Powder Restaurant at Waldorf Astoria, Park City revealed their new summer menu with a bit of a twist. Director of food and beverage Eric Leblang asked the restaurant and kitchen staff to submit menu items that inspired them and in turn, they would be added to the menu for guests and diners to enjoy. We spoke with Eric and asked him about the idea behind the concept.
What was the inspiration in involving the cooks/chefs in creating the new summer menu?
With an overarching focus of creating a family-friendly environment for our guests; we wanted to ensure that same camaraderie was present in the kitchen. Each one of culinary team members has a passion for creating (and eating) comfort food, and we wanted to see that materialize on the plate from their own inspiration.
How did you chose the items that made it on the new menu?
We started with the core mission – create a dish that is one part comfort food, one part mountain inspired – and allowed the team to create unabashedly. Each team member was tasked with imagining, creating and pricing their dish; after which, the tasting(s) began.
Were there some crazy creations that the cooks came up with?
There was nothing truly unorthodox about any of the creations. The hardest concept for the team was re-imagining a classic dish while elevating the flavor profile. A perfect example of this is the Hawaiian Flatbread. We took a traditional Hawaiian pizza and elevated it by using grilled pineapple, shaved speck and pepper jack cheese.
Do you have a personal favorite in the dishes?
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and the Tinga Tostada is everything I enjoy on one plate.
Breakfast: Coconut Smoothie
My inspiration for the coconut smoothie came from two directions. First, was my love of tropical style drinks, and second was the desire to use infused fruits in my drinks. I knew right away that I wanted to have coconut and pineapple in it, with mango being the best complimentary flavor for it. I got the inspiration for doing compressed pineapple after watching it done on a baking show using watermelon. I knew right away that I had to try it. Compressing it with a coconut syrup was the best way to get that great flavor combination.
-Christopher Ashby, Cook
Lunch: Honey Lavender Chicken
A pastry chef had been on a lavender kick playing around with some bakery ideas. It inspired and challenged me to come up with a savory lavender dish. Lavender/coriander roasted duck was my first thought. Visually and flavor-wise I was thinking Asian persuasion.
-Hernan Jimenez, Chef De Partie with inspiration from the Pastry Chefs
Lunch: Hawaiian Style Flatbread
My inspiration for the Hawaiian flatbread came from my love of Hawaiian Pizza. I have always enjoyed the combination of pineapple and ham on my pizza as well as in sandwiches and salads. I really like BBQ sauce on my pizza too regardless of the toppings. I love good homemade BBQ sauce and make it a lot at home. I am always trying new variations of peppers in it. The addition of speck in place of the ham was the suggestion of Chef Michael. Shannah gave me the suggestion to create a pineapple chutney to use in place of diced pineapple. This was a great collaboration from multiple team members. I am very pleased with the result.
– Hernan Jimenez, Chef De Partie
No matter what you chose on the menu, you are sure to have a delightful experience. But knowing that items on the menu have been created in a collaborative effort between staff and chefs just makes it all the more unique and personal when dining at Powder.
Open 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.