Murcko moves on | ParkRecord.com

Murcko moves on

Gina Barker, The Park Record

Former executive chef and vice president of food and beverage John Murcko has left Talisker Corp, owners of Canyons Resort and several off-shoot Park City restaurants. Murcko left to take a new position with Sun Valley Resort in Idaho as the resort’s director of culinary operations, a position he will formally start August 6, and will oversee the nine restaurants at the resort along with all other food services.

"We are absolutely saddened by his departure," said Canyons Resort General Manager Mike Goar. "He is as good as they come, the very best there is."

Murcko came to Park City more than two decades ago, starting his career with restaurateur Bill White. In 2006, when Murcko picked up the reigns as executive chef with Talisker, he became responsible for shaping menus, hiring the current chefs on staff with Talisker and building a food and beverage department that has received international recognition. With 500 employees under his management during his time at the resort, Murcko continued to open new restaurants including into the most recent ski season. Named "Best Chef in Utah" in 2011 by Salt Lake Magazine, he also earned Best New Restaurant Utah in 2011, Best Restaurant in Park City in 2011 and 2012, and recently received top honors from Nicholas & Company’s for the second time in the Ultimate Chef Challenge.

"John has demonstrated passion and leadership in mountain resort food and beverage operations," said Tim Silva, the general manager for the Sun Valley Resort. "We are excited to have him join the Sun Valley Resort team in providing our guests with exceptional dining experiences."

Zeke Wray, a current Canyons Resort employee, was hired to replace Murcko as the new executive chef for Talisker and the Talisker Club Collection but the resort is still searching for a new vice president of the food and beverage department.

"Right now, my goal is to stabilize the restaurants, the chefs," Wray said, "to let them get to know me and what I stand for. My hope is to put my influence into the restaurants while still allowing the chefs’ cuisine to be highlighted, to let all the chefs become successful."

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A Colorado native, Wray, joined Talisker in 2006 and earned recognition for the Bistro at Canyons this year, one of the newest Talisker restaurants well-known for its kosher fare. He has also worked in the private dining rooms at Talisker Tower and Tuhaye Table Café, as well as with the Talisker Events Group, where he contributed to several Talisker special events, according to a press release from the company.

Goar remained confident that despite Murcko’s sudden departure, Talisker and the renowned chef will continue to work together.

"Even though he’s taken on new challenges, I’ve told him we’re not going to let him get too far away,’ Goar said. "I’ll continue to call him He may not know it, but he’s going to continue to work for us."

"When he left, we hit the ground running," he added, "but it would be disingenuous to suggest there isn’t a speed bump when John Murcko leaves your company."