News: Oasis Cafe, Yelp Trends, Vinto, Park City Culinary Institute

Oasis Cafe Chef Efren Benitez
Oasis Cafe Chef Efren Benitez

oasis cafe prawns 2014
Oasis cafe: Prawns
If you’ve stopped by Oasis Cafe* for dinner lately, you’ve probably spied a slight menu shake up – Chef de Cuisine Efren Benitez has a bunch of healthy new offerings. The additions are complemented by a completely revamped wine list and GM Will Keesen has also kicked off Oasis Cafe’s first proper cocktail program.

Chef Benitez’ new creations include: Grilled Shrimp with eggplant and bacon caponata and tomato saffron broth; Pan-Roasted Halibut with red and yellow beets, braised spinach, micro greens with honey-mustard and mashed potatoes; and Sea Bass with zucchini, snow peas, broccoli and a carrot anisette sauce; Paprika Crusted Chicken with sweet corn risotto, avocado salad and chili oil; and Tiger Prawn Penne Pasta with heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms and sun-dried tomato sauce.

oasis cafe halibut 2014
Oasis Cafe: Halibut

“Along with our new menu items, I’m so pleased to be offering our very first cocktail menu,” said Keesen, “We have some fun concoctions like the Perfect Storm, the Manmosa and a delightful, but not heavy Chocolate Espresso Martini. And our wine list has been completely re-tooled to best complement our new dishes, but also to help stretch our diners’ palates a bit.”

Highlights of Oasis Cafe’s new cocktail menu include: the Oasis Margarita, made with Cuervo Gold, Triple Sec and Oasis’ house-made rosemary lemonade; the Chocolate Espresso Martini with Stoli vodka, Kahlua, Ghirardelli chocolate and espresso; the Manmosa with Wasatch White Label white ale, with a dash of orange and cranberry juice. The lot are also, healthily, less than ten bucks each.

Oasis Cafe
151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
(801) 322-0404

www.oasiscafeslc.com

Yelp Trends

Love it or loathe it – there’s no denying Yelp’s ever growing popularity. Personally, I’m in the pro-camp – I find Yelp’s approach to crowd sourced data fascinating and endlessly empowering in the fight to help fill my belly with the delicious rather than the mediocre.

News recently hit my desk of a particularly cool new feature – Yelp trends. The feature is just another arrow in my quiver of big data weaponry. Ever wondered if cupcakes seem to be past their heyday or if Gelato still trumps Ice Cream. Probably you won’t need telling how much Gluten-free has exploded, but now you know, in quite the quantifiable fashion.

Don’t forget to research the popularity of beets or pork belly too. Fun.

vinto logo

Vinto

Summer and fall are starting to collide at Vinto this week, where it’s all about local Utah produce.

Vinto’s weekly specials feature seasonal local produce from farms such as Spring Creek Produce, Parker Farms, Small World Farmz, Sugar Sweet Produce , Clifford Farms and more. Specials currently on offer include:

SLC:

* Creamy Roasted Utah Corn with Lime. Garnished with a Roasted Red Pepper Puree and Fresh Cilantro ($4.00)

* Utah Heirloom Tomato Canapés (Canapés: White Bread with Crust Removed and Toasted) with Fresh Utah Heirloom Tomatoes and Pesto Ricotta. Garnished with EVO, Sea Salt, Lemon Zest and Local Radish Micro Greens ($7.00)

* Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Utah Peach-Sage Glaze. Served with Creamy Root Vegetables (Yukon Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, and Turnips all diced and sautéed with Onions, EVO, Cream, and a touch of grated Parmesan) and Roasted Broccoli. Garnished with Chili Oil and a Leaf of Sage ($15.00)

Park City:

* Parker Farm Summer Squash Bisque with Crispy Shallots ($4.00)

* Shepherds Farm Goat Cheese Mousse Topped with Clifford Farms Honey Roasted Utah Peaches, Served on a Grilled Crostini and a Bed of Arugula ($9.00)

* Grilled Salmon with Utah Peach and Red Onion Salsa, Arugula, and Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes ($17.00)

Miguel Flores
Miguel Flores
Park City Culinary Institute

Millions of students across the country return to school this week, but one Park City area student will be attending a very different kind of school this semester. Thanks to his scholarship, Miguel Flores was awarded a “full ride” work-study by the Park City Culinary Institute.

The school’s founder, Laurie Moldawer, commented, “Miguel grew up in Park City and has spent much of his life working in restaurants alongside his dad. Though he’s worked incredibly hard and has taken the initiative to learn all aspects of running a successful restaurant, the chance to be a chef has eluded him because of financial constraints. I’m so pleased he’s won this scholarship and will now have the opportunity to follow his passion for food.”

Miguel added, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity! I grew up watching my dad go to work as a cook in many Park City restaurants and when I was old enough, I was able to work with him as a cleaner and server. My boss would always encourage me and told me he saw a lot of potential in me. The more responsibility he gave me at the restaurant the more intrigued I was and the more I wanted to become a chef. I couldn’t afford the training though, and this scholarship means I will get to follow my passion for food and one day, share it with diners in my own restaurant.”

Moldawer herself graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris initiating the scholarship this year in order to give back to the Park City community, “I knew from the moment I met Miguel he deserved this scholarship. He’s so full of personality and hope, and he has an amazing work ethic. Not to mention some great family recipes. Latino workers are the backbone of our restaurant industry, but very few are able to rise to the senior ranks and become executive chefs. I’m thrilled Miguel is this semester’s recipient and I know he’s going to go on to do amazing things.”

Moldawer says one work-study scholarship will be awarded for each program, and students are chosen by the instructors at Park City Culinary Institute. Following the nominations from the school’s local chefs, scholarships are awarded based on financial need. Recipients are required to help chefs prepare for each day’s class, clean the kitchen and assist with events. There will be three certificate programs starting in November, each running through President’s Day. Regular tuition is $9,500 plus tools and uniform.

Congrats Miguel!

Park City Culinary Institute
7720 Royal St, Park City, UT 84060
(435) 659-5075

www.parkcityculinaryinstitute.com

* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of Oasis Cafe.

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