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Food briefs: Prize-winning Utah chefs (young and old)

Published July 30, 2012 7:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lahav Ardi, a 9-year-old from Salt Lake City, is the Utah winner in The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a national competition sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative and Epicurious. Lahav, who submitted a recipe for lentil vegetable soup, is one of 54 national winners who will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend a state dinner at the White House. On Aug. 20, the group will join Obama for a healthy lunch, where the menu will feature a selection of the winning recipes, followed by a tour of the White House kitchen garden. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge received more than 1,200 entries for nutritious lunches. In his essay, Lahav said he first made the soup about three years ago when his mom was sick.

"I told mom to 'lay down and rest, I'll make lunch,'" he wrote. "I convinced her I could do it, made this soup, and she felt better that night. Now, when someone is sick, we make this soup. I have even taken it over to my grandma and grandpa when they were sick, especially the chicken-broth version."

For the contest, Lahav chose to make the vegetable version " because it is healthier, my mom's best friend is vegetarian, and I have friends at school that are vegetarian that would like it."

Utah chef wins national title

A chocolate-and-sugar sculpture inspired by the epic science-fiction film "Avatar" helped Utah chef Adalberto Diaz Labrada win the title of Pastry Chef of the Year. Diaz was one of four chefs selected to compete for the national title sponsored by the American Culinary Federation. He receives bragging rights and $5,000. The chefs traveled to Orlando, Fla., and had 2 1/2 hours to prepare and serve both a hot and cold dessert as well as a sugar-chocolate sculpture.

Diaz, the executive chef and culinary instructor for Harmons Grocery Store in Salt Lake City, and his assistant Lyn Wells, a culinary student at Utah Valley University, created a sculpture that represented the two worlds portrayed in the film. For Pandora, the alien planet, Diaz used colorful sugar, white chocolate and pastillage wings airbrushed to represent the big bird in the movie. The Earth side was made with dark chocolate that was airbrushed metallic blue.

Diaz's cold dessert was just as impressive: a chocolate tower cake with coconut mousse, pineapple compote and mango gelee, served with passion-fruit macaroon, fresh fruit salsa, and banana vanilla-bean ice cream. His warm-plated dessert was a habanero dark chocolate pot de crème with hazelnut florentine, orange brioche doughnut and orange blueberry sauce. It was served with blood orange and orange-blossom goat-cheese mousse and blood-orange mojito sorbet.

New fry sauce

The makers of Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa are branching out and focusing on another culinary icon of Utah — fry sauce. Stephen's Gourmet Fry Sauce is available in WinCo, Smith's Food and Drug and all Associated Food Stores, including Harmons, Macey's, Dan's, Bowman's, Dick's Market and Fresh Market. A 17.5-ounce bottle cost $4.49. But fans on Facebook can get a $1-off coupon if they "like" the product at facebook.com/StephensFrySauce. Coupon offer expires Sept. 1.

Hop-lovers beer dinner

Squatters Brew Pub will celebrate International IPA Day with a special beer-tasting dinner at The Bombay House. During the dinner, Squatters will introduce Monsoon Monster, a bottle-conditioned IPA containing Falconers Flight and other exceptional hops. Brewmasters Jason Stock and Dan Burick collaborated with John Harris, an award-winning brewer from Oregon, on this high-alcohol brew, which contains 7.3 percent alcohol by volume. The dinner menu will include naan flatbread, fish curry, chicken tandoori, vegetable cocount kurma, chicken makhani and lamb. Guests also will get to sample Squatters India Pale Ale and Hop Rising.

When • Thursday, Aug. 2, 6:30 p.m.

Where • The Bombay House, 2731 Parleys Way, Salt Lake City

Tickets • $40. Call 801-581-0222

Street Feast in Bountiful

Sample food from 15 south Davis County restaurants during StreetFeast. Featured restaurants include Plates and Palates, Mikado, Souties, Cutler's, Eatery 1025, Scoopology and Vito's. The event is part of the 24th annual Summerfest International Street Dance Festival.

When • Wednesday, Aug. 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where • Main Street, Bountiful

Tickets • $1 each or 6 for $5. Food items will require 1 to 5 tickets.

Utah wine dinner

Michael Knight, owner of Salt Lake City's Kiler Grove Winery, teams with the chefs at La Caille Restaurant for a special wine-pairing dinner. The event starts with an opening reception with appetizers and a tour of the recently planted vineyards, followed by a four-course dinner, with each course paired with a different Kiler Grove wine.

When • Wednesday, Aug. 8, reception and vineyard tour at 6:30 p.m. (wear appropriate shoes); dinner at 7 p.m.

Where • La Caille, 9565 Wasatch Blvd., Sandy

Tickets • $55 for dinner; $35 for optional wine pairings. 801-942-1751 or http://www.lacaille.com

Cooking the summer harvest

Learn simple recipes using tomatoes, corn, seasonal fruit and fresh greens from Park City chef Susan Odell. Samples included.

When • Wednesday, Aug. 8, 7 p.m.

Where • Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive, Park City

Tickets • $5 per person; free for members. Call 435-649-1767 for purchasing information.

Park City harvest dinner

Enjoy a farm-inspired dinner during the Half Moon Harvest Festival at Copper Moose Farms in Park City. The evening starts with cocktails and appetizers featuring locally produced whiskey, beer and cheese. It will be followed by a five-course meal, prepared by chefs from Deer Valley, Montage, St Regis, Sky Lodge and Bistro 412. Guests can also explore the farm's gardens, poultry house and beehives. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing (and be prepared for cool weather).

When • Saturday, Aug. 11, 6 p.m.

Where • Copper Moose Farm, 1 Old Ranch Road, Park City

Tickets • $150 per person, available at 435-604-0497 or coppermoosefarm.com

Changes at Sundance

Several chef changes have taken place recently at Sundance Resort restaurants:

• Mark Shoup, who has been the resort's executive chef, has been named the new chef of Zoom, in Park City.

• Ryker W. Brown, who previously worked at Park City's Waldorf Astoria, replaces Shoup as the resort's executive chef.

• Chris Park has been promoted to executive chef at the Tree Room.

• Gabriel D. Morin, who comes to Sundance from the Zermatt Resort in Midway, is the new chef of the Foundry Grill.

• Jessica Shelton is the resort's new pastry chef. She previously worked for Utah Food Services, where she catered the Salt Palace conventions. —

Lahav's lentil vegetable soup

6 cups vegetable broth (optional: add a 7th cup, if needed)*

1/2 cup each red and green lentils

1⁄3 cup barley

1⁄3 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup celery hearts with the leaves, finely chopped

4 small red potatoes or 2 small regular potatoes cut into 1/2- inch cubes

1 cup sliced fresh carrots

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2-3 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1 1/2 tablespoon parsley

1/2 tablespoon oregano

1/2 tablespoon basil

1 teaspoon cilantro

1 teaspoon sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Pour the broth into an 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add lentils and barley to begin cooking. Cut your carrots and potatoes and add them to the broth along with the spices and frozen vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cook until lentils and barley are tender. If soup is too thick, you may opt to add another cup of broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Total cooking time is about an hour.

Serve this soup with multigrain bread with gouda and mozzarella melted on top, or as a side dish served with mixed berries and kiwi.

* Chicken broth may be used instead of vegetable broth; also, consider adding two small chicken breasts (about a half-pound) cut into 1-inch cubes.

Servings • 6 to 7

Source: Lahav Ardi, Salt Lake City winner of The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge