making rush to introduce me to her hardworking team–-including a new-to-DV baker, Sung Yup (favorite Thanksgiving tradition: “Playing football with my friends.”) Given that the team had 58 pies on order when I arrived (and 60 when I left, since my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner is ordering the pies), the hands were much-needed.

Letty (favorite Thanksgiving Tradition: “Skiing Snowbird on fresh powder.” Deer Valley, of course, doesn’t open til December. See below for Letty’s DV favorites.) was quick to offer me a ginger snap cookie—made from the gingersnap pie crust she uses for the pumpkin pies. “The recipe is my sister-in-law’s,” she told me. “Gingersnap crust and orange zest in the filling. Look, Dana is rolling out gingersnap crust over there, Sung Yup is working on regular crust—wait, let’s get your order, now.”

What’s amazing to me about Letty, who has worked at Deer Valley since Day One, is that she isn’t frenetic in her demeanor. Everything is organized, matter-of-fact. “I like people, so I like the bakery when there are about five people, each with their own project, each with our own space,” she said, reaching for a bowl of cream that was poised to go into a test wedding cake for a bride and groom. “But some days, we’re so busy we have six or more crammed around the work stations.”

Back to my pie order—she and Debbie who heads up the Snow Park bakery operations, gently guided me to their favorites.

“You should try the Apple-Cheddar pie, it’s something special,” said Debbie.

“No pumpkin?” Letty wondered, as if to say WHY?

“Chocolate silk,” I said. “It will make my eight year-old so happy.”

“He’s the one who likes the chocolate cup at the Seafood Buffet, right?”

Letty’s love for people is evident in her recall of certain people’s dessert preferences.

Nervous my family would revolt at the idea of cheese invading their favorite pie, I ordered a simple apple pie, instead. Still, as a Vermonter, the idea of some cheddar in there was appealing.

Debbie then handed me a wrapped-up bundle of Snow Park Bakery dog treats. “It’s Bark City,” she said. “We bake for the whole family here.”

Needless to say, I was very popular when I arrived home later that night. Letty had sent me off with a care package of Deer Valley cookies. Once all were plied with treats, I floated the idea of the Cheddar Apple Pie. The notion was greeted with a resounding, “Yum!” I made a note to call Debbie the next morning and change my order. And when I did, she didn’t laugh—she sounded, however, utterly pleased.

And, dear reader, I did not leave without getting Letty Flatt’s Deer Valley

Ideal ski day: “I’m with my husband, of course, and there is 8” minimum of fresh powder. We’re on the first chair. We ski Empire, because it has the best snow—it’s the only part of the mountain that gets the Lake Effect snow from Salt Lake City. And we go, go, go until about 11:30And then home.”

Crack of Noon Club: “We have very social ski days, too. We meet friends, but we compete to see who can arrive the latest.”

Favorite food: “The whole wheat crust pizza at Silver Lake—it’s vegetarian, and I love it.”

Favorite DV indulgence: “Mariposa’s desserts. And, I have to say, I tend to always gravitate toward the Seafood Buffet. We have guests who will go there more than once during a vacation, so we make sure to mix up the menus a couple of times a week.”

Interview with Jodie Rogers Executive Chef of Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges

JF: First Jodie, remind us what’s your philosophy at Deer Valley Resort?

JR: The biggest thing we’ve done in the past two year was to turn to three fundamental principles: Local, sustainable and fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients have always been a big concern for us. This year I was lucky enough to be invited on a couple ranch tours, in Bear Lake and in South Dakota. We work with Niman Ranch where traceability is available and easy to check. They work very closely with us and make the effort to understand our needs. For instance, all of our lamb, in all in our menus, comes from Bear Lake. Our beef comes from many of the Niman associate farms. We’re staying away from unnecessary antibiotic, steroids or things like that. Freshness is paramount with us.

 

JF: Do you treat seafood the same way?

JR: Absolutely! Heather, our seafood chef at the Seafood Buffet, has been leading that way for many years already. She follows the “Seafood Watch” at the Monterey Bay Aquarium daily and purchases accordingly. For instance, we can trace back all of our oysters to their origin and to the actual fishermen. Now, our guest have come to expect this kind of quality from us! Not only are we doing the right things, but our guest expect us to keep that lead.

