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Park City • Hollywood's elite dined on caviar, duck confit, octopus, oysters, pork belly and truffles during opening weekend of the Sundance Film Festival.
But not everything was high-brow.
Celebrity chef Richard Blais kept the food grounded by serving classic beef goulash as the main course for "An Artist at the Table," a fundraising dinner for the Sundance Institute.
Before the five-course meal, served at the DeJoria Center in Kamas, guests watched the premiere of "An Inconvenient Sequel," the follow-up to former Vice President Al Gore's environmental documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Singer Kenny Loggins performed after dinner.
Blais, who operates restaurants in sunny San Diego, said he couldn't wait to return to Utah where he skis regularly to prepare the goulash. The hearty winter dish has become a sort of culinary calling card for him after successfully executing a version for legendary chef Wolfgang Puck in 2011 during Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars," a contest Blais went on to win.
Blais served his beef short ribs with rye spaetzle and sour cream. The other four courses clearly on the gourmet side were prepared by some of Park's City's best-known chefs:
• David Mullen, executive chef at Sundance Resort, created the appetizers: chicken liver mousse with port reduction and truffles and scallion tater tots with cured salmon and caviar.
• Briar Handley, of Handle (and HSL, in Salt Lake), made course two, a cobia crudo with sunchokes, beet root and basil seed caviar.
• Justin Rogers, executive chef at the DeJoria Center, pitched in his duck confit rillette with smoked egg yolk and maple duck bacon vinaigrette.
• Shirley Bordes-Butler, the British-born pastry chef who works at Tupelo, served a twist on Pavlova, with bananas, cream and toffee a nod to banoffee pie, a popular English dessert.
Other dining events coinciding with Sundance have been centered on Main Street, including the 14th annual Chef Dance dinner series. The highlight of the four-night event was a fundraiser for Operation Smile and featured a menu created by celebrity chef Cat Cora. Attendees ate beef tenderloin with black truffle risotto, roasted eggplant pepper soup with curried cotton candy, and bittersweet agnolotti pasta with roasted butternut squash. Other nights at Chef Dance menus were prepared by chefs Shawn McClain, from Sage in Las Vegas; Brian Malarkey, of Herringbone in La Jolla (who launched his career on Season 3 of "Top Chef"); and Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, in Kentucky.
Park City also got a taste of Mardi Gras on Tuesday with the fifth annual Louisiana Film, Music and Cuisine Celebration, which included a peace parade down Main Street followed by Bayou Burlesque party at Park City Live. Raw oysters, gulf shrimp with a bagnarotte sauce and deviled crab and crawfish were on the menu.
Uncorked at Sundance
Francis Ford Coppola Winery, a Sundance Film Festival sponsor, has commissioned popular artist Scott Gunderson to create "The Big Picture," an oversized mural made from thousands of wine corks. The piece, which incorporates aspects of film into a Coppola wine bottle label, will be under construction throughout the festival.
Where • Festival Co-Op, 608 Main St., Park City
Open • Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday