As a self proclaimed foodie with a passion for cooking and history of watching countless hours of TV shows like Top Chef, Ugly Delicious, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and many more my love for food is hard to contest. In fact, if the food industry gave out Michelin Stars or James Beard Awards for a watching food tv category, I would certainly rank among the elite. But alas, they do not (at least not to my knowledge). So instead, I've combined my affinity for food with my love of all things après ski and developed All About Après.
High West Distillery Goes From Collaboration to the Spotlight
Delicious food, much like après ski has the overwhelming ability to bring people together. Both foster experiences that make or remind you of a memory similar to that which my wife and I took part in last Friday. Then, both worlds collided as we were invited to attend a dinner at the acclaimed James Beard House with one of my absolute favorite après ski locations, High West Distillery.
This may come as a surprise to some, but an honor like this does not happen by accident. High West Distillery has a long history of producing excellent food to compliment their award winning whiskey. They have been nominated on a few occasions for a James Beard Award and last year collaborated with five other renowned Park City area chefs to prepare a meal at the James Beard House. This year, the honor was all their own as High West was invited back to create a unique dining and imbibing experience for the guests at The James Beard House.
Food So Good it Rivals Their Whiskey
Having visited the world's only ski in ski out gastro-distillery on a couple of occasions and covered High West in my writing even more, I was fortunate enough to attend this one-of-a-kind event. It comes as no surprise that High West is known for its whiskey but what many people fail to realize, unless you have actually been to Park City and eaten there, is that their food is its culinary equal. With a menu that shifts with the seasons, the food they prepare is always fresh and relevant to the time. That said, you'd be hard pressed to not find a mind blowing dish or two to satisfy your palate like they prepared for the autumn focused menu we experienced at their James Beard Dinner.
High West Whiskey Offers a Perfect Pairing
As expected, the whiskey was quite tasty. Ranging from pours of their core offerings to more rare blends, as well as mixed cocktails, the High West ambassadors painted a vivid picture of what their spirits bring to the table. But this dinner went far beyond libations, diving into a realm that showed just how delicious their food can be. What was really impressive though was how well each complimented the other. The flavors just worked! True with each course, but none more particular than the first which featured a rye barrel smoked trout and its caviar, paired with High West Double Rye. The way that the spiciness of the rye balanced the smokiness of the trout was shear perfection.
Fortunately for you, you can experience similar pairings for yourself at any one of their three locations in and around Park City, Utah. High West Distillery is more than just a great ski in ski out après ski saloon. Being chosen to cook at the James Beard House is an honor not bestowed on just anyone. It is well earned and even more of a reason why you need to enjoy dinner and drinks at this amazing saloon.
High West Distillery James Beard House Menu
COCKTAILS & HORS D’OEUVRES
Ginger & Duck Meatball, Whiskey Fish Sauce Caramel
Kumquat & Mustard Marmalade, High West Ash & Barley Cheddar, Crumb Brothers Rye
Porcini & Chanterelle Mac ‘n Cheese with Italian Truffle
American Prairie Compressed D’Anjou Red Pear with Sesame & Nori
HIGH WEST OLD FASHIONED OLD FASHIONED
High West Rendezvous Rye, Double Rye!, Demerara, Angostura, Orange, Lemon
High West Double Rye!, House Made Campfire Drambuie, Ramazzotti, Angostura, Grapefruit
BREAD & BUTTER
Caraway Parker House Roll & Gold Creek Butter
TROUT AND CAVIAR
Rye Barrel Smoked Birch Springs Trout and its Caviar, Green Apple & Jalapeño
Paired with High West Double Rye!
FRIED RABBIT & WAFFLE
Buttermilk Fried Rabbit, Malted Barley, Sorghum & Rosemary Waffle, Maple & Sweet Chile Syrup Paired with High West Valley Tan
AUTUMN HARVEST SALAD
Pickled Acorn Squash & Beets, Smoked Date Conserve, Chickweed, XO Vinaigrette
“CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE”
Niman Ranch Bavette, Tallow Fried Heirloom Potatoes, Creamed Napa Cabbage, Sauce Au Poivre Paired with “Le Bouvier” Cocktail – High West American Prairie Bourbon, Cognac, Yellow Chartreuse, Fino Sherry, Orange, Cherry
Spruce & Late Harvest Huckleberry Posset, Brown Butter, Oat & Pine Nut Shortbread Paired with High West Midwinter’s Night Dram