JF: So tell me, what’s new this winter at Deer Valley?

JR: First at the Grocery~Café, we are working very closely with Copper Moose Farm for our field greens, beets, herbs and other vegetables that can be grown in our harsh environment. As far as the Seafood Buffet is concerned, Heather having  her crew go back to the roots of some classic dishes. As an example, this season Heather had the idea of serving Pazole with the DV twist. Instead of buying ready-made cans of Hominy, she’s taking the dried corn and making it from scratch. The seafood Buffet chefs will continue to follow what’s sustainable and we’ll advise the chefs be creative within that parameter. The Day Lodges will continue with Niman burgers and homemade bratwursts. We’ll keep everyone focused on these goals so that our chefs understand our local sourcing, make sure it remains a priority and use it as creatively as possible.

Fireside Dining is opening an extra night, Saturday, and that will go from three to four nights. All the lamb will be sourced locally, from Bear Lake. We’ve also gone local with some of Salt Lake’s Creminelli cured meat instead of importing them; Creminelli is really good, they source Berkshire pork and other high quality ingredients as local as possible… The Mariposa is going to offer a great southwest sturgeon dish this winter to continue our quest in trying to stay sustainable. Royal Street Café is focusing on using lots of local cheeses, like Beehive, Rock Hill Creamery and Gold Creek. Our Day Restaurants will incorporate all of these into our other menus as well. Royal Street Café will also still serve their fabulous homemade meatballs, that by the way are also sold at the Deer Valley Grocery~Café…

Our big focus as far as management is to see even more consistency out of our three Days Lodges. Now that we’re Number One for the fifth year in a row, it behooves us to maintain our lead, ahead of the competition by continuing to strive for culinary perfection.

We’ve had a lot of construction going on this summer and some of it involved rebuilding the whole employee dining area at the Snow Park Lodge as we had outgrown it. Since it caters to our own staff, it also gave us the opportunity to offer an extended menu along with faster service, and this is not small stuff as, if we’re able to make our own people happy, we can be sure that they will make our guests even happier. That may sound like “back of the house” but it will have a huge impact on the “front of the house” and their interaction with our guests!

On the cocktail front, the Park City Area Restaurant Association had upped the ante by organizing a cocktail contest twice a year and we’re participating along with the other Main Street establishments. We’ll be featuring the winner of the last contest, the Easy Street Cocktail, that will be on all our menus. We will also feature more seasonal drinks and cocktail and we’ve also upgraded our wine and liquor list. Finally, we’ll be offering more live entertainment in the afternoon at the EBS Lounge, during weekends, with some of our best local musicians…

 

JF: Sounds wonderful! Where do you get all that inspiration?

JR: Our guests drive us to become better, especially when they do vote us continually Number One in Food and Beverage, on-mountain dining, specially. The good comments we get from our guests make us want to be better. Our chefs are also a very creative team that is always on the lookout for new things and are key in keeping our lead. I want to give them every opportunity to try something new and wow our guests.

 

JF: How do you gather that feedback?

JR: Our guests are pretty verbal, and we get lots of comments, phone calls and emails, helping us to steer our offerings in the right direction. We’re are labeling our menus to indicate all the gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian items as we get these questions all the time, and it’s sometimes hard for waiters to keep up with all these details even though we keep on educating them as well on all these issues.

We have an eight-day rotating menu for our kids ski school, and while we’ve always cater to Kosher, this year our menus will also display the gluten-free options. Further, our ski school menus are all nut-free and we take all the necessary care in the kitchens to avoid cross-contamination so kids can eat with total peace of mind. The bottom line is that if anyone has some special needs, we’ll take care of them!

 

JF: Is the improving level of the Park City, Main Street restaurant benefiting Deer Valley?

