Former Talisker chef John Murcko, David Chen of Zoe's Garden and Talisker/Canyons chef Zeke Wray.
The Farm and Friends
Last spring, Talisker/Canyons executive chef John Murcko invited a group of food journalists on a show-and-tell field trip. The Farm, Canyons’ signature restaurant, is based on the concept of local sourcing, of narrowing the time and distance between the food in the field and the food on the plate. Murcko and his successor, chef Zeke Wray, extend that philosophy to other restaurants at the resort: the kosher Bistro, Talisker on Main and Slopes. The trip included visits to sources that work closely with Wray at Talisker: Zoe’s Garden, Slide Ridge Honey, Rockhill Creamery, Mountain Valley Trout and Willis Ranch. (4000 The Canyons Resort Drive, Park City, 435-615-8060)
About Zoe's Garden
A CSA, Zoe’s Garden has run into challenges because of its unique mission. “Our intent was to provide for and educate the community,” says principal farmer David Chen. He experiments with different varieties to find out what flourishes in Utah’s extremes of heat and cold, and how to alternate and rotate crops. But because Zoe’s leases its land, and because the owners have recently garnered a conservation easement for the property, there are restrictions about what and how Zoe’s can grow. They’re not allowed to have a sign or a roadside stand. Trellising for climbing crops is classified as fencing and therefore not permitted. Still, Chen and his crew farm almost 30 acres in Layton near Hill Air Force Base. It’s not uncommon for a squadron of jets to roar over the fields, but Chen says his crew is prepared for it. “We farm with earplugs in,” he jokes. Buy Zoe’s produce at the downtown SLC farmers market in Pioneer Park, and at the Park Silly Market in Park City on Sundays.