Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Antelope Island

Antelope Island

When we travel, we’re always looking for new experiences. Nothing could be further from the tropics than Antelope Island in Utah!!! The only thing similar to the tropics is that –  it is an island. When we heard that Antelope Island was a prairie grassland with over 40 fresh water springs, brine shrimp, brine flies, pronghorn antelope, free-range bison, mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, owls, hawks, falcons, porcupine and badgers, we just had to see it for ourselves. The Great Salt Lake provides about 90 percent of the world’s supply of brine shrimp cysts. Brine shrimp are used in laboratories for testing the toxicity of chemicals. Antelope Island is a state park which used to be privately owned until 1969 when the State of Utah purchased it. The island’s shore is mainly flat containing beaches, plains and mountains. The mountains reach an elevation of 6,596 feet. Antelope Island is known as the Basin and Range located from the Wasatch mountains to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Antelope Island consists of  28,000 acres, 15 miles long and 5 miles wide. In the picture above you can see all of the salt surrounding the lake.

Drive along the narrow, two-lane road which connects the Mainland to an island. Park your car, get out and walk on it. It crunches with each step and you will observe millions of brine flies buzzing around you. Sounds appealing, right? Nonetheless, it is an experience like no other.

The Fielding Garr Ranch is located on the east side of the island. Guides take tourists out on horseback to view the bison.

Smelly Salt Lake

Smelly Salt Lake

Why does the Great Salt Lake smell so bad? When visiting the Wasatch Front you will be taken aback by the ever so pungent rotten egg smell, especially on windy days. The rotten egg smell is actually hydrogen sulfide which is created when bacterial sulfate reduces.  The Great Salt Lake is a hyper-salinity (high salt content) environment.  Sewage facilities on the Great Salt Lake unload their liquid waste into the lake. Ewwww! The bacteria is busy working to decompose waste products as well as the bird, brine fly, and brine shrimp waste. The brine shrimp and flies actually have a purpose, aside from annoyingly buzzing around your body, they eat the algae and bacteria which keeps the smell down. The other reason for the intense, unpleasant smell is due to the brine fly casings, brine shrimp and decaying algae that wash ashore and sit in the heat.

Enjoy hiking? There is a 3-mile Lake Side Trail which is accessible from Bridger Bay Campground. The trail follows the beach around the northwestern tip of the island to the camping area on White Rock Bay. The trail is spectacular at sunset.

Free-range Bison

Free-range Bison

“The amazing herds of buffaloes which resort thither, by their size and number, fill the traveler with amazement and terror” ~ John Filson in 1784

Bison crossing the road

Bison crossing the road

Seeing the bison in a picture, just doesn’t have the same effect as in person. The animals are massive! Bison are extremely tall, way beyond the height of a vehicle and a mature bison bull can weigh up to 2 thousand pounds!! It is a little unnerving when they walk or run toward your car. We were in an SUV and I was still very nervous when the bison came close by. In the picture to the left, you can see how tall the bison is in comparison to the vehicle.

Bison were introduced to the island in 1893. Known as the Antelope Island Bison Herd, they have proven to be a valuable genetic pool for bison breeding and conservation benefit. The bison thrive on Antelope Island due to the dry, native grassland. Bison are the most famous residents on the island. In 1897, twelve animals were brought to the island and today they account for 550 – 700 bison! Each year the health of the animals is accessed.

Antelope Island is made up of alluvial (loose sediments) plains with prairie grassland on the north, east and south of the island. Antelope Island has some of the oldest rocks in the United States, older than the Precambrian rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Salt Lake surrounding Antelope Island

Salt Lake surrounding Antelope Island

Antelope Island is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake. The lake is extremely salty, with salt levels reaching as much as 25% of the lake. You won’t see any fish, just Brine Shrimp which become food for the birds. As you can see in this picture, it is so bright that it’s almost blinding. Antelope Island has a dry heat, dry air and it is extremely bright. Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses!

Fees for visiting Antelope Island

Entrance fee: $10 per vehicle up to 8 people

Senior entrance fee (Utah residents over 62 of age): $5 per vehicle up to 8 people

Bicycles and Pedestrians: $3 per person

Commercial Groups (over 8 people per vehicle): $3 per person and $5 per bus

Educational Groups: $1 per person with prior reservation

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Hale Centre Theatre

Hale Centre Theatre

Hale Centre Theatre

“To enter a theatre for a performance is to be inducted into a magical space, to be ushered into the sacred arena of the imagination.”
~Simon Callow, Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World

Let me preface this post by saying ~ theatre is my passion and therefore, as a family, we try our best to see all that we can see!!!! One of the first things I do when booking a vacation, is check to see what plays & musicals are showing in the area. Arts, culture, history and museums can always be incorporated into your travels. Our kids have toured Antoni Gaudí structures in Barcelona, countless cathedrals & castles in Europe, walked the coliseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, explored a Spanish fort dating back to 1640 and sat through hours of musicals.

When we booked our trip to Salt Lake City this summer, we decided to research the local theatre. That is when we stumbled across Hale Centre Theater.  We looked at the dates that we would be in town and noticed that Mary Poppins would be playing, so we booked our tickets and we were on our way.

History of Theatre ~

Theatre dates back to classical Athens in the 6th century BCE, starting out as a type of ritual for the purpose of entertainment. Theatre involved the use of costumes, masks and performers. Eventually, these acts evolved into theatre and the element of ritual was left behind. Theatre really began in Athens and included three types of drama, which are categorized as tragedy, comedy, and the satyr play. In the 3rd century BCE, theatre moved on to ancient Rome and took on a new art form, which included festival performances, nude dancing, acrobatics, comedy, and the tragedies of Seneca. In the 1500’s burlesque and comedy crept into theatre. There are references to theatrical entertainments in China as early as 1500 BCE. During this time, the Shang Dynasty was introduced involving music, clowning and acrobatic displays. The most famous morality play of medieval drama was Everyman in 1550. Interestingly enough, there was an end to the medieval drama in 1547 due to the weakening of the Catholic Church, which banned religious plays in many countries including the Netherlands, Papal States, and Paris. Golden Age Theatre took place from 1590 to 1681 when live theatre started up in Spain. Remarkably, 10,000 – 30,000 plays during the Golden Age are still considered masterpieces today. The 20th-century theatre is when political & epic theatre was introduced such as Theatre of Cruelty and Theatre of the Absurd.

Hale Centre Theatre

Hale CentreTheatre

HCT stage

HCT stage

At Hale Centre Theatre, ticket prices were unbelievably inexpensive at $32 per adult and $16 per child. Children under age 5 are not permitted, which I greatly appreciated. We could enjoy the musical without listening to screaming kids or babies crying. Don’t let the prices fool you, the stage is state-of-the-art, modeled after Cirque du Soleil, with multi-leveled moving floors. The first thing we noticed, as we took our seats, were the 40-50 Mary Poppins umbrellas hanging from the top of the stage. The set is completely magical! I expected a small-town community-type theatre, but was pleasantly surprised with the facility. The seating is ideal, providing optimal views from all seats due to the tiered, circular layout. I found the theatre to be quite similar to the theater at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas where Le Reve is featured. We actually sat in the last row at Mary Poppins, due to booking last-minute, and we had a perfect view. The furthest row is only 32 feet away from center stage.

Hale Centre Theatre offers season ticket passes for $173 per adult, $96 per child age 5-11, which includes entry to all productions. The 2014 season line up is Mary Poppins, She Loves Me, Catch Me If You Can, A Christmas Carol and Is He Dead? 2015 will be showing: Ghost the Musical, Over The River & Through The Wood, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Oklahoma!, and Big Fish.

The theatre has 75 minute tours available M-F fr, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. which provide interactive, behind the scenes experiences which include live auditions, a review of careers in theatre and performances by the participants – all free of charge! At the end of the tour you will be able to participate in a live performance.  Groups must be a minimum of 25 and maximum of 80.

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” In short, entertainment fulfills our expectations. Art, on the other hand, makes no compromise for public taste as it inspires us to consider life’s complexities and ambiguities. Art is the opposition testing the strength of societal and cultural values-values that are thoughtlessly adopted by the mass of individuals living unexamined lives and all who cannot imagine a different way of seeing life.”
~ William Missouri Downs, The Art of Theatre: A Concise Introduction

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“In theatre, the main objective is to make the art happy, not the audience! If you have to choose between the audience and the art, always choose the second! You must know that the audience will constantly pull you down; resist it and fly at the heights like an eagle!”
~ Mehmet Murat ildan

Hale Centre Theatre~

Hale Centre Theatre, named after Nathan and Ruth Hale,  opened on July 12, 1985 with the show I Came to Your Wedding. In 1992, the theatre presented the Broadway musical, Brigadoon. In an effort to improve the sound and stage of the theatre,  in 1998 the doors opened to a newly renovated, 42,000 square-feet in West Valley City, Utah with the performance of Thank You Papa. Hale Centre Theatre has a 12-month production schedule and hires actors for more than 350 roles each season.

“Now one of the largest and most respected community theatres in the country, Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City’s success could be called a triumphant ending to this fabled story; yet, the founders continue the legacy of Nathan and Ruth Hale, adding new acts with their continuous ideas, innovations and improvements.” ~ Quote from the company website

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“When a show ends, for a few days, my body sizzles with leftover energy, like a tree in the wake of a lightning strike.”
~ S.M. Stevens

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Chocolate Tours at Mrs. Cavanaugh’s

 

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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
~ Charles M. Schulz

Who doesn’t love the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Cavanaugh baskets

Cavanaugh baskets

IMG_2796Everyone dreams of touring a real chocolate factory. I remember taking a tour of the Hershey’s & Ghirardelli factory in California when I was young. Recently when visiting Salt Lake City, I decided to take my daughter on a chocolate tour of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s. The tour is approximately an hour-long and only cost $1.00!!! I could not believe how many samples of chocolate and even a sample of ice cream that were provided all for $1.00. You need to make a reservation in advance for the tour. The tour begins with a short video about the history of Mrs. Cavanaugh’s, the cacao plant, cocoa bean liquor extraction and the picking of cocoa beans. The tour includes a movie, samples throughout and walking tour that gives customers a look inside the manufacturing of the candies. Workers are moving about and gummy bears dipped in white chocolate head from the assembly line belt into a box.

Tempering chocolate for the hand dipped nut clusters

Tempering chocolate for the hand dipped nut clusters

Tempering Chocolate~

IMG_2808Tempered chocolate is what makes the chocolates look professional! Tempered chocolate is smooth and shiny, without the white, chalky appearance. Chocolate that isn’t tempered won’t taste different but it will appear overly soft and sticky at room temperature. Those gray and white streaks that appear after making fudge, are a result of chocolate that wasn’t tempered.

What happens when chocolate is tempered?  The chocolate is made up of different little crystals called “beta” crystals. The formation of the “beta” crystals are what creates the appearance of the finished candy. When a white, chalky, unattractive appearance is on the top of the chocolate, many people mistake this for the chocolate going bad; When it reality, is it caused by the cocoa butter (fat) rising to the top.  Some people go as far as tossing the chocolate out for fear that it has molded.

Tempered chocolate should be nice and shiny when purchased. However, if you leave it in the sun or in your car, it will become white/gray in color. This is a result of the chocolate losing its temper. Even baking chocolate, such as chocolate chips or baking squares,  are tempered. Keep in mind, once the chocolate has been melted, it has lost its temper and will need to be re-tempered.

How do you temper chocolate? Working with a larger quantity, at least 1 lb., makes tempering much easier.  Choose a chocolate that is shiny and hard without any solid products mixed in, such as fruit or nuts. Avoid chocolate chips and chocolate that has streaks or appears crumbly. Dark chocolate tends to be the easiest to temper due to the lack of milk solids. Chop the chocolate into small pieces, place in microwave bowl, microwave 30 secs at a time stirring after each increment, heat to 115 degrees (you will need a thermometer) and then cool down to 90 degrees by stirring, spread on wax or parchment paper and it should cool in 4-6  minutes, losing its shine and turning matte slowly. Do not place in the refrigerator to speed up the tempering process. Tempered chocolate is great for dipping truffles, making barks, clusters, or candy bars.

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“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.”
~ Katharine Hepburn

On the factory tour you will get a chance to see the workers stretch & cut peanut brittle, cut caramel into pieces, hand-dip the nut clusters, pouring, cutting & dipping of their famous Mindy Mints! All of this can be seen from behind the glass windows throughout the factory.

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IMG_2812Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies is the perfect place to pick up a gift! You can even order on-line!

Kerri Cherry

Kerri Cherry

Choose from famous brittles, caramel pecan logs, white/milk chocolate coated gummy bears, cinnamon bears and pretzels, sandwich mints, milk/dark chocolate coated peanuts, roasted nuts and much more! I even found a chocolate with my name on it, “Kerri Cherry” cordials with cherry almond creme.

The best part about Mrs. Cavanaugh’s candies for a gift is creating your own box. You don’t have to purchase an assortment full of candies that you would never eat. Are you one of those people who takes a bite of the chocolate, looks inside and then puts it back? No one wants that. The candies are sold by the pound at the same price, so build your own box. You can also purchase one of the “Most Famous Chocolates” box in milk, dark or assorted chocolate which are available in 1, 2 & 3 lb. boxes. The “Most Famous Chocolates” were chosen by their customers as the top picks. Prices are $27.95 for 1 lb. box, $50.90 for a 2 lb. box, $73.90 for a 3 lb. box, & $114.68 for a 5 lb. box.

There are also sugarless chocolate boxes for those of you who stay away from sugar. These boxes include truffles, cavaliers, pecan rolls, haystacks, nut clusters and caramels. The sugar-free chocolates do contain mannitol.

At the end of the tour, ice cream samples are available. Yes, they have ice cream too! Sample the various ice creams and then purchase a scoop at a very reasonable price. Kids scoops are only $1.00.

“It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe,” Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. “I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties.  Then I began dipping chocolates.  Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business.  Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.’”

~ Quoted from Mrs. Cavanaugh’s webpage. 

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s has six stores, all located in Utah. You can purchase chocolates in North Salt Lake, North Ogden, Bountiful, Layton, Valley Fair Mall, and in Provo. Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Candies has been recognized on numerous occasions as the Candy/Confectionery recipient of Utah’s Best of State Award.

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The Ultimate Dining Experience~ Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Kauai Grill, St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

Kauai Grill, St. Regis Princeville, Kauai

Kauai Grill, Steam Onaga

Kauai Grill, Steam Onaga

Dining at a Jean-Georges restaurant is an experience which is practically indescribable. It’s

Kauai Grill, Seared Wagyu Strip Loin

Kauai Grill, Seared Wagyu Strip Loin

not the obvious…. that he is one of the world’s most famous chefs, his impressive Michelin background, his restaurants are all 3 and 4 star ratings or the fact that they are world wide. It’s something more and once you have experienced it, you will know. We were left wanting to seek out additional Jean-Georges restaurants as we were in awe of………beautifully displayed food, fresh concepts, unique menu, exotic flavors of the East and impeccable service.

A little about Jean-Georges Vongerichten ~ a French chef born in Alsace, France, March 16, 1957. Currently, he resides in New York City where he has ten restaurants. Vongerichten opens restaurants in most of the culinary capitals such as Las Vegas, London, Paris and Shanghai, as well as New York. He is author of five cookbooks, two with Mark Bittman. When Jean-Georges was 16, his parents brought him to the 3-star Michelin-rated Auberge de l’ill for a birthday dinner and that is where his love for food began.

Kauai Grill, Sichuan Peppercorn Crusted Bigeye Ahi Tuna

Kauai Grill, Sichuan Peppercorn Crusted Bigeye Ahi Tuna

What make Jean-Georges unique? His signature cuisine eliminates the traditional use of meat stocks and creams.

Kauai Grill, Spiced Chicken Samosas

Kauai Grill, Spiced Chicken Samosas

Instead, he features the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrettes.  Jean-Georges’ culinary concept has redefined industry standards and radically changed the way we eat.

New York Magazine wrote that in the past two decades, no single chef has had more influence on the way New Yorkers dine out or on the way other chefs cook and other restaurants look. “He invented America’s answer to nouvelle cuisine,” says Mario Batali. “When I first came to New York, his book Simple Cuisine was the holy grail for young chefs, and JoJo was the hottest ticket in town.”

Kauai Grill, Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae

Kauai Grill, Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae

Kauai Grill, Salmon Sashimi

Kauai Grill, Salmon Sashimi

Jean-Georges and Starwood Hotels: Vongerichten and partner Phil Suarez have formed a new company with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private-equity firm which owns, operates, manages and license restaurants in Starwood properties. This new venture includes seven Spice Markets and other concepts world wide. The total number of eating destinations may possibly total 56 with this contract. The first to open were two Spice Markets at the W Hotel in both Atlanta and Istanbul.

Accolades: Jean Georges has received the James Beard award for Best Chef and Best New Restaurant. Esquire Magazine voted Chef Vongerichten the Chef of the Year in 1997. Jean Georges restaurant holds 3 Michelin stars. In 2008 it received a 18/20 “Excellent” rating. In 2009 it won the James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding restaurant. In 2007, Lia Bardeen, Jean Georges executive sous chef, was featured as a contestant on season 3 of Top Chef. In 2010, Jean Georges won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Wine Service”. In 2013, Zagat’s gave it a food rating of 28, the second-highest in the West 60s, and rated it the 6th-best restaurant in New York City.

Sunset at Kauai Grill

Sunset at Kauai Grill

Kauai Grill, St Regis Princeville Resort

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Kauai Grill opened in 2009 which is located in Kauai at the St. Regis Princeville.

Home Cooking with Jean-Georges

Home Cooking with Jean-Georges

Throughout the restaurant there are large windows displaying breathtaking views of Bali Hai  and Hanalei Bay.  A hand crafted fiber optic and ruby glass hibiscus chandelier hangs from the center of the ceiling and zebra woods are throughout.

Our experience at Kauai Grill was quite interactive, rather than everything happening all around us, we

Kauai Grill

Kauai Grill

felt engaged in the process. The waiter recommended several appetizers, wine, entrees and dessert. We were pleased that our favorite appetizer, the Grilled Black Pepper Octopus, remained on the menu. The waiter recommended the Salmon Sashimi with Warm Crispy Rice which melted in our mouths.

Our son ordered a house made soda which was comprised of passion fruit juice, thai chili and club soda. When our son was less than thrilled with the soda (too spicy for his taste), our

waiter was at our table instantly with alternate recommendations. The waiter checked in with us each time food was brought to the table. When our son expressed his love for cooking and the waiter brought two Jean-Georges cookbooks table side for him to look through while he was awaiting the entrée.

Kauai Grill, Mashed Potatoes

Kauai Grill, Mashed Potatoes

For the highlight of the evening, the chef took him on a tour of the kitchen!! The overall experience could not have been any more magnificent. We ended the evening with the waiter’s recommendation for dessert….. Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae. The ice cream is made daily at Kauai Grill!

Kauai Grill, Roasted Ali'i Mushrooms

Kauai Grill, Roasted Ali’i Mushrooms

Jean-Georges restaurants offer kids menus. Many of the entrées on the kids menu were the same as the adult menu, offering smaller portions. The kids menu even had a burger and fries option.

St. Regis Deer Valley, UT

St. Regis Deer Valley, UT

J&G Grill, St Regis Deer Valley, Utah

J&G Grill, Truffle Pizza

Black Truffle Pizza with Fontina

J&G Grill is the Jean-Georges restaurant located within the St. Regis Deer Valley Resort in Utah. The restaurant is decorated with dark woods, stone and fireplaces throughout.

J&G Grill, Mussels

J&G Grill, Mussels

The resort has a high-end lodge ambiance throughout with floor to ceiling glass windows where you can watch the snow fall. After a long, cold day or skiing or just simply playing in the snow, it is wonderful to sit down to a nice, hot meal at J&G Grill. To start off, we have to describe the Black Truffle Pizza with Fontina Cheese. This pizza is possibly the best we have ever had. The kids asked what was on the pizza and we said we didn’t know (thinking they wouldn’t eat it if they knew it were truffles) and it was gone. It was outstanding so we ordered a second pizza. Next, we ordered the Maine Mussels Mariniere with Grilled Garlic Toast. The picture tells it all. Again, Jean-Georges offered a kids menu and our daughter chose a simple burger after skiing all day. It is refreshing to find a fine dining restaurant which not only offers a kids menu, but one which includes a burger option on the menu.

J&G Grill, Kids meal

J&G Grill, Kids meal

J&G Grill offers simply grilled preparations of the highest-quality meats and freshest local fish, accompanied by bold condiments.

You must try the 7452 Mary, which was chosen due to the altitude of the bar which is 7452 feet above

sea level. It is an enticing blend of the St. Regis famous Bloody Mary mix and fine oat-distilled Vodka 7000 from local High West Distillery-served with a touch of salt on the rim and finished with a
Wasabi-Celery foam.

Le Meridien Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona

In 2009, Le Meridien Barcelona began offering new elements created by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Breakfast with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Buckwheat Spinach Calzone

Breakfast with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Buckwheat Spinach Calzone

The breakfast has 5 new elements:

  1. Jean Georges Elements.  The breakfast innovator has created 7 “Eye Openers”, juice tasting and 6 dishes, some of which can be found in the buffet and some on the menu.
  2. Dishes invented internally. Le Méridien organised the competition “Sabor a Descubrimiento” (Discovering Flavours) which challenged the chefs from all the chain’s hotels to send original recipes that gave new perspectives on pastries, sweets and sandwiches for breakfast. The prize for the winners was recognition for their recipes by including them in the Le Méridien Breakfast.
  3. International Menus.  There is a selection of menus fromChina,Japan,India and theMiddle East.
  4. IllyCaffé.  The intense experience of sampling one of the world’s best coffees, both in the lobby and at breakfast.
  5. Uniforms. The chefs  wear a uniform according to the Breakfast.
Breakfast with Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Breakfast with Jean-Georges Vongerichten

While spending time in Spain, you must indulge in Jamón (ham). Early in the morning, we would went

down to the lobby at the Le Meridien Barcelona and smelled the wonderful meats and cheeses. After grabbing our cappuccino, we headed straight for the Breakfast with Jean-Georges. Our daughter loved the cured meats with eggs and toast while we opted for the buckwheat spinach calzone with sea salt. Jean-Georges breakfast offers an array of fresh squeezed juices in a rainbow of colors.

“My goal for Le Meridien was to create a breakfast experience that not only delivers the basics at a high quality level, but also provides a level of ‘discovery’ for guests by blending exotic flavors with everyday ingredients.  The dishes deliver a unique blend of flavors that invigorate and awaken the palate,” added Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Le Meridien Barcelona

Le Meridien Barcelona

Jean-Georges Restaurants

United States

New York

Jean‑Georges

Nougatine at Jean‑Georges

Terrace at Jean‑Georges

JoJo

The Mercer Kitchen

Perry St

ABC Kitchen

ABC Cocina

The Mark

Simply Chicken

Chicago

Pump Room

Las Vegas

Prime Steakhouse

Jean‑Georges Steakhouse

Bahamas

Paradise Island

Dune

Cafe Martinique

China

Shanghai

Jean‑Georges

Mercato

France

Paris

Market

French West Indies

St Barths

Sand Bar

On the Rocks

Mexico

Los Cabos

In Collaboration with Culinary-Concepts

United States

New York

Spice Market

Atlanta

Spice Market

Bal Harbour

J&G Grill

Boston

Market

Kauai

Kauai Grill

Park City

J&G Grill

San Juan

Fern

Scottsdale

J&G Steakhouse

Washington DC

J&G Steakhouse

Canada

Vancouver

Market by Jean‑Georges

England

London

Spice Market

French Polynesia

Bora Bora

Lagoon

Mexico

Mexico City

J&G Grill

Qatar

Doha

Market by Jean‑Georges

Spice Market

Cookbooks

Home Cooking with Jean-Georges (co-authored with Genevieve Ko) (November 2011)

Asian Flavorings of Jean-Georges (October 2007)

Simple to Spectacular (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (October 2000)

Jean-Georges: Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef (co-authored with Mark Bittman) (September 1998)

Simple Cuisine: The Easy, New Approach to Four-Star Cooking (1991)

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Off to Ski Deer Valley, Utah

Lovin the snow

Park City at night

Park City at night

Living on Kauai, our kids don’t have any exposure to skiing, snow or a winter for that matter.

Park City at night

Park City at night

After researching several places to ski, we chose Deer Valley, UT. Deer Valley sits above Park City and is about 40 miles from the Salt Lake City airport. Rent a car and enjoy a beautiful view on your drive to Deer Valley. We stopped in Park City to grab lunch prior to checking into the hotel. We were pleased to find little shops and restaurants on Main Street as you go through the town of Park City. We found a great wine shop and picked up various types of wine to bring to the hotel. Park City looks like a Thomas Kincaid painting.

About Park City:

Main Street, Park City

Main Street, Park City

Park City is a city located in Summit County, UT.

Main Street

Main Street

The city is 32 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City and 19.88 miles from Salt Lake City’s east edge of Sugar House along Interstate 80. In 2010 the population was 7,558. It is a very touristy area – where the visitors outnumber the residents – much like Kauai where we live.