JR: We all help each other. The more demand we place on certain ingredients, the more choice we get from suppliers and the more that quality improves. That’s a huge help from all of us. When I first came to Deer Valley I couldn’t get coconut milk; you know, I come from Australia and I couldn’t get any of it and I got so frustrated! Because we have such a diverse and talented pool of chefs between Main Street and Deer Valley, there’s a friendly and highly productive emulation that elevates the quality of the food served and benefits everyone. Our guests too are very diverse and come to us with pretty sophisticated tastes and a fine palate that push us all to become better!

 

JF: You’ve wet my appetite; when can guest samples all that wonderful food?

JR: Very soon! While our Grocery~Café is always serving food, Royal Street Café will open the last weekend of November and then the weekend of December 3, all Day Lodges will welcome the skiing public. Then on Friday, December 9, our Seafood Buffet will be available to diners, followed by Fireside, the last one to open, on Wednesday, December 14. Mark your calendar and come sample our wonderful food!

Check out this blog post on Park City Magazine by the lovely Kristen Case sharing her experience at the Deer Valley Winter Menu Tasting.

Lucky Locals

Yesterday, I felt like a very lucky local. I can sum up the reasons in three little words: Turkey Chili Nachos.

I know what you’re thinking: Seriously, folks, what took you so long to come up with THAT little gem? Well, it’s just what happens when Deer Valley’s crack culinary team gets to spend the off-season…at work. The fact that the Deer Valley Grocery Café is open year-round is a boon to everyone—locals and visitors alike. Because not only can it taste like ski season, even if the lifts are not operating, but the culinary team has a little breathing room to get a boost of creativity. Of course Turkey Chili Nachos are a genius idea. It’s a new twist on an old favorite.

Before I ate the nachos, though, I had a chance to chat with sous chef Ben Stevens, who heads up the kitchen at the Deer Valley Grocery Café. He poured me a cup of coffee (yes, I had already had a meeting over coffee an hour earlier, but I am incapable of saying no to a steaming mug of Millcreek Coffee Roasters coffee at Deer Valley.)

It turns out; the Deer Valley Grocery Café is always going to cook up a little twist or surprise. In part, because Ben and his team really want to cater to their crowd, and use the café to showcase not just the Deer Valley signature meals and desserts, but the local purveyors who make the food possible. “We want to hear people’s comments, get their suggestions,” he told me. “The more we hear what people want, the better we’re able to cook up a surprise or two.” In fact, one of the things that surprised me is the fact that entire catered dinners for a crowd can be ordered from the café—“It makes it more of a vacation if you can eat comfort food without having to cook,” Ben said. For some of us, just a day off from cooking can feel like a vacation, so I’m all in.

A few other secrets: The pot pies are healthier than you think. “We don’t use cream,” Ben says. “It’s a vegetable volute that gives the pie that creamy texture.”

Still, I couldn’t resist needling Ben to spill a little bit of his “My Deer Valley” secrets.

Ski haunt: “Empire—it’s like the hidden gem, with Mayflower on one side and Empire on the other.”

Ski lunch: “Fish tacos at Empire Canyon Lodge.”

Ski timing: “First chair—working at the Café got me in the habit of being up at 5am. Suddenly, first chair at 9 feels like a whole day off, even if I’m just getting in a few runs before I start the lunch shift.”

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Feast

Don’t forget to choose one of our delectable made-to-order pies for your Thanksgiving Feast this year.  Choose from old fashioned pumpkin, sweet potato pecan, apple cheddar, traditional pecan or chocolate silk.  We also offer apple ginger bread, pumpkin walnut bread and cranberry orange pecan bread.

We peeked into the bakery to see the staff getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Be sure to order by Monday, November 21.

Deer Valley’s food and beverage team is here to also help with some Thanksgiving favorites for your holiday dinner. Our Thanksgiving menu includes; Deer Valley roasted garlic mashed potatoes, steamed green beans with shiitake mushrooms, roasted acorn squash, house made struan stuffing, lemon thyme sauce, cranberry chutney.

Pick up is on Wednesday November 23rd by 6:30pm or November 24th by 11:30am at the Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe.

Please call 435-615-2400 to place your orders for turkey dinner sides and 435-645-6625 for Bakery orders.

Gear Mania

As I was wondering if I should get some new skis this season, I saw a full ski rack inside my garage and the first order of business would be to make some room for a new pair. Since I can’t decide which pair I should get rid of, this becomes an easy decision to make. For a while, I had considered embarking on the rocker-ski adventure, but as I have shared before on this blog, I’m still hesitating about that design and while I can appreciate these skis might help me greatly in bottomless powder, I still have a few unresolved issues with them.

First, and as I’ve also said before, the longer rocker design won’t fit my car ski-box! The other part of my dilemma is that I have fallen in love with Deer Valley’s tree skiing and not just its nicely gladed runs, but the more challenging, tight turning skiing like the one found in Centennial trees. Rocker skis are a bit longer than regular boards, and when the turning radius gets tighter, every extra inch that stick in the front or in the back might be just enough to grab the next spruce or aspen that happens to be in the way.

To top it off, I still can’t picture myself riding these curvaceous boards on corduroy, moguls and hard-pack as I get to, or return from my powder stashes. All these good reasons mean that I’ll continue to use my semi-fat skis (90 mm under the foot) for another season. Hopefully, I’ll be able to eventually get used to the feeling and move to a shorter length as I also get a bit older, but frankly, I’m not ready yet and may have to labor at tiny bit more while in deep powder!

I hope you’ll fully understand my position with regard to double-ski-camber designs: I’m intellectually and practically not ready for them yet! Since I am all set and very happy with my current poles, the only area that is left for me to worry about is that other, all-important piece of equipment, the ski boots. Mine are still okay and I can see another full season in their sort-term future. This year, I will just add to my closet a pair of specialized boots that I’ll use for accomplishing other tasks. That’s right, I want to seriously get into alpine touring this season…
I already own a pair of skis dedicated to that pursuit, complete with skins and special bindings, and the only missing component is the pair of touring boots that I just purchased today. Will I use that “AT gear” – as it’s called – in the middle of winter? Probably not very often, but as April rolls around and Deer Valley Resort closes for the season, I intend to be all over the back-country, exploring ridges, bowls and glades where snow will continue to linger during the following weeks and even months. This will keep me fit and prolong a season that never begins early enough and always ends far too soon!

Gourmet Winter – Part 2

Recently we asked some of our chefs to share what they’re looking forward to this winter. I don’t suggest reading this blog on an empty stomach!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Letty Flatt serves as executive pastry chef for Deer Valley Resort where she prepares and oversees production of the breads, cakes and desserts for all 10 mountain dining establishments. Working at Deer Valley since 1981 Letty joined the bakery after two seasons on ski patrol. In addition to creating delectable desserts for the Resort, Letty is the author of the cookbook Chocolate Snowball: And Other Fabulous Pastries From Deer Valley Bakery.

 

Here is what Letty is looking forward to for the upcoming season:

1. A great team of bakers. We have our core, year-round pastry chefs and assistant pastry chefs, as well as a strong group of returning bakers from last season.  Our head pastry chefs, Steve Harty and Debbie Swenerton, have hired a bunch of really capable bakers for the positions we had open.  Also, each year we hire culinary externs from around the country and we are excited to welcome those that are coming for their externships this winter. In addition, we hire bakery counter attendants through a college exchange program in South America. These kids are always very smart, bilingual and studying for careers as lawyers, engineers and scientists in their home country. I love the diversity they bring to the bakery and that we are giving them the chance to polish their English-speaking skills. All in all—the bakery team we have assembled for the upcoming season looks to be world class.

2. Our new gluten-free and vegan offerings. Over the summer we developed a delicious chocolate chip cookie and a simple, elegant almond agave cake that we hope our gluten-free and vegan guests will love. Cookies are available any time right now at the Grocery~Café . We also made the Healthy Heart Muffin vegan this year by taking out the eggs—I think we made this daily muffin twice as good and hopefully it appeals to twice as many guests!

3. Both Steve at Silver Lake/Empire and Debbie at Snow Park/Grocery~Café have been dreaming up and working on new winter menu items. Each season the Mariposa dessert menu features several new desserts and among Steve’s latest is a dessert with a twist on the cheese course—a mousse with all the flavor of Barely Buzzed, the flavorful cheese rubbed with coffee and lavender from Utah’s Beehive Cheese Company. Steve is pairing the mousse with an olive oil cake, with grapes and late harvest wine. I love it.

