Interview with Chef Chris Gibson, Royal Street Cafe

Chef Chris Gibson has been part of Deer Valley Resort’s culinary team since 2003; first working part-time, seasonally, and now as the sous chef at Royal Street Café. His philosophy of finding fresh, local ingredients to craft into house-made specialties has translated into a dining experience that is as inspiring (and ever-changing) as the spectacular views off the deck at the Silver Lake Lodge Restaurant. Deer Valley Blogger, Bari Nan Cohen, caught up with Chef Gibson just as the summer season picked up, to get the latest on the menu, and the inside track on why the Asian Chicken Salad is different now.

The Asian Chicken Salad was a Royal Street Cafe signature item. Why change it?

It’s funny–people have asked us that a lot, but we’re noticing that they are ordering it just as much as before. (Check) We used to serve it with teriyaki orange glazed chicken strips and fried wontons–and it was kind of hard to manage with chopsticks. So we made it more of a chopped salad, changed out the wonton chips for puffed rice, and then looked at how we could make the favors different. We brought in more of the umami flavor–there is fermented black bean, broccoli stems, mushrooms and fermented fish sauce in the dressing. We are getting a lot of feedback–and since the salad was made the other way for 20 years, that’s not surprising.

What are some of the other special touches we might see?

We don’t make many drastic changes, but we do like to evolve the way we make things. For instance, our BLT used to be made with deli-turkey that we bought from a supplier. Now we buy turkey, smoke it ourselves, and then slice it, so you’re biting into a sandwich that has that home-roasted turkey feel.

We also buy a case of habanero peppers and smoke it for three days so that we can send it to our cheese maker (Gold Creek Farms in Kamas, Utah) and he can mix it right in with the curd to make our smoked habanero cheddar that we use on the bison burger.

178 Royal Street Cafe_Deer Valley ResortWhat are some of the other items that are created in-house?

The ketchup for the frites (fries) is house-made. The bison burger is ground in-house from whole chucks, we make our own bacon, our own smoked habanero aioli, we carmelize the onions and we make the barbecue sauce, too.

I’m intrigued by the charcuterie–there seem to be a lot of house-made meats. How did you get into that?

It started because we couldn’t find an andouille sausage that we liked well enough to put in our gumbo. So I buy pork from Niman Ranch, and I use a lot of green onions with it, because the green onion has naturally occurring bacteria that ferments the pork into a cured sausage.

IMG_9783What is your favorite item on the menu–what do you tend to order for lunch?

I usually taste every menu item in the kitchen each day, which means, that’s lunch. But when I do order, I go for the tuna tacos–it’s fresh, relatively healthy, and I enjoy the richness of the flavors in that dish.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

I just bought a new downhill mountain bike–it doesn’t hurt that I work at the base of a chairlift and world-class trails, so I tend to get out on my bike a lot. If you are looking for a good “run-slash-hike,” go to the Silver Lake Trail–you will get a workout.

232 Biking_Deer Valley ResortHow do you like to spend your weekends?

My wife and I have two young daughters, ages seven and five, so we go camping, hiking and biking with them. I’m an avid runner, and I competed in the Ragnar relay, earlier this summer.

What are your go-to family meals at home?

Well, if we let our girls choose, they would eat a whole bunch of stuff dipped in ranch dressing at every meal, but we’ve found that curries are always a hit. I’m also a big gardener, so I will make up batches of chili verde and freeze them in meal-sized bags, so we have those on hand all winter. I can hundreds of tomatoes and make lots of fresh sauce to freeze so we have that all year for pasta. But in the summer, we grill a lot. There’s something about kebabs–some veggies, well-seasoned meat, Greek yogurt, it’s delicious and kid-friendly without being kid food.

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Deer Valley Resort's Global Athlete Ambassador, Ted Ligety, is back on skis after 10 weeks of recovering from microdiscectomy surgery. Welcome back Ted! | #DeerValleyMoment ... See MoreSee Less

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Eric HandMore impressed by the steady camera work of whoever was following him

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Matthew LivingstonShredd!! You're the best. Same run I fractured my tibial plateau on last year. Glad to see you're back. Hope I can do the same next year.

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Mitch MannWe wore the same color jacket and skied DV today as well, but our skiing form was a tad different.

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Tess TeurlingsTyler Teurlings they finally got around to posting this video of me from spring break

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Stephen PohlmanWizard

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Ron ReillySmooth

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Kelly DetweilerLooks good to me ☺

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Max ScottPaul Stu Herlan you guys just missed ripping some runs with Ted

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Larry WeiderThat's what I look like in my head when I ski. It's better I never know what I actually look like.

3 hours ago
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Dennis BressGreat run and great camera work. :-) Kerry Rutherford

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Octavio BarreraEmilio Fernandez our next level of skiing for next winter 💪🏽

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John TredentTrue carve turn, Ted is one of the best in the world.

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Scott DillmanGo Ted. I am sure it feels really good to be carving some turns. Enjoy your regained freedom.

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James EvansBoth Ted and the snow conditions look great . .

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Dan LudwigDude is flyin...

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Jon T FruendLegity split!

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Mehrnaz ZuieYousef Zuie this is where I want to go!

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Shanna RidnerLikes this picture

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Effie BaramSo nice

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Jon Blumbergbautiful skier

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Wesley MillerDan Duncan Corey Baumgartner definitely gotta make it happen

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Tzachi AlmogNadavo Ha. מזכיר אותך

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Matt ShawDamian Leopard those lines.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017
Deer Valley Resort has recieved over 400 inches of snow this season and still has a 101" base. You can only #SkiTheDifference for three more weeks. | Skier: Jillian Vogtli Video: Chris Morgan / Two Sherpas LLC on Sunday, March 26, 2017.
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Rose JutrasGo Jillian!! What an Ambassador!!

13 hours ago   ·  1

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Dennis WillisYep, only $1.28 per inch for that base. Or $15.52 per hour if you ski from opening to closing.

7 hours ago
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Adi DeOltManon Mbd she has the same color equipment like me. And I skied there. Could it be me? 😂😂😂

10 hours ago   ·  1
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Claine CowdrickWhy end the season if there is still enough snow to ski on? Extend the season maximize profits

8 hours ago
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Marcela MrugalaIt was a fantastic day of skiing yesterday!

13 hours ago
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Brandon BenallyCute but can she ski MOGULS as fast?

24 hours ago
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Steve ZebrowskiSure didn't look anywhere near 101 inch base Saturday

9 hours ago
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Nic ReneeAwesome skiing this year

20 hours ago
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Lou KaltensteinWatched her cut her teeth at Holiday Valley! Go girl!

4 hours ago
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Elaine Lawrencer u having a good time

17 hours ago
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Indy BaileyVery cool!!

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Tai RobinsonYeah Jillian Vogtli!

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Today's #DeerValleyMoment | Photo Credit: Emily Summers ... See MoreSee Less

Todays #DeerValleyMoment  | Photo Credit: Emily Summers

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Stephen HelmI thought that was Upper Stein, I have a shot real similar to that one

3 days ago   ·  1
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Joyce GriffinBeautiful photo, Emily Summers! It makes me want to be there making the first tracks down.

3 days ago   ·  1
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Brian ParkerIf I squint, I can just barely see my old house!

3 days ago   ·  1
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Randy CarterBeautiful and my acrophobia will dissipate as the thrill of downhill takes over.

2 days ago
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George LadnerI was there 2 weeks ago and loved it. Nearly as good as the Swiss alps/Zermatt¿¡¡

3 days ago
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Eric LongabardiNice shot Emily Summers! :) I can see Heber!

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Todd RameyTop of Steins, just past Sultan .

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Alma WeldeLovely

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Francis GougeonWith this view you can pretend you are an astronaut.⛷

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Ariana B. AlvarezI want to be the first one down!

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Janis Bauer FullmerBeautiful!

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Rafael TorresWHAT A SHOT!

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Gerry FeherCorduroy....yea baby !!

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Will WilliamsDebbie Riley-Williams favorite place to ski in the USA 😎

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MaryEllen ProctorBarb and Karen, wish we were there.

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Drew DealIs this the run to the gondola?

3 days ago
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Linda Glore-SewardI must get my knees in shape so I can ski that again!

2 days ago

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Holly EtlinStein's Way, nice!

3 days ago
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Charlotte StrackBeautiful!

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Paul Stu HerlanRipped that yesterday...thanks Stein!

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Alan HorganI want to there now! Pity our £ is so cheap...

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Carolyn MacherBeautiful...

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Lisa AntellJordanelle run?

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