Press Release: Ultimate Chef Challenge 2012

Chef John Murcko and Talisker Restaurant Collection Capture Ultimate Chef Challenge Title

PARK CITY, UTAH (June 6, 2012) – Harnessing flavors and textures of wild and cultivated mushrooms – this year’s “secret” ingredient – a team of chefs from the Talisker Restaurant Collection earned top honors in Nicholas & Company’s fifth annual Ultimate Chef Challenge on Tuesday, June 5th at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.

Chef John Murcko, the executive chef of the Talisker Restaurant Collection, was joined by the executive chefs from Talisker on Main (Briar Handly) and Bistro at Canyons (Zeke Wray) in the kitchen as they prepared an imaginative five-course meal in 90 minutes for three judges.  Sean Marron, Talisker’s director of wine and spirits, provided wine pairings, while Craig Back, assistant director of Canyons Resort Food & Beverage, demonstrated the exceptional service that Talisker is known for.

“It truly takes a team,” Murcko said.  “With chefs Briar and Zeke, we pulled together an ambitious menu in a very short amount of time. Sean dazzled with his wine pairings and Craig helped explain to the judges what we had created.”

A Nettle & Mushroom Tea Sandwich tempted the judges’ palates, followed by Micro Green Salad with Mushrooms in Various Preparations.  Murcko and his team created entrees of Soft Shell Crab with Uringi Mushrooms and Beef Cheeks with Smoked Shitake Mushrooms.  Finally, Porcini Ice Cream and Almond Cake (accompanied by the legendary Andalucian Alvear PX 1927 wine) was the piece de resistance.

This is the second victory for Murcko at the Ultimate Chef Challenge, who also won in 2009.  Earlier this year, he was named a Semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards.

“It is great to work with Nicholas and Company,” Murcko said. “The food show is a huge event and they do a great job in organizing this event.  I’m glad we could showcase the ingenuity and dedication of our team.”

Guests are invited to sample the Talisker Restaurant Collection at Talisker on Main (515 Main St.), The Farm at Canyons (4000 Canyons Resort Road) and Slopes by Talisker (2100 Frostwood Dr. inside the Waldorf Astoria Park City).  The acclaimed Bistro at Canyons is the fourth member of the Collection and will reopen for the 2012-13 ski season in November.

For hours, sample menus and reservations, visit or or call 888.Canyons (888-226-9667).

About Talisker
Talisker is a lifestyle development company with an American owner that has been investing in and operating in Utah for over 12 years and currently employs over 2,000 people in Utah. From the slopes of the Deer Valley® Resort to the Jordanelle Reservoir, Talisker has developed four of Park City’s preeminent family-oriented residential communities – Tuhaye, Empire Pass, Red Cloud and Waldorf Astoria Park City– united as the exclusive, private Talisker Club. Talisker businesses include: mountain hospitality lodging, ski operations, public restaurants, golf courses, a private club, real estate development and a real estate brokerage.  For more information, please visit

About Canyons Resort
Canyons Resort, a Talisker mountain destination in Park City, Utah, is the fourth-largest ski and snowboard resort in North America with 182 trails across nine mountains.  Utah’s most dynamic four-season resort, Canyons features five world-class hotels including the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Park City and the AAA Four-Diamond Grand Summit Hotel.  Canyons offers more than a dozen dining venues including The Farm, a fine dining restaurant with seasonal cuisine sourced within 200 miles of Park City.  Last year, Canyons proposed an 8-passenger gondola known as SkiLink that, subject to approvals, will connect Canyons and Solitude resorts in just 11 minutes and create the most unique ski network in North America. Salt Lake City International Airport is just 35 minutes away and provides convenient access from anywhere in the world. For a taste of the new and exciting Canyons, visit or call (888) CANYONS.



Media Contact:
Canyons Resort & Talisker Mountain Incorporated
Steve Pastorino, Director of Public Relations
(435) 615-3308;

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