Silly summer Sundays on Main Street
June 8, 2012
The Park Silly Sunday Market has introduced local residents and tourists to some of the town’s interesting and quaint businesses over the past six year.
This time around, the environmentally friendly open-air festival held on Main Street each Sunday throughout the summer beginning June 10, is giving two high-end restaurants a chance introduce themselves to the public.
Chefs Clark Norris and Clement Gelas from the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley and Waldorf Astoria at Canyons, respectively, will debut the Featured Chef Presentation at Park Silly this year.
Originally conceived of as a chef competition, the event has gone through some changes, said Ryan Cray, media relations representative for the Park Silly Sunday Market.
"We did something like this in the past, and this year, we’re trying to rebrand it to make it more appealing to people," Cray explained to The Park Record. "It is basically a way for businesses to be exposed to the community and to tourists who are visiting Park City. The tourists are always looking for a good restaurant to go to, so when the chefs give out their samples, they are encouraging people to go to their restaurants and try them out."
The concept now is to have chefs prepare sample dishes at the market in a small tent on Main Street in the morning and then have them give a presentation on the main stage around 1 p.m.
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"The Featured Chefs Presentations are scheduled throughout the summer," Cray said. "This week and next week, the presentation will feature two chefs, while some of the other weeks will be focused on one particular restaurant or business."
Norris, the executive chef at Silver Lake Lodge, which includes the Mariposa and the Royal Street Café in Deer Valley, said he doesn’t quite know what to expect this Sunday.
"The plan, so far, is for us to meet at 10 o’clock and then cook something up in a kiosk and have at least 100 complementary samples of the dishes we cook," said Norris, who has been working at Deer Valley for 30 years. "Perhaps Clement and I will re-orchestrate our segment when we get there, but we’ll be ready to whip something up."
Their ingredients will include ahi tuna and mangos.
"What we’re going to do is not really a challenge, because the food won’t be judged," Norris explained. "I had asked the Park Silly team about that and they said everyone is a winner in their book.
"So, we’re going to use the opportunity to promote our restaurants," he said. "It’s not going to be Clark Norris shooting it out with Clement Gelas on Main Street at high noon."
As a child living in Salt Lake, Norris, who became executive chef in 1988 and was invited to cook at the James Beard Foundation in 1990, watched his father and mother cook.
"I became very interested in what they were doing and got into it myself and helped them prepare meals," he said. "I relished when I was able to cook an entire meal myself. I liked to get up and cook Sunday breakfast for the family. I loved the creative aspects about it."
He is curious to see what Park Silly Sunday Market has in store for him.
"I have never been to Park Silly Sunday Market because it’s held on Sundays in the afternoon and that’s the time I’m working up at Royal Street from mid June until after Labor Day," he said. "The market looks like it gathers quite a crowd and appears to be a great concept for Park City."
Although he understands the interest in celebrity-chef cook offs and TV programs, he believes they do a disservice for restaurant workers.
"A few years ago, you always heard of chefs that threw pans and screamed and got all irate, but with the way things are from a human resources standpoint in this day and age, you really can’t behave like that and get away with it in a professional workplace," he said. "I have never treated my employees with that kind of disrespect. It paints kind of a misrepresentative picture of what chefs are in my opinion."
Norris also feels the regimented angry chef persona, while entertaining, is on its way out.
"I have always been one to stay under the radar and go about my business and do my job and that is quite consuming in itself," he said. "We at Deer Valley have received many accolades over the years and it’s very challenging to maintain that status and representation, especially lately when you have world-class resorts and restaurants coming into Park City the last few years."
On the other hand, Gelas, executive chef of Waldorf Astoria, said he enjoys watching and participating in chef competitions.
"These are fun for us as chefs, because by nature, we just love to compete with each other, because we work on the pressure 95 percent of the time anyway." said Gelas, a former executive chef at Wahso who was born in France. "It’s not really about winning, but being part of a competition, even though there are really no winners at the end of the day.
"I think cooking on the Main Stage will be a fun time for us to interact with the crowd, and introduce people to our resorts and interact with each other," he said. "We will have a few team members with us to help us cook, and I look forward to working with Chef Norris because I had never met him before and it’s nice to meet people in our industry."
"I have never participated in the Park Silly Market and I am looking forward to meeting more people in the community and to get our name out there," Gelas said. "There are many people who don’t know the Waldorf Astoria is here even though people all over the world do."
The Featured Chef Presentation isn’t the only new attraction at the Park Silly Market this year, said sponsor coordinator Beth Moon.
The kids activity area will feature two new bounc houses and the adult beverage area, the Swilly Market, will have some new offerings this year.
"We’re staying as close to local as possible and we are featuring a new vodka out of Ogden called Five Wives," she said. "We will also feature Uintah Brewing Company Beers and Fetzer Wines from Colorado coming in."
This year also marks the first time all three area ski resorts are sponsoring the market.
"Park City Mountain Resort has been with us since the beginning and they are our zero-waste sponsor and help make the market green," Moon said. "Canyons comes in this year and has become our headlining sponsor for the Silly Fest, the last Sunday event of our market and Deer Valley has come on board for the first time this year."
High Star Ranch and Ol’ Miner’s Car Wash sponsor Park Silly’s farmer’s market section, which will feature fresh produce and gourmet foods from Utah farmers.
"We’ll also be holding the Whimsy Fashion Show and offer some sort of audience participation sessions each week that will include zumba or yoga," Moon said.
On Aug. 12, the Tour of Utah will come through town and the Silly Market will shift its location to accommodate the bicyclists that will ride through town, according to Moon.
"For the first time, the Park Silly Sunday Market will be set up at from the top of Main Street to the post office, to keep lower Main open for the race," she said.
Of course, the market wouldn’t be complete without entertainment.
Kimberly Kuehn, CEO and co-founder of the Park Silly Sunday Market, said they are spending $10,000 more this year for than in the past for music.
"We work with Mountain Town Music to schedule our music," Kuehn said. "Brian Richards of Mountain Town Music is booking the artists. He’s been a really good friend of mine and we’ve been working together for years and he’s been doing some cool stuff."
One of those bands is the March Fourth Marching Band, that not only features brass instruments, but a funky electric bass, costumes, vocalists and other entertainers.
"It is a circus, a musical parade that has jugglers and stilt walkers," Kuehn said. "They will start at the top of Main Street and play as they march down the street."
However, Kuehn hasn’t forgotten the purpose of the Park Silly Market.
"We are a community market for people who want to sell their things, but we are also a grass-roots forum for local bands. If they want to launch a CD or have their first experience on stage they come to us."
The Park Silly Sunday Market will be held every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. from June 10, until Sept. 23. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.parksillysundaymarket.com.