A classic pairing of Food and Wine in Park City
Participants in the Park City Food and Wine Classic events will take full advantage of the outdoor recreational activities offered in the area.
They will mountain bike, hike, go stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and even shoot skeet.
This idea has been a part of the Classic since Team Player Productions established it a decade ago, said company president Jason Ornstein.
"We like to do the outdoor things and get people exposed to the beautiful attributes of Park City while burning some calories," Ornstein said during an interview he and event director Katie Schultze conducted with The Park Record. "Then at the end of those excursions, they’ll have the opportunity to sample wines and enjoy wonderful food pairings afterwards."
The 2014 Park City Food and Wine Classic will converge on the town from Wednesday, July 9, through Sunday, July 13. (See accompanying story titled "The schedule for the 2014 Food & Wine Classic")
The event is a fundraiser for the People’s Health Clinic, a nonprofit organization that provides medical services to the under- and uninsured residents of Summit and Wasatch counties, Ornstein said.
"They are a great local organization and I know there is a passion for them in the community and we’ve gotten to know the director [Nann Worel], and the folks that work there," he said. "They work for a great cause and a benefit for the Park City community."
Ornstein can’t believe the festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
"It has grown every year and it’s been great," he said.
The secret of the Food and Wine Classic’s longevity is how the production team adds new elements to the schedule.
"We always try to change some of the events and seminars," Ornstein said. "We like to change our lifestyles seminars a bit."
One new event is titled Guns and Rosés that will be held at Victory Ranch in Kamas on Thursday.
"Folks will head to Victory Ranch to shoot some clay pigeons and then sample some wonderful rosé wines afterwards," Ornstein said. "Granted, people will not be drinking before they shooting."
Ornstein is looking forward to a more intimate event called the Taste of Waldorf that will be hosted Thursday night at the Waldorf Astoria at Canyons.
"It’s going to be a pretty unique dinner this year," Ornstein said "It’s a sit-down, five-course pairing and we’ll have many of the Waldorf chefs from around the country coming in to do this event.
"It will be a great opportunity to sample some fine cuisines and pairings," he said. "I think people will be in for a wonderful treat."
A fairly new event will be the SUP and Suds, which is a stand-up paddleboarding event that will feature a sampling of craft beers afterwards on Thursday and Friday.
"We tried it last year for the first time and had an event on Deer Valley Lake and then had a picnic at Deer Valley Café," Schultze explained. "It went so well last year that we’re holding two this year."
Park City SUP’s Trent Hickman, a member of the World Paddle Association who participates in competitions around the world, Schultze said, will lead the sessions.
"Participants will be on the lake for about an hour, receiving instruction from Trent and his team from PC SUP, and then we’ll have another picnic at Deer Valley Club with local beers from Wasatch Brew Pub," she said.
The introduction to craft beers seemed like a natural for the Food and Wine Classic, and brewers have talked with Team Player Production for the past few years about integrating artisan beers into the Classic, according to Ornstein.
"The Classic is not just about wine and food, but also the artistry of food and drink," he said. "Craft beers are very popular right now and Utah has its own craft brewers."
Another beer event this year is the Beer-B-Q on Friday.
"The event will take place poolside at the Waldorf Astoria," Schultze said. "We are working with some of Utah’s finest local beers and the event will feature brews from Epic, Squatters, Red Rock, Wasatch, Bohemian, Schaffer Pales, to name a few."
"The wonderful chefs at Waldorf will create and pair up some barbecues with these Utah craft beers," Ornstein said.
As in the past, the Park City Food and Wine Classic will feature favorite events such as Wine on the Mountain, which is the kickoff at St. Regis on Thursday night and the Friday Night Stroll on Main Street and the Saturday Grand Tasting at Canyons.
"Those are our mainstays," Ornstein said.
A new element at the Grand Tasting and the SensEATion closing party will be sake.
The Grand Tasting will be held at Canyons Resort and the SensEATion closing party will be at the Montage Deer Valley. Both events will be held Saturday.
"Sake is growing in popularity and patrons will get a chance to learn a little more about it between these two events," Schultze said.
There will be 75 tables at the Grand Tasting, she said.
"When all is said and done, there will be more than 500 opportunities available for tasters to explore," according to Schultze.
In order to select the different vintners for the Park City Food and Wine Classic, Team Player Productions goes through hundreds of applications each year.
"It’s as if they are selecting us," Ornstein said. "They submit their applications and then it’s space permitting. As long as we have room, we’re happy to have them showcase their products."
Ornstein also looks for unique products as well.
"We don’t want to offer the every-day thing that people can get at the store,’ he said.
In addition to the domestic and international wines available for tasting at this year’s festival, Utah will be represented as well.
"IG Winery and the Hive Winery are both Utah based and will be there at the festival," Schultze said.
The Park City Food & Wine Classic will be held this year from Wednesday, July 9, through Sunday, July 13. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfoodandwineclassic.com.
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