Chef wins challenge |

Chef wins challenge


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 last week 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 a 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 in a press release from Talisker. "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."

The team made a nettle and mushroom tea sandwich, followed by micro green salad with mushrooms, a soft shell crab with Uringi mushrooms and beef cheeks with smoked Shitake mushrooms. For dessert, the team made Porcini ice cream and almond cake.

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.

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). For hours, sample menus and reservations, visit or

Information provided by Talisker Corp.

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