The event started at noon; we moseyed up the canyon around 2.
In case you haven't been (and if you haven't, you should count on it next year), the event features food from the finest Wasatch restaurants and wines from dozens of wineries. Plus there's a silent auction and live music.
I spotted Bambara's booth first, and went straight over to say hello to chef Nathan Powers and down a tomato-citrus shooter that tasted like summer in a plastic cup.
"What's good?" I asked him. "Goldener Hirsch's foie gras brats," he said.
So that's where I headed. Here's a pic of chef Michael Showers looking bad with a brat, but the brats were good-just a little extra funk and aroma from the fat liver.
Of course, the great thing about TON is not just the food and the wine-it's hanging out with all the food people on a gorgeous mountainside. While my mouth was still stuffed with foie gras hot dog, I ran into Lisa Barlow, owner of Vida Tequila and managed to introduce her to Bill Coker and Lucy Cardenas, owners of Red Iguana-a match made in heaven, if you ask me.
Although anyone would be thrilled to be paired with Lisa. Exhibit A: my husband: By the way, this is a good time to reiterate my colleague Ted Scheffler's question to the DABC: why DON'T you guys carry the Vida Anejo and the Reposada as well as the silver??? This is excellent tequila, owned by a local family. Aren't we into buying local?? (BTW, Lisa, her husband John, and some deep pockets are opening up a restaurant on Park City's Main Street, which needs some livening up. Stay tuned for details.)
At some points, sugar becomes necessary, and Utah's Baker's Dozen provided tables full. Here's a couple of cream puffs: Angel Manfredini from The Mandarin and Lettie Flatt from Deer Valley with some sugar-powdered sweeties on a plate.
More food than you can eat, more friends than you can talk to, more wine than you can remember. At the end of the day, after a lot of swishing and back-breathing, it came down to basics in the VIP tent-two wine tables, one with a hand-lettered sign saying "Red" and one reading "White." What, you needed to know more? Here's Kristin from Spencer's filling up a glass with red:
In the end, all the money from Taste of the Nation Utah goes to feed hungry children right here in Utah.
So the lovely afternoon leaves everyone feeling good. In more ways than one.