Just look at that view.
And then think about looking at that view with a glass of wine in one hand and a fork in the other, perfectly poised to sample a plate of Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Arugula with Oven Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette. And if we can possibly squeak in another bite, Deer Valley Resort’s Apple Blueberry Crisp with Chantilly Cream.
Each year the world’s finest freestyle skiers, coaches and squads of support teams head to Deer Valley Resort for the annual FIS Freestyle World Cup competition. Spectators appear slack-jawed, watching in awe when the world’s best athletes on two skis bang down the mountain at high speeds to the finish line with the finest style and flips through the air in a quest for Gold.
The competition is front and center when Deer Valley Resort is the FIS Freestyle World Cup host. The event draws thousands of fans who witness world-renowned skiing marvels in the frigid nighttime chill of Utah’s Wasatch Back. The chance to rub elbows with skiing’s elite in the on-mountain crowd is definitely part of the fun.
But for a select group, the VIP treatment is what keeps lounge ticket holders coming back each year for more.
I mean, why wouldn’t they?
After wrangling a sleep-over at friend’s house for our 10-year-old daughter, my husband and I donned our down-filled North Face boots, bundled up and headed on a date night to last year’s World Cup.
The competition hill is located half way up the mountain where Big Stick, Solid Muldoon, Know You Don’t, and White Owl connect. It’s accessible to the public only by Snowflake chairlift and the magic carpet ride. If you’re feeling extra athletic, you could skip the lift and head up via a steep, snowy hike. It wasn’t a tough choice for us to decide our route to ride and glide.
Skiers careened down the hill and the sound system thumped in time to every cheer from the frigid crowd. It wasn’t my first time at a World Cup competition. My husband’s younger brother was on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team a few years ago, so I’d been to a few competitions but, it was my first year inside Deer Valley’s World Cup VIP tent.
Once again Deer Valley Resort’s attention to detail and levels of service were represented at every turn.
The VIP tent sits at the base of the competition run so spectators can eat, drink and cheer on their favorites in a private, outdoor area, or hop inside the tent to warm up. There, ticket holders nosh on some of Deer Valley’s most popular menu items while standing next athletes from around the world who are all oogling Deer Valley’s famous chili. Rubbing shoulders with champions while eating award-winning food? I’ll take seconds!
The tent is a temporary structure that sits squarely on the ski hill. It takes ten chefs to prepare and serve dinner and drinks to 800 guests and competitors for two hours on each of the competition’s four nights.
How does Deer Valley do it?
“We bring everything up by snowmobile. It’s quite a production,” explains Executive Chef Jodie Rogers with a knowing smile. Each fork, each bag of fresh spinach and every case of wine is scurried up the hill in special containers stacked on sleds behind the snow mobiles. Now that’s what I call take-out.
It takes 6 months of planning to execute the event, according to Rogers. Menu planning, delivery logistics and food prep are all part of the plan.
I asked her what the most popular items are? If there are any favorites that people always request? “We always serve the Deer Valley Turkey Chili and the Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo,” she replied. “But every year we add a few new items, too.”
One of last year’s new dishes was the Broccoli and Beluga Lentil Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing, of which I had two servings. Yep, in my opinion, it should definitely make a return appearance.
But what was our favorite menu item of the night? Probably one that a lot of people missed because it was so unassuming. It was the Milk Chocolate Praline Crackle. After the fourth or maybe nineteenth piece, my husband couldn’t take it anymore. “I could eat this until I throw up,” he declared as he took yet another bite. “This stuff shouldn’t be legal.”
A smart move, because it made the ride back to the city and our memories of the World Cup at Deer Valley, that much sweeter.
The food is plentiful as are the drinks. My glass of Chardonnay warmed me up from the inside out while my husband went for a local brew. We bopped inside and out before dinner was served, checking out the fans and the athletes on and off the ski runs.
Have you been inside the VIP tent at Deer Valley Resort’s Freestyle World Cup? Are you going this year? Do you want a Milk Chocolate Praline Crackle? Tell me in the comments below or send me a Tweet at
@foodiecrush or @.