After a population decline following the shutdown of the area’s mining industry, the city rebounded during the 1980s and 1990s through an expansion of its tourism business. The city currently brings in a yearly

Shopping on Main

Shopping on Main

average of $529,800,000 to the Utah Economy as a tourist hot spot. There are three major ski resorts: Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and Park City

Coffee Shop on Main

Coffee Shop on Main

Mountain Resort. The Park City and Deer Valley ski resorts were the main locations for events at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Park City is the location of the United States’ largest independent film festival, the Sundance Film Festival. It is also home of the United States Ski Team and training center for members of the Australian Freestyle Ski Team. Park City has the largest collection of factory outlet stores in northern Utah, the 2002 Olympic bobsled/skeleton/luge track at the Utah Olympic Park, and golf courses. There have also been movies filmed in Park City- for example some of the scenes from 1994’s Dumb and Dumber. Outdoor-oriented businesses such as backcountry.com, Rossignol USA, and Skullcandy have their headquarters in Park City. The city has many upscale luxury retailers, clubs, bars, and restaurants, and has nearby reservoirs, hot springs, forests, and hiking and biking trails. Most importantly in my book – Park City is also the original home of the Mrs. Fields Cookies chain!!!!

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St Regis dark choc caramel apples

St Regis dark choc caramel apples

The St. Regis Deer Valley is a very family friendly hotel offering several activities which are complimentary. Prior to check in, we stepped into a funicular which took us up to the hotel entrance. The view from the funicular was breathtaking. Our kids enjoyed a hot apple cider and hot chocolate bar from 3-5 p.m. daily. After skiing in 16 degree weather, it was a great way to relax and read a book in the large living room or recap on our day of skiing. The hotel offers s’mores each evening in an outdoor patio setting with a fire pit. A silver cart rolls out and the kids can assemble all of their own s’mores.

Heated pool

St Regis Deer Valley

St Regis Deer Valley

During the day the activities included playing pool and video games in a game room, swimming in an outdoor heated pool amidst snow, and gingerbread house decorating. The view from our room was filled with pine trees which were lit up in different colored lights. The room was cozy with a fireplace inside. The lobby is a cabin feel, which is very cozy but upscale at the same time. The lobby has floor to ceiling glass where you can view the snow falling while sitting next to a fire place. One very convenient perk is the house car that takes guests to Main Street and back so you don’t have to drive down the hill to Park City in the snow.

http://www.stregisdeervalley.com/

St Regis Deer Valley

St Regis Deer Valley

Stop off for snow tubing at Gorgoza Park In Park City. They have snow tubing for all ages, snow mobile rides and heated

Tubing at Gorgoza Park

Tubing at Gorgoza Park

yurts to relax in. The kids had a blast as I video taped them flying down the lanes. The park has a lift to carry the rider and tube up the hill.

Snow Mobile information: There are pint-sized snowmobiles for the little ones to ride around in a loop again and again. Available for kids aged 5 to 12 who would just love to rev up and zoom around their groomed track.
http://www.gorgoza.com/gorgoza/home.html

Canyons Ski Resort

Canyons Ski Resort

Our son wanted to snow board, which is not permitted at Deer Valley ski resort. We researched different places nearby and Canyons Ski Resort seemed to be the most family friendly and cost effective.

Snow boarding at Canyons

Snow boarding at Canyons

Canyons offers ski lessons in a group or one on one, they have a lodge to eat lunch, rental shop for equipment and shops that sell ski gear.

http://canyonsresort.com

$$ saving tips: If you plan to ski several days in the Park City, stop off at Costco and check out their ski lift ticket booklet. We went to Costco in Salt Lake and they had a special, if you purchased a camelback (backpack with water spout for exercising) then a ski lift booklet for multiple resorts came with it for $50.

Be sure to bring your own ski pants, jacket, hat and googles to Gorgoza Park so that you don’t have to purchase equipment there.

Gorgoza Park

Gorgoza Park

Canyons gondolaWe chose a group ski/snow boarding lesson for the kids at Canyons Ski Resort. No one else showed up to the lesson and as a result our kids ended up with a private lesson for the cost of a group lesson. While there are no guarantees, it is a significant price difference. We went to Canyons during the peak season. Our first time skiers were on the chair lift in under an hour. The lesson includes lunch for the kids and they do not allow the parents to be with the kids during the lesson or lunch. There is a pick up and drop off time.

Valentines ski day

Valentines ski day

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