 

Clark Norris serves as executive chef of Silver Lake Lodge which includes The Mariposa, Deer Valley’s premier fine dining restaurant, and Royal Street Café, the resort’s only winter and summer a la carte restaurant . Norris joined Deer Valley Resort’s internationally recognized food and beverage team in 1985 as a line cook and rose to become executive chef in 1988. Clark was also the recipient of Salt Lake Magazine’s annual Best Chef Award in 2006.

Here’s what is looking forward to this winter…

1. Having so many talented chefs and cooks returning this season. This makes training the new cooks so much easier, efficient and thorough that re-opening our winter operations is seamless.  From the first day of the season we are ramping-up for working full-tilt through the busy holidays and with experienced staff it is relatively painless. Thanks to all our dedicated kitchen managers, supervisors and cooks returning this season! I may get more powder days :)

2. Our ever-expanding house-made products. Here, in the Silver Lake kitchen, we make all the Bratwurst and Veggie Burgers for the entire resort — tons of them, literally. (Thanks for the new Hobart Mixer/Meat Grinder and mac-daddy Smoker, Bob!) We also make our own

Oak-Smoked Maple Cured Bacon, Pancetta, Chorizo, a variety of Salamis, Kielbasa,

Fresh Ground Bison Burgers, Huckleberry-Duck Sausage, Lamb Sausage, Italian Sausage, Juniper-Venison Sausage, Blackstrap Molasses Smoked Ham, Lamb Gyro,

Smoked Habanero Sauce…the list goes on.

We pride ourselves on using all-natural Niman Ranch Pork, Beef and Lamb. Their animals never get hormones or anti-biotics and are raised with care by small, sustainable, family owned and operated ranches. Myself, Jodie and other DV chefs, have visited Niman ranches and are very impressed with the natural, humane and sustainable ranching practices being followed. Our lamb comes from the local Willis Ranch near Bear Lake.

3. A season to best all others, earning us a 5th consecutive #1 ranking!

Gourmet Winter

We caught up with Jodie Rogers, Snow Park and Empire Lodge Executive Chef and Clint Strohl, Deer Valley Resort Restaurant Operations Manager to see what they’re looking forward to this winter; and to share some secrets and recipes from Deer Valley’s restaurants.

Jodie Rogers serves as the executive chef of Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges.  Rogers’ job as executive chef entails operations of all Snow Park and Empire Canyon Lodges restaurants and food events, including breakfast and lunch cuisine in the Snow Park Restaurant and Empire Canyon Grill; cuisine for the child care and ski school programs; après-ski appetizers in the Snow Park Lounge, the evening Seafood Buffet and the new Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe.  In addition, she oversees Fireside Dining at Empire Canyon Lodge.  Rogers also spends her summers overseeing all banquets at the Resort. Rogers boasts a 15-year cooking career that includes stints in several hotels in Sydney, Australia and working as head chef at Australia’s Charlotte Pass Resort

Jodie Rogers

The 3 things I am looking forward to in our restaurants this winter are:

1. @ Seafood Buffet Heather is working on a twist the to traditional Pasole,  a Rich Pork and hominy stew that originated in Jalisco, in the middle of Mexico’s Pacific Coast region. It is traditionally served at Christmas time. Come and try our version, Lobster Pazole.

2. @ Fireside Shane and Ryan are working on Homemade Lamb Bacon that will be used in numerous applications. See the recipe below to find out just one of them. Our Niman lamb is from Clark’s Farm in Bear lake. The chefs were lucky enough to visit the farm this year so we could see just how well the animals are taken care of. Just one of the many reasons our Fireside Lamb leg tastes to wonderful.

3. Apres Ski is now available at 3 locations, join us at Royal Street Cafe at Silver Lake Lodge, the EBS Lounge, located at Snow Park Lodge or the DVGC, located at the Plaza after a long day of skiing to try one of our new cocktail concoctions from our fabulous bar tenders, The “High Apple Attitude” and the DVD ( Deer Valley Diablo) are just two that come to mind.

