On Aug. 2, over 50 chefs will gather to feed the masses in the serene beauty of Solitude Mountain Resort. Taste of the Wasatch is an annual fundraiser for Utahns Against Hunger, The Green Urban Lunchbox and 3 Squares, Inc. There are a staggering 440,000 households in Utah that don’t have enough food to eat, and there are people working hard to change that sad statistic. SLUG had the opportunity to sit down with Karen Zabriskie, the event Chairperson, to delve deeper into one of Utah’s most popular and tasty fundraisers, Taste of the Wasatch.
Right away she wanted me to know that there were many people involved in the success of Taste of the Wasatch. “There is no one person,” says Zabriskie. “A group of 300 volunteers makes this all happen—bussing dishes, washing dishes, cleaning up after the event and countless other things. The chefs and restaurants are phenomenal. They work their butts off, donating their food and time.”
Over the past few years of attending the event, we’ve both tried some of the most original and intriguing dishes, which is one reason that this event is unique. The chefs really try to impress the guests with new dishes and interesting flavor combinations. We drooled over the menu, talking about what dishes we were going to try this year. We’re both looking forward to the soup from Chaia Cucina Catering, a chilled cauliflower and white chocolate bisque with roasted cauliflower relish and mint oil. Riverhorse on Main’s contribution, a butter poached lobster with grapes and sweet wine, sounds delicious, and Lydia’s Locals will offer a booth full of local treasures like Laziz Hummus, Moore Bread and Heber Valley Cheese. The event’s full menu is available on the website to tempt your taste buds. If you’re on the fence about buying your ticket, ponder the menu. You won’t be disappointed.
“It’s all about strategic eating,” Zabriskie says thoughtfully. “There are many restaurants, desserts and beverages to try. You have to pace yourself and taste everything—and wear good shoes.” (Solitude’s gopher holes and uneven lawn are not stiletto-friendly.) Zabriskie offers other words of advice: “Be sure to wear sunscreen and find a designated driver, or better yet, stay overnight at Solitude!”
There will be plenty of tasty libations including beer from Uinta Brewery and Wasatch Brewery. The wine options have been curated by Jim Santangelo, Wine Academy of Utah and Mikel Trapp, owner and Operating Partner of Fresco Italian Café, Café Trio, Café Trio Cottonwood and Current Fish & Oyster. Each year, I fall in love with a new wine! It’s a great opportunity to sample away and jot down a few notes.
Besides food and drink, there will be a live auction hosted by Ken Verdoia, with plenty of awesome stuff to bid on like a Winter Getaway from Stein Eriksen Lodge, two airline tickets from Alaska Airlines and a Deer Valley Ski Package. There will also be a silent auction, if you like to get tipsy and bid on things like I do. (Hey—it’s for a good cause!)
General Admission tickets are available for $90. What do you get for your admission? Inspired dishes from the best restaurants in the state, plenty of wine and beer and, most importantly, a happy feeling of doing something good. As a General Admission alumni, here are a few tips: Get there early-ish to find a good, shady spot. Bring camping chairs, umbrellas and blankets—short of making a blanket fort on the lawn, you and your guest will be comfy while you chow down and enjoy your beverages.
Also, read my review of last year’s event!
Taste of the Wasatch is this Sunday, August 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.