Deer Valley Resort is Your Mother’s Day Answer

It may be “shoulder season” here at the resort but Deer Valley can be the perfect choice for your Mother’s Day gifts and celebrations.

Deer Valley Grocery~Café will be having a special menu this Sunday, May 12 for Mother’s Day. Enjoy deck dining and Deer Valley Specialties from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

While you’re at the Grocery~Café enjoy some of our signature items while dining in or take them to go.

For the diehard Deer Valley Moms we have great gift ideas, such as logo wear, jewelry, blankets, etc. available online and  at our Deer Valley Signature’s Store located on 625 Main Street, Park City, UT. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can also purchase many more Deer Valley items and our entire gourmet food line online.

Deer Valley Resort gift cards are also available in-store or online and can be redeemed for any Deer Valley amenity.

So I Guess Snow has a Purpose…

Hating no feeling in my toes, not wanting to look like a total spazz and hating snow were all major causes of me hating skiing… and winter. However, I must confess that even though I had never tried skiing, it sure sounded like something that I would hate. Then finally after 21 years of being completely adamant about not skiing, I was given enough grief that I thought I’d give it a try. Living in Utah which has The Greatest Snow on Earth®, being only 20 minutes away from the best ski resort in the country and being given this opportunity, I’d be crazy to not at least try, right?

Fast forward to the actual morning of my first lesson and the decision seemed a whole lot less great then I had previously assumed. While driving up the canyon I couldn’t help but assume the worst; that I’d be awful, everyone would see me fall on my face, that my instructor would give up and say I was a lost cause, etc. But now, I can say with certainty, that if you’re going to learn to ski (when you suffer from over thinking like I do) the only place to do it is Deer Valley. When I reached the resort I looked around and was truly blown away. Not only by the people in epic snow gear, but also how beautiful the snow was, how cozy and warm the lodge was and how everyone was in this insanely cheerful-happy-to-be-alive mood. Needless to say, I was in love with the environment and ready to pack up and move there. But in all seriousness, even just being around people who love to ski that much was infectious and a lot of my nervousness went away just by being there.

I went to the ski rental shop and got my boots, skis, poles, and the name of my own private instructor (feeling pretty legit at this point). And then I looked outside and it all became very real: the bunny hill in all its glory. I walked out and was instantly greeted by a very smiley man in a very green ski outfit who pointed me in the direction of my instructor Eddy. Eddy, from Michigan, who was so nice and made me feel sure that I was in good hands. Eddy told me that I was lucky to learn from him because he knew all the secrets and was going to make me a pro in no time. “I’m going to show you that you already know all the things you need to ski, but you just didn’t know you knew it.” Sounded good enough to me because the easier the better and a lower chance that I would look lame.

We went inside first and did some very basic things like walking and standing which I’m already good at, so my self-confidence was soaring pretty high. Eddy reassured me that being on skis would be just as easy if I just gave it a chance and listened to what he had to say. After I was feeling like I could take on just about any run, I actually got on to a pair of skis and felt a whole lot less confident. Eddy taught me the basics of getting in and out of skis, walking, turning (a lot harder than one would think) and finally how to move enough to get to the chairlift. As odd as it sounds, the chairlift was the thing that I was most worried about. After Eddy reassured me about seven times that it really wasn’t that bad we pushed our way up and got on the chairlift. It was truly that simple, which is a very obvious statement, but really not bad at all and probably the silliest fear ever.

After we got of the lift with no problems, because Eddy is a chairlift master (or it’s just super easy to get off a chairlift) we made our way to my very first attempt at skiing down a mountain. Eddy turned around and skied backwards while teaching me the ‘wedge’ technique which is how you stop. We went down the hill three times just practicing the wedge and learning how to stop which was probably the most important thing I learned. As Eddy put it,” The two things that you should have learned by the end of the lesson are: how to get control and how to keep it.” I truly could not have had a better experience learning how to ski. Eddy and all of the staff were so nice and so patient that I felt completely at ease to take things as slow as I needed and that made all the difference. By the end of the half day lesson I was parallel skiing down the mountain with no problem! It truly seemed like a miracle but I was assured that it actually happens all the time which is neat but made me feel less like a natural skier pro extraordinaire.

After a fantastic BLT from the Deer Valley Grocery ~Cafe and repeatedly boasting to my sister that “I killed it” and was “practically the next Lindsey Vonn” I realized that skiing was something that I could learn to actually like. I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t hard but I would say that it was way more fun than it was effort. I can’t wait for my next lesson so that I can get even better and feel even more comfortable skiing.

JF Lanvers caught up with me during my lesson and captured the whole thing on video.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Jodie Rogers, Deer Valley Executive Chef shared the recipe for Deer Valley’s

Hot (Haute) Chocolate, with an adult beverage twist.

Hot Haute Chocolate

Yields: 50 Ounces, 2 oz. servings.

-10 oz. Dried Milk Powder, Grind in Cuisinart before measuring

-1 lb. Vanilla sugar (To make vanilla sugar grind seeds of 2 vanilla beans with 32 ounces of sugar in Cuisinart)

- ¾ Teaspoon Salt

- ¾ Teaspoon Cinnamon

- 3 pinches of cayenne

- ¼ Teaspoon Espresso Powder (optional)

- Peppermint Schnapps add to taste

[Note: 8 ounces of mix to 2 cups of boiling water. Individual serving is 2 ounces to ½ cup water, use less water if a richer flavor is preferred.

1)      Make Vanilla Sugar. Keep as mise en place.

2)      Combine all ingredients, whisk to combine well

3)      Add espresso powder if desired

4)      Add Peppermint Schnapps to taste

5)      Serve with whipped cream and a candy cane

You can also stop by Deer Valley Grocery ~Café to try a Hot Haute Chocolate.

 

If you are also looking for food for your Christmas, let the Elves do the cooking!

Deer Valley is offering a Christmas take-away menu this year. All orders must be received by Thursday, December 22nd and may be picked up December 24th after noon or Sunday, December 25th by 6:30 p.m.  435-615-2400

Items available on the menu:

WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE ~ wild mushrooms, shallots, red wine, beef stock (32 oz, serves 4-6) ~ $12.00

LEMON THYME SAUCE ~ turkey gravy, fresh thyme, lemon (32 oz, serves 4-6) ~ $12.00

**CRANBERRY CHUTNEY ~ cranberries, mango chutney  (16oz) ~ $10.75 ~ GF

*DEER VALLEY ROASTED GARLIC MASHERS ~ new red potatoes, roasted garlic (serves 4) ~ $12.00 ~ GF

**STEAMED GREEN BEANS ~ sautéed shiitake mushrooms, garlic enhanced olive oil, toasted almond and red chard garnish (serves 4) ~ $12.00 ~ GF

*ROASTED ACORN SQUASH ~ Jack Daniels brown sugar butter, (serves 4) ~ $12.00 (GF by request)

*HOMEMADE STRUAN BREAD, WILD RICE STUFFING granny smith apples, dried cranberries, wild mushrooms, shallots, fresh sage (serves 4) ~ $9.50 add chicken and apple sausage ~ $12.00

*Vegetarian  **Vegan  GF=gluten free

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.”

 

 

 

 

Thanks for Another Great Season!

It is hard to believe that our 30th winter season has just come to a close.  Thank you to everyone who visited this year!

Deer Valley Ski Patrol on Closing Day (photo: Matt DeWaard)

If you made it up here over closing weekend, you know that the snow conditions actutally felt like mid- January.  The season ended with back-to-back powder days!

Our summer season of lift-served hiking, biking and scenic rides is scheduled to begin on June 17 (conditions permitting). We will keep you updated on summer operations as there is still A LOT of snow that needs to melt. The resort closed on Sunday, April 10 with an impressive snow base depth of 132 inches!

In the meantime, you can still enjoy some of your favorite Deer Valley foods.  Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe is staying open year-round and will continue to offer a changing daily selection of freshly-made on-site and to-go items throughout the spring and summer.  Hours will be expanded to 8:30 p.m. to include dinner service during Deer Valley’s summer season.  Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe has a beautiful deck overlooking the Deer Valley duck ponds and will continue deck service throughout the spring and summer as weather allows.

Deer Valley Grocery~Cafe

 

Thanks again for a wonderful ski season!