Julie Wilson awarded Park City Business Woman of the Year
Parkite Julie Wilson said she’s always loved to cook.
"I’ve been cooking professionally since I was 16," Wilson said. "I always loved cooking, [it] was always my passion."
The director of food and beverages at Deer Valley Resort has not only lived out her passion and perfected it, but has also shared it with the community, as well as visitors, since she moved to Park City 27 years ago. Wednesday night at Goldener Hirsch in Deer Valley, Wilson was honored for her achievements as a professional woman in working in Park City, with the "Business Woman of the Year" award from the Park City Woman’s Business Network (WBN).
"I’m very honored," Wilson said of the award.
President of the WBN Lori Harris said Wilson was nominated and selected for the award by members of the community.
"We went out to the community and [asked people to] tell us who in the community is a long-time business woman that you would suggest as a woman to win this award," Harris said. "We had a lot of names [suggested] and, but Julie’s kept coming back."
WBN Scholarship Director Candy Erickson said the WBN board of directors decided to vote for Wilson because she has been an upstanding member of the community for many years.
"Julie was our overall favorite due to her years in town and her longevity and her ability to adapt and build great teams and keep Deer Valley No. 1 in the food [industry] everywhere," Erikson said.
Wilson has been the food and beverage director for Deer Valley for 23 years. She started working in Deer Valley in 1981 as manager of the Silver Lake Lodge and became the food and beverage director in 1983.
Originally from Northern Illinois, Wilson’s passion for cooking became a job after she visited her cousins on Nantucket island as a teenager. She said she wanted to stay on the island for the summer, but her mother told her she would have to find work or she had to come home.
"My mother said if I couldn’t find a job in two weeks, I would have to come home to Illinois, so I ran into an older gentleman in Nantucket and he asked if I would cook for his family for the summer," Wilson said. "I said ‘sure’ and rest of my summer I spent up to my nose enjoying cooking."
This further ignited Wilson’s passion for cooking. Wilson spent two years at the University of Vermont in the special education department, but eventually ventured off to the LaVarenne culinary arts school in France to pursue her dream.
Wilson said her friend, Michelle Tezak, was living in Utah and her parents owned a reception center. The two wanted to open a restaurant, so Wilson moved to Utah and Tezak’s parents opened part of their reception center for a lunch restaurant the women called "Déjeuner," which means "lunch" in French.
Wilson said the restaurant became so popular, her friend’s parents decided to turn the entire reception center over to the restaurant.
After doing that for some time, Wilson eventually made it out to Park City. She married her long-time sweetheart, Heggie, and became the food and beverage director.
Wilson said she has always loved her job and the people she’s worked with.
"It’s always challenging but the people I work with make it successful," she said.
"I very rarely ever dread going to work and I don’t’ even remember the last time I did."
When asked what it is she does to keep the Deer Valley restaurants’ dinner menus
on top, Wilson thanks the people she works with, but she also said she adheres to a
"I’m lucky enough to have executive chefs and managers, as well, that have the
passion to be in food and beverage business," she said. "I think that, if anything,
I’ve just brought the Deer Valley philosophy of attention to detail to the food."
Wilson said she loves Park City and enjoys being able to "walk out the back door
and be on a biking trail or snow shoeing or ski trail."
She and Heggie live in Silver Springs with their children, 18-year-old son Tres
and 15-year-old daughter, Hannah.
She said the best advice she can give to people is to live their dreams.
"I would say anybody at all, woman or man, follow your passion, do what you
love to do."
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When it comes to the U.S. census, let’s just say Park City has… room for improvement.