A mouth-watering evening at Recycle Utah’s 100 Mile Meal
Where does your food come from? That was the question posed to diners at Recycle Utah’s 8th annual 100 Mile Meal, a fundraising event held on Saturday Aug. 12.
The sold-out dining experience ($250 per person), hosted for the first time at Red Pine Lodge, offered attendees the opportunity to enjoy a meal crafted entirely from ingredients grown or produced by 37 Utah-based contributors, all located within a 100-mile radius of the event.
The night began with a gondola ride in Park City Mountain’s new Red Pine Gondola cabins. We were greeted with glasses of champagne and directed to our assigned tables, invited to mingle and enjoy a cocktail hour with complimentary craft cocktails and bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. Recycle Utah staff and board members, as well as farmers, growers and contributors, wore name tags to encourage conversation.
About 200 guests were present, dressed in their “cowboy boot casual” attire. It was a comfortable summer evening, the high-altitude chill balancing a warm, setting sun. I sipped on the “Minted Berry bourbon Sour” featuring Alpine Distilling’s American Whiskey, a mixed berry juice made with berries from Tagge’s Famous Fruit & Veggie Farm, honey from Slide Ridge and a mint garnish grown by Summit Community Gardens and EATS. The drink was pleasantly tart and had a beautiful dark-purple color.
The meal, prepared by Chef Matthew Booth, Chef Gregory Hansen and the Park City Mountain Culinary Team, was artfully created and plated from start to finish. Sallie Rinderknecht, the “Farm Friend” or purveyor who connected with farmers, explained the process of creating a locally-sourced meal. “I’m really passionate about eating in season. And eating in season means, it grows today and we eat it,” said Rinderknecht. “We have to wait for Mother Nature to provide the things … so we work around with what’s available.” Then the chef takes it from there.
During the cocktail hour, guests were invited to sample six different appetizers, each one packed with local farm ingredients. I tried the “4 Way Mushroom Flatbread,” a salty bite featuring six producers, and the “Lamb Tartare,” beautifully served in a porcelain soup spoon and featuring nine producers.
We were seated for dinner around 7 p.m., starting with a refreshing soup dish served cold. This “Chicken Terrine with Heirloom Tomato Consumé” had a range of textures, from the crunch of pickled veggies and potatoes to the soft bite of poultry from 3 Springs Land and Livestock’s chicken, to the thin tomato broth. Next came a “Stone Fruit Panzanella Salad” served family style. “This could be my whole meal, how delicious!” exclaimed the guest to my left. A crowd pleaser, the salad was lightly dressed in a honey wine vinaigrette which balanced the sweetness of the stone fruit and melon, and soaked perfectly into toasted cubes of Red Bicycle Breadworks’ bread.
Next came the five entrees, also served family-style. We passed around plates of roasted veggies, an egg and potato salad, roasted chicken, bone marrow buttered beef and baby back ribs. A classier version of the summer barbecue meals I enjoyed growing up, it was an assortment with thoughtful preparation given to each ingredient.
As the meal settled before desert, a series of speeches were delivered to remind guests about the underlying purpose of the night. “Here at Recycle Utah, our vision is to empower people to live sustainable lives,” said Carolyn Wawra, the nonprofit’s executive director. After speaking, she brought up Mitch Dumke from 3 Springs Land and Livestock, who shared the farm’s passion for regenerative farming and soil health.
Events like Recycle Utah’s 100 Mile Meal are important to raise awareness and spread the word about eating locally. “These farmers in Utah who grow 3% of what we eat, we have to support them. We have to protect their lands. We have to honor them by eating their food. And so this fits right in with that, and it’s important,” said Rinderknecht.
The 37 local growers and producers who contributed to the evening were listed on the back of the night’s menu and included: 3 Springs Land & Livestock, 44 Magnum Farm & Ranch, Alpine Distilling, Auntie Em’s Baked Goods, Ballerina Farm, Beehive Cheese Company, Canyon Meadows Ranch, Casperville Creations, Copper Moose Farm, Daily Rise Coffee Park City, Farmer Next Door, Fog River, Gracie’s Farm at Blue Sky, Healing Seeds Farm, Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, Intermountain Gourmet, Ioulia Greek Olive Oil Co., L2 Leavitt Ranch, MadSnacks Produce, Mountain Town Olive Oil Co., Mountain View Mushrooms, Old Town Cellars, Park City Creamery, Red Bicycle Breadworks, Red Rock Brewing, Root Revival, Rustling Aspen Farm, Slide Ridge, Smith Orchards, Solstice Spices, Stillwater Farms, Summit Community Gardens and EATS, Swire Coca-Cola, Tagge’s Famous Fruit & Veggie Farms, Top Shelf Services, Twigg & Branch Gardens and Weeks Berries of Paradise.
Rounding out the night, guests enjoyed a sweet finish with the “Peach Berry Pie” by Auntie Em’s Baked Goods and a “Ricotta and Honey Cheesecake.” With bellies and hearts full from an evening with like-minded supporters of environment-loving action, guests made their way back down the mountain.
This curated evening did not disappoint. This annual event will return next year.
Though there is currently a crosswalk painted onto the road where the accident happened, Heber City Police Department Deputy Chief Jeremy Nelson said he doesn’t believe the lights set in place to alert drivers of a crossing pedestrian are yet in operation.
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