Thirty, 20, even 10 years ago, Salt Lake’s food culture was still as uncreative and bland as funeral potatoes and chicken fried steak and its non-existent cocktail culture remained under the heavy fist of antiquated liquor laws. In the last decade, that has all changed. While new restaurants, breweries, craft distillers and artisan food producers, pop up every day, Salt Lake chefs and restaurateurs are busy perfecting ways to make traditional cuisine new again and bring, as they say, the farm to the table. All this great food has also encouraged a welcome increase in food events. Eight months out of the year there is an endless pallet of food and beverage festivals, tasting fundraisers, cooking classes and more. It’s enough to fill an entire calendar, which is why CATALYST has curated for you our list of favorite food events. Because there are so many wonderful events we will publish the list in four parts. Here are our picks for July and August. Enjoy!
July & August
Cooking Classes @ Real Foods Market, SLC (2209 S. Highland Dr.) July-Aug most Tues. 6:30 pm, free. RealFoodsMarket.com
Upcoming class topics include fermenting foods, bread making with natural yeast, the ketogenic diet, and raw dairy-making (cheese, butter, kefir, cream). Contact Real Foods Market or check their website to confirm details.
Eat Drink SLC @ SLC, Tracy Aviary (589 E 1300 S), Thurs. July 7, 6pm-9pm, $95 ($85 adv). EatDrinkSLC.com, 801-596-8500
This food and wine social (for those 21+) is an annual fundraising event for Tracy Aviary and SB Dance – this year, proceeds will also benefit Race Swami, a youth empowerment organization serving Salt Lake’s west side. Enjoy an evening of fine beverages and local food that includes a selection of 80 different wines, craft cocktails, local beers and local restaurants—Avenues Bistro, Beltex Meats, Trio, Frida Bistro, Rubadue’s Saucy Skillet, Stoneground Kitchen and others.
Thirst Fursday Historic Pub Crawl @ SLC (various locations, meeting site TBA), Thurs. July 7 (and each first Thursday of the month), 6pm, $20/$15 members. UtahHeritageFoundation.org/tours-and-events, 801-533-0858 ext. 107
This guided pub crawl takes 20 adventurers around to three undisclosed downtown Salt Lake pubs. Due to the Historic Pub Crawl’s extreme success, pre-registration is required; pint glass is included, but food and drink must be purchased separately. Responsible use of transportation—such as UTA Trax—is strongly recommended.
Park City Food & Wine Classic @ Park City (various locations), July 7-10, prices for individual events from $65-295. ParkCityFoodAndWineClassic.com
The 12th Annual Park City Food & Wine Classic gastronomic experiences aren’t confined to restaurants. Sign up for Fat Tires & Phat Wines, the Farm to Fork Wine Dinner, the High Altitude Paint & Wine, SUP n Suds and more. Part of all proceeds for the PC Classic will be donated to the People’s Health Clinic.
Cooking Class: Learn to Cut Like a Pro @ Sur La Table (10 Rio Grande St), Sat. July 9, 1pm, $59. SurLaTable.com
Become acquainted and adept with the most classic and important of chef’s tools: the knife. In this hands-on class, you’ll hone basic knife skills and practice the fundamental cuts—mince, dice, brunoise, bâtonnet and julienne. Plus, our instructor will teach you a few advanced techniques and offer tips for keeping all your knives maintained and sharp.
Tasting Class: Spirits Series—Gin @ Caputos in Holladay (4673 S 2300 E), Thurs. July 21, 7:30pm, $20. CaputosDeli. com
The juniper influence of gin’s special herbal blend makes this spirit seem akin to Utah’s pinyon-juniper geography. Now that we have our own excellent local gin blend from Beehive Distilling it’s even more worth knowing how to mix it. Learn just that at a hands-on class with cocktail professionals Matt Pfohl and Scott Gardener of the soon-to-open bar Water Witch.
