Park City 98: "Hey, You Gonna Eat That?" -- Part I
by Sundance Food Critic At-Large, Peter Byck
Thursday, January 15th:
“Sliding Doors” opened the festival in d’town Salt Lake
City – the party was across the street at the Marriot. RULE #1 — arrive at all
Sundance parties at the exact minute they’re supposed to start, any later,
you’ll never get to the food. The line at the Marriot would have made Disneyland
officials proud. Once inside, folks were swarming around the leg of lamb so I
scooted over to the cheese platters: cheddar cut in a french-fry style, super
dry gouda (not a good thing). The little quiche and crab cakes were so oily I
couldn’t finish the quarter-sized morsels, even though I hadn’t had dinner yet.
The cookies were chocked full of chemicals to make them appear “soft” — just
like Grandma used to mix in the lab. After waiting on the bar line 15 minutes
to get a glass of water, I headed back to Park City, got some grub at Albertson’s
(hopping at midnight) and headed home for a bowl of granola and sleep.
Friday, January 16th:
Off to the “Sliding Doors” press conference; got some
mint tea with fresh lemon and honey at the coffee kiosk. The press room had a
jar of hard candies and I was very pleased with butterscotch, the plastic didn’t
stick at all.
“Orgazmo” party @ Texas Red’s:
Sara Eaton of October Films was kind enough to
invite me for the tasty short ribs, excellent snappers (deep-fried jalepeno and
goat cheese) and one of the best fountain cokes I’ve had in Utah – the soda to
syrup mix is critical – too much syrup and it tastes like Pepsi. Sue, the owner
said, “glad to have you here,” and I knew she meant it.
“The Real Blonde” party @ Riverhorse Cafe:
I must admit, I wasn’t dying to
eat when I got there, but the spread was impressive. Well made, incredibly large
won tons, sausage bits with an orange-colored mayo sauce, light Caesar salad and
fresh veggies (my internals say “thanks”), chicken satay with peanut sauce (you
could put an eye out with the wooden skewers) — all of it was solid party grub.
When I saw the dreaded cubed cheese tray, I demured. I was too stuffed to try the
egg rolls but Phil Donohue (the man) put in his two cents: “Light and
substantial, not little feathery things, something to stick to your ribs.”
Thanks Phil. Dessert: Lemon squares (a la my step-Grandmother, Betty G),
brownies, choco-chip cookies — all exactly how they should be made. I tossed
down a rich cup of brewed de-caf and squeezed through the mob to the exit.
Slamdance Opening Night:
MOBY, the trans-electronic, mondo drumming,
trance-inducing wonder sub-God from across the Atlantic played at the old
Slumdance site. The best food I’ve had yet was Moby’s beautiful aural delights.