After everyone has finished eating at the loooong table, after the sun goes down and the evening cool comes, it's time for a walk. Savor the Summit, the annual fundraiser presented by the Park City Area Restaurant Association, takes up the whole of Park City Main Street and after dinner, guests stroll down Main Street and check out the tables they didn't sit at. A couple tables are sure to stop people in their tracks.
Like, a whole lounge full of upholstered sofas, cushy chairs and tropical potted plants has been set up in the middle of Main Street.
Another table is set with iridescent blue tumblers and wineglasses, with ikat-covered chairs.
It's Bill White, of course.
The Park City dining pioneer known for the eye-popping decor of his restaurants is famous for his Savor the Summit tables, too. Chimayo, his Southwestern-themed restaurant, and Wahso, his Asian restaurant, both have tables at the event this year. White's been part of the event since its inception, and his tables are so popular they sell out three days after the conclusion of each year's dinner.
As White says, "If we're going to participate, we're going to stand out. My philosophy is, if you can't be at the top, don't do it."
Savor the Summit isn't a moneymaking endeavor for participants; "it's a giveback to our guests" says White, and "we lose money on it every year. But I don't care."
Clearly not, because also every year, he ups his game.
Like, recently, White's company purchased Hapa Grill; now it's Blue Sushi. The new restaurant will be closed on the night of Savor the Summit and the sushi chefs will be part of the show at Wahso's table.
This is a cooperative event–all the participants are working together to promote Park City dining–but chefs will be chefs and there's an unspoken competition going on for the nonexistent awards of "best-looking table," "most innovative menu," and "most congenial."
Building on the basic theme of Chimayo-by-the-sea, White and his team create a Mexican beach fantasy, complete with its own band–paid for by Bill White Enterprises, not the general Savor monies. Specially purchased plates, glasses and napkins, a constructed centerpiece of sand, flowers and candles, cushy chairs and a whole living room full of furniture and cushions in the lounge area (tickets sold at a lower price for appetizers and drinks) make setting up Savor the Summit a hard day's work.
"I dread it," says White. "Because it's such a huge endeavor. But it's absolutely the best thing in Park City. Even the spectators, who are just walking around and don't have dinner tickets, are just enjoying it. Park City shines like a star. This is what the city is supposed to be. This is good for everybody."