The funny thing is, women have always been relegated to the kitchen, unless the kitchen was attached to a very expensive, haute cuisine restaurant. That has always been a man’s world and the guy wearing the big hat was always replaced by another guy. Women were tough enough to cook three meals a day, 365 days a year, by themselves, but not tough enough to earn the big bucks with the big boys. So I rejoice when I hear about a woman taking the top toque: Rachel Wiener has recently been given the title Executive Sous and Chef de Cuisine at Deer Valley St. Regis’ J&G Grill, a world-class restaurant whose Five Diamond status was recently affirmed. A press dinner in September was a taste of what Chef Wiener has in mind for J & G’s menu: A play on fish and chips involving artfully cut medai sashimi, the Japanese name for what’s often called “bluenose sea bass” (then again, what is not called a sea bass?) or Antarctic butterfish with a thin potato crisp and a touch of chili; a pair of perfectly seared designer scallops (Ingrid Bengis from Deer Isle, Maine) with an au courant edamame mash and a very ‘90s schmear down the rectangular plate. Wiener seems perfectly at home cherry-picking culinary trends from all eras—foie gras is a controversial choice these days, thanks to PETA, but she bravely served it delectably seared, showing off the meltingly crisp fat, and borrowing from molecular cuisine to provide the traditional berry garnish in the form of nitrogen-frozen droplets. There were other highlights—a tortelloni filled with smoked duck and St. Andre, garnished with crispy duck prosciutto. 2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-940-5700
The Women's Touch: Rachel at J&G Grill, St. Regis Deer Valley
Utah craft brewing industry stars are persevering through acquisitions and restrictions, winning national acclaim along the way.