Cooking Class: Between the Bread @ Salt Lake Culinary Center (2233 S 300 E), Sat. July 23, noon-3pm, $79. SaltLake CulinaryCenter.com
Sandwiches might be America’s best fast lunch idea but they can also really hit the spot when they’re made well. This class will give you a few easy ideas on how to take your sandwich to the next level. Learn to properly roast peppers, the best combination of sweet and savory ingredients and crafting condiments from scratch.
Cooking Class: Celebrate Cuban Cuisine @ Salt Lake Culinary Center (2233 S 300 E), Sat. July 30, 11am-2pm, $75. SaltLakeCulinaryCenter.com
We all want a Cuban vacation now that travel to the island country is less restricted, but for those who can’t make it in person, a culinary tour of Cuban cuisine might be the next best thing. Learn about the culture’s traditional ingredients and cooking techniques. Recipes include ensalada mixta (poached tuna and grilled asparagus), plantain chips and guava pastelitos (pastery).
Taste of the Wasatch @ Solitude Mountain Resort, Sun. Aug. 7, noon-4pm, $105. TasteOfTheWasatch.org
Of all the food events of the year, this one is probably the biggest. Over 50 different restaurants and food artisans share small plates of their best food at this event. New this year is HSL, Provisions, Tupelo, Petals and Pastries, Desert Edge Brewing, Caffe Ibis Coffee and others. Each year Taste of the Wasatch donates some of the proceeds to charities such as the Utah Food Bank. In 2013 they raised $90,000. Your money will have a dual purpose: local food, local charity.
43rd Annual Oktoberfest Celebration @ Snowbird (9600 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd), Aug. 13-Oct. 9, every Saturday and Sunday, noon-6pm. Snowbird.com/events/oktoberfest, 801-933-2222
This three-month celebration takes authentic Bavarian food, local, domestic and imported brews, live German music, arts and crafts, and creates a nationally recognized experience. Last year the fest attracted over 60,000 visitors and was voted a top 10 best American Oktoberfest by Men’s Journal Magazine. Make sure you have lots of cash on hand, beers cost $7-15, add to that the cost of a souvenir glass stein and parking ($7, cash-only).
Workshop: How to Start a School Garden @ SLC, Wasatch Community Gardens (824 S 400 W suite #127) Sat. Aug. 13, 9am-4pm, $30. WasatchGardens. org
This is for aspiring school garden managers. Learn the steps to starting and maintaining a garden at your school. Topics will range from curriculum and infrastructure to finances and grant writing.
Raspberry Days Festival @ Garden City, UT (near Logan), Thurs. Aug. 4-Sat. Aug. 6. GardenCityUt.us
Celebrate our state’s world-famous Bear Lake raspberries with this fun filled three-day festival—the Little Miss Berry pageant, the craft fair, the Parade on the Boulevard, the Rodeo and 5K run in Laketown, the Pancake Breakfast at the Garden City Park, dances, and fireworks on the beach.
Tomato Days @ SLC, various locations, Aug. 15–Sept. 15, WasatchGardens. org
This tomato-themed dine-around is a month-long fundraiser for the Wasatch Community Gardens during which some of the city’s best restaurants will feature a special tomato menu that benefits the Gardens (stay tuned to the WCG website for a list of participating locations).
Cooking Class: Herbaceous! @ SLC (1529 Hubbard Ave.), Tues. Aug 23, 6-9pm, $65. MargueriteHenderson.com/ classes, 801-634-4778
Join local author and chef Marguerite Marceau Henderson for a summertime cooking class that will spark creative ideas for using your herb garden. Make lemon-mint iced tea, mint-brushed rib eye steaks and rosemary-lavender panna cotta. The event begins promptly at 6pm with adult beverages for those 21+. Gift certificates are available.
City Weekly’s Utah Beer Festival @ SLC, Utah State Fair Park (155 N 1000 W), Sat. Aug. 27, 2-8pm, $5-50. CityWeekly. net
Last year’s Utah Beer Festival featured over 150 different brews. This year is expected to be bigger and better in every way. Enjoy various local and national brews while perusing vendors, finding that perfect food pairing, and cutting a rug to some of Salt Lake’s finest music.