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Culinary transformation unveiled at Brighton Ski Resort

Pan-seared chili butter prawns (Andrew Kooyman / Brighton)

Secluded at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton Ski Resort has in many ways resisted the transition to a fancier resort catering to monied visitors looking for Instagramable long weekends. Locals, young people, and snowboarders are the players here. Yet the 2023-24 season brought a noticeable change to Brighton—one focused on the culinary offerings.

The resort welcomed home one of its own, Executive Chef Jeffrey Sanich, an accomplished culinary talent adept at blending innovative techniques with a deep respect for local and seasonal ingredients. “I feel very fortunate, I grew up here,” he beams. “I learned to ski right here. It’s a big deal to be here. My history is here and to come back to Utah, this is really great for me.”

A native of Utah, Sanich developed a passion for food early on and spent his summers picking fresh vegetables, collecting eggs, and helping at his grandparent’s farm. As an adult, he spent the better part of two decades working as a chef in some of the best kitchens in Park City and New England.

The food and service that Chef Sanich now brings to Brighton is a culmination of his entire life and career and it’s primarily on display at Milly Chalet, which is redefining the dining experience at Brighton.

Milly Chalet - Sunday brunch carving station (Heather L. King)
Milly Chalet – Sunday brunch carving station (Heather L. King)

Fresh perspectives, bold flavors at Milly Chalet

The Milly transformation began last summer with the addition of Sunday brunch. “We had a lot of great success with that,” says Sanich of the buffet that featured a carving station, cocktails and table service.

The success of brunch set the stage for the full transition of Milly this winter that includes sit-down dining with well-trained servers and a full bar featuring local beers and liquors along with thoughtful lunch and après offerings. Dishes focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients and innovative flavor pairings showcasing Sanich’s travels as well as the bounty of Utah’s landscape to offer a wide-ranging variety of options. From slow-roasted pork carnitas served with blue corn tortillas and rib-sticking beef short rib mac & cheese loaded with gruyere and cheddar to juicy pan-seared chili butter prawns accented with a spicy jicama salad, there’s something for everyone here—even those who just love the Brighton Burger.

One of the highlights of the revamped culinary direction is the attention paid to locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Whether it’s the Utah trout or the local cheddar, quality ingredients come together to celebrate the flavors of Utah.

Milly Chalet - Utah trout (Heather L. King)
Milly Chalet – Utah trout (Heather L. King)

Service to match the views

The dining experience at Milly Chalet has been elevated to match the more upscale menu—going so far as new dinnerware and glasses. It’s hard to go wrong with a Bourbon Smash with a side of Wasatch Mountain views to create the perfect setting for a memorable meal just off the slopes.

Additionally, a reservation system has helped streamline the dining process, allowing guests the assurance of a confirmed spot for their culinary journey.

Doyle’s Dawgs

For those who still want to eat and run, Doyle’s Dawgs, located opposite Milly, offers a fast-casual walk-up window where guests can grab breakfast burritos before 10:30 am and hot dogs and bratwurst with all the toppings (think chili dog, Chicago dog, etc.) and wash it down with beers and beverages. “Doyle’s Dawgs solves for that former cafeteria vibe that was Milly Chalet,” explains Sanich.

Snake Creek Exterior (Brighton}
Snake Creek Exterior (Brighton)

Mid Mountain: Sidewinder at Snake Creek Lodge

Another first for Brighton is the opening of the mid-mountain Snake Creek Lodge and the new on-site restaurant Sidewinder in mid-February.

Located at the base of the Snake Creek lift, the new facility offers plenty of indoor seating along with a large patio to accommodate hungry skiers and riders. Signature smash-style burgers like the Snake Creek Smash with Swiss cheese, a crave-able buttermilk and chive ranch, and sautéed mushrooms and the Pine Martin Smash with grilled pastrami and roasted garlic aioli complement side orders of tater tots smothered in Sidewinder Sauce—the eatery’s secret house sauce inspired by Utah’s fry sauce or dusted with parm and rosemary. And don’t miss the desserts. Brownies and cookies far exceed expectations with ample ingredients.

Sidewinder is open daily from 8-11 a.m. for grab-and-go meals, and then from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with their full smash burger menu.

Sidewinder - Pine Martin Smash (Brighton)
Sidewinder – Pine Martin Smash (Brighton)

Sidewinder - sandwiches and tots (Heather L. King)
Sidewinder – burgers, tots and cheese curds  (Heather L. King)

Sidewinder - dessert (Heather L. King)
Sidewinder – dessert (Heather L. King)

Brighton’s Culinary Slopes

With the culinary upgrade to Milly Chalet and the addition of Sidewinder and Doyle’s Dawgs, Brighton fans and food lovers can enjoy a midday dog or smash burger or a leisurely lunch or après meal all around the resort. Brighton’s elevated on-mountain dining now offers fresh and memorable dining experiences all year long.

 “I am beyond excited and grateful for my life and career to come full circle with this opportunity at Brighton”, Sanich concludes. “Brighton is a very special place to me, and I look forward to bringing my passion and enthusiasm to the resort for years to come.”

Featured image credit: pan-seared chili butter prawns (Andrew Kooyman / Brighton)

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