The Savory Flavors of Utah’s Award-Winning Cuisine
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Given Utah's associations with everything Mormon, you might imagine that the food in the nation's 45th state would be heavily influenced by restraint and restriction. Yet Utah is rapidly making a name for itself in the culinary world as an attractive option for epicurean enthusiasts and gourmet-seeking travelers.
In a state where exercising comes from a day spent skiing the Wasatch Mountains or hiking one of the state's five national parks, visitors can leave the guilt back home and visit Utah to indulge in sweet offerings of freshly-produced cheeses, sweet treats, and locally-crafted beers.
The concept of "farm to table" dining is prevalent amongst Utah's culinary establishments. A bounty of family-owned and -operated farms produces food that is as delicious as it is fresh, allowing visitors to experience culinary wonders across the state.
Beehive Cheese Company, for example, was a recent winner of two First Place ribbons at the 2011 American Cheese Society Annual Cheese Competition in Montreal, Québec.
Located in a valley near Wasatch Mountains, all Beehive cheeses are hand-crafted using local ingredients such as the first-class-grade whole milk from Jersey cows at nearby Ogden’s Wadeland South Dairy.
Beehive’s cheeses carry deliciously coveted undertones of Utah’s unique high-desert and four-season ecosystem. Barely Buzzed, one of Beehive’s award winners, is a lavender-and-espresso-rubbed cheese - and once you taste its smooth and fragrant bouquet, you’ll be smitten by Beehive.
For sausage aficionados, Creminelli Fine meats has been producing artisan meat products in Salumificio di Vigliano, northern Italy, as far back as the 1600s according to family legend. In 2007, Cristiano Creminelli brought the family tradition to Salt Lake City where he officially launched the production of Creminelli Fine Meats in America.
Creminelli is dedicated to providing the highest quality artisan-style products made with carefully selected natural and organic raw materials to provide the most delicious of traditions locally.
Some of the nation’s most outstanding chocolate comes from Amano Artisan Chocolates, located 40 miles south of Salt Lake City in the Wastach Mountains. The Amano Artisan Chocolate Factory Store produces quality and flavorful chocolates that have received world-wide recognition and most recently received the title of "Outstanding Fine Chocolate Maker, 2010" by the Fine Chocolate Industry Association.
Available at the factory store location only, visitors can choose from the entire Amano assortment of chocolate bars as well as chocolate truffles made by pastry chef Rebecca Millican.
For those seeking out legenadary whiskey, High West Distillery and Saloon is the world’s only ski-in distillery and gastro-saloon. High West offers a truly unique experience, 7000 feet above sea level in Park City.
High West began with one man’s passion to make a great Rocky Mountain Whiskey, a legend that continues today as the Rendezvous Rye High West Whiskey was recently awarded 95 points by Malt Advocate Magazine and won "Best Rye Whiskey" in the 2010 American Distilling Institute Craft Whiskey Competition.
And for fine dining, Utah’s most savvy culinary enthusiasts head to Salt Lake City’s Forage. Forage provides a deeply personal rendition of gourmet cuisine, one where non-typical methods of cooking meet tradition, refinement, imagination, and the best local ingredients to create an unforgettable experience. Forage Restaurant owners and chefs Bowman Brown and Viet Pham, believe that a great meal is more than just good food and wine, and that a great restaurant does more than just satiate hunger.
Forage Chef Viet Pham was born in Malaysia in 1979 as his parents left Vietnam as "boat people" refugees. Pham credits his parents with giving him a love for food and cooking.
"Just watching them in the kitchen," Pham recalls, "and seeing how much they enjoyed cooking together and how much everyone enjoyed their food at family gatherings really resonated with me."
Pham’s Scallop Sashimi with Meyer Lemon Confit dish gained him a nod from Food & Wine Magazine’s editors as one of the 10 Best Restaurant Dishes of 2010.
Pham also earned a nomination from Food & Wine for The People’s Best New Chef: Southwest and went on to win the title of Food & Wine Best New Chef 2011. The James Beard Foundation nominated Pham for Best Chef: Southwest in 2011. Pham will appear in the second season of Food Network’s "Extreme Chef" in 2012.
Deeply committed to taking each diner on a memorable journey, dining at Forage offers the kind of experience where no detail is left unattended. Forage Restaurant has emerged as a top eatery in the area, winning Salt Lake City Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2010 and Best Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2011.
Another of Salt Lake City’s fine dining choice is The Copper Onion, located in the heart of downtown. The Copper Onion is one of the newest additions to the growing Utah "foodie" scene.
Former New York City chef (and native Utahn), Ryan Lowder, brings his personal take on New American cuisine to his own kitchen with an approach inspired by his passion for Utah’s outstanding farmstead ingredients and his experience as a chef cooking his way through Barcelona, New York City and South America.
The Copper Onion serves a wide array of vegetable side dishes and a menu designed to explore and share. An insistent focus on the freshest and best is paramount; sausages and burgers are ground daily, bread is baked and ice cream is made in house, all offering casual diners an exceptional experience at affordable prices.
Home to five national parks, 43 state parks, seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and "The Greatest Snow on Earth®," Utah represents the best of both the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest.
Whether it’s heart-thumping downhill skiing, picturesque fly fishing, life-defying rock climbing, serene bird watching, thrill-seeking white water rafting, or savoring some of the state’s locally-sourced gastronomy, Utah has it all.
DETAILS AND FURTHER INFO:
A comprehensive list of locally-produced or -grown Utah culinary goods can be found on www.utahsown.com
Beehive Cheese Company: Visitors can experience first-hand the art of cheese making via tours led by the owners themselves. To learn more, visit www.beehivecheese.com
Creminelli Fine Meats - The Creminelli family; additional details available at www.creminelli.com.
Amano Artisan Chocolates: To purchase, visit www.amanochocolate.com
High West Distillery and Saloon: For more information, visit www.highwest.com
Forage: Full menu and restaurant information available at www.foragerestaurant.com
The Copper Onion: For more information, visit www.thecopperonion.com
To contact the Utah Office of Tourism or to view the Utah Travel Guide online, please visit www.visitutah.com
Follow Utah on Twitter at www.Twitter@VisitUtah