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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

ChefDance at Sundance

Beetroot Macaroon, Foie Gras, Sherry Reduction
While I didn't get to watch any films at the Sundance Film Festival, nor did I do any skiing on the famous Park City slopes, I did get to attend one event worthy of noting (other than the party at which I cooked).  MorningStar Farms ChefDance, a series of celebrity-chef crafted dinners at Sundance, clearly has made a name for itself as the go-to culinary event during the festival.  Each night, a different chef takes center-stage to put on a multi-course dinner offering for celebrities, festival attendees, and members of the culinary media.  Fortunately for me, I fell into one of those categories!  The crowd at ChefDance was huge.  I spied the likes of Tony Danza as I found my seat, and after some cocktails from the Snake Oil Cocktail Company and a brief delay, food started to come out of the kitchen.  Chef Shawn Armstrong led the brigade to create a stellar menu for the multitude of diners.


Snake Oil Cocktail Co's Bulleit Bourbon Beverage

Aspen Smoked Salmon, Blood Orange, Avocado Cream, Tangerine Lace, Citrus Creme Fraiche

Parsnip Cream & Crisp, Sugar Cured Pork Belly, Seasonal Mushrooms, Oregon White Truffle, Micro Chive, Green Onion Oil, MorningStar Farms "Chix" Pea Powder

Femme Fatale: Bulleit Bourbon, Smoked Maple-Chicory Soda,  Dried Apple Chip

Lamb "Ribeye", Charcoal Tortellini, Local Honey Glazed Butternut Squash, Puffed Black Barley, Roasted Brussels Sprout Petals, Black Garlic

Ginger Graham Crusted Sweet Potato Cupcake filled with Cinnamon Honey Creme Brulee, topped with Orange Whipped Cream and Candied Pumpkin Seeds

On the whole, the meal was quite extraordinary.  Despite the long wait time and lengthy dinner service, each course impressed me enough to stay in my seat until the end.  The macaroon had a savory element with sweetness from the sherry redux.  The salmon may have been the best course, though I'll never argue with lamb or pork belly.  Both of those dishes were outstanding as well, and the lamb came out cooked beautifully, especially considering the crowd of 300+ plates that went out.  The cupcake was a creation of Megan Brown from Sweet Tooth Fairy, winner of Cupcake Wars.  It may not quite have been one of Christina Stephen's cupcakes, but it was really damn delicious!

I'm definitely glad that I got to experience MorningStar Farms ChefDance while in Park City.  Hopefully I'll be back again... perhaps even as a chef.  Hey, you can always tweet @chefdance and let them know that @biteandbooze should be there next year!