4. Lets not forget the huge amounts of snow!

Fireside Dining Bacon Pancakes

At Fireside these pancakes will be made from our homemade lamb bacon and served accompanied by seared venison, homemade elderberry jam and lemon chive butter.

For home use I would suggest this as a great appetizer. Make small bite size pancakes and top with your favorite artisanal jam and a lemon chive whipped cream.

Ingredients

2  Cups All Purpose Flour
2  1/4 Cups Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Sugar
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Cup Water
3-4 Bacon Slices

Directions

Slice the bacon up into small pieces and fry it over medium heat until it is the crispiness that you desire. When finished drain on a paper towel.
While the bacon is cooking mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl mix the dairy, water, egg, oil and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated.
Over medium heat, pour the pancake batter onto the pan.
Immediately after you pour the batter, sprinkle a hand full of bacon bits onto the pancake. You could mix the bacon directly into the batter, but I have found that you get better distribution if you sprinkle it on this way.
Once you see bubbles forming and bursting on the top of the pancake it is time to flip. Only flip pancakes once.
Another minute or two later the pancake is cooked. Remove onto a plate and either eat, or place the plate in the oven on warm to keep the pancakes hot until you are finished cooking all of them.

That recipe will make about 24 small 2” pancakes

 

From Soiree Productions

Clint Strohl

Clint Strohl  was recently promoted to Deer Valley Resort Restaurant Operations Manager.  He is responsible for all front-of-house restaurant services at the Snow Park, Silver Lake and Empire Canyon Lodges, including The Mariposa, Royal Street Café, Seafood Buffet, Fireside Dining, the Empire Canyon Grill, Snow Park and Silver Lake Restaurants, Bald Mountain Pizza in Silver Lake Lodge, Snowshoe Tommy’s and Cushings Cabin. Clint has been working for Deer Valley Resort since 1984.

Clint’s 3 high points for the upcoming season:

1. Restaurant Reservationists will be available 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week starting on Friday, December 2 and continuing through Saturday, April 7. This will add an additional 4 hours each day where  guests can make reservations. Of course, restaurant reservations can always be made at www.deervalley.com. Also, by early December guests will be able to reserve a table at our restaurants through Opentable.com

2. Fireside Dining will be open most Saturday nights this coming season. Most recently Fireside has  been open  Wednesday through Friday with an an occasional Saturday during the Holiday periods. By opening another evening I believe our guests will find it easier to visit us at their preferred times.

3. Mamete Prevostini wines at Fireside. So much of the food at Fireside is linked traditionally and culturally to the area where  Italy and Switzerland intersect. Mamete Prevostini produces wines in the region of Valtellina, which is as well at the intersection of  Italy and Switzerland, of 100% Nebbiolo from steeply terraced vineyards. I believe that these will be wines to be enjoyed with all savory courses at Fireside.

Getting Ready For Ski Season

Many people ask how I stay in shape for skiing and prepare for the upcoming season. I have to be honest, keeping up with two kids and sneaking in a road bike ride once in a while is about the extent of my routine.  Also, having a new member of the family “Aksel” who needs exercise hiking helps as well!

My training use to be so regimented when I was on the US Ski Team that I take pleasure living in such a beautiful spot and just try to enjoy the outdoors here in Park City. I’ve seen too many inside walls of gyms.

About this time of year I start pulling out the family’s ski stuff to see if anything needs to be replaced. I overheard that the weather is suppose to get really cold this week. I must be ready for ski season as I was actually excited to hear this!

Make sure you get organized and take advantage of the early season prices on passes and tickets. Also, trade in your gear at the Park City Ski Team Swap is Nov 4-6. This is a great place to get prepared for the winter. Especially for those skiers who don’t ski every day or want a good deal on equipment or clothes.

I even have my new snow tires on! Bring on the snow! Although the boys still tell me to “get a Harley motorcycle and put my skis on the back.” Hmmmm…. this could be a good Warren Miller clip!

See you on the slopes of Deer Valley– Come check us out this season!