Remember the buzz surrounding the opening of Talisker on Main and The Farm? Until those creative and cutting-edge eateries were launched in 2009 and 2011 respectively, by then Talisker Director of Food and Beverage John Murcko, Utah foodies hadn’t been as enthusiastic about a Park City restaurant launch since local culinary patriarch Bill White opened his flagship Grappa a decade prior.
The Farm is now owned and operated by Park City Mountain Resort, and the space where Talisker on Main once resided has become a North Face Concept Store. As for Murcko, following a three-year stint retooling Sun Valley Resort’s dated culinary ops, he’s back in Park City and this winter will open his own restaurant for the first time, a place he’s aptly dubbed Firewood.
The concept is based on Murcko’s affection for open-fire cooking, a passion that, until now, he indulged most frequently at his family cabin in Utah’s Escalante area. Located at 306 Main Street, Firewood occupies the building where Cisero’s Ristorante operated for 30 years. At Firewood, everything—yes, everything—is cooked over a hardwood-fueled open flame. But the apparatus Murcko purchased to execute his vision isn’t just any oven or grill. Firewood’s literal and figurative centerpiece is the Infierno 154, Grillworks’ custom-made Maserati of grills featuring a central fire station, four modular grilling stations, and space for a 48-inch rotisserie. Murcko’s baby—only the fifth of its kind in operation worldwide—is on display behind floor-to-ceiling glass windows lined with guest seating. “It’s really a magical piece of equipment,” Murcko says, “and I want people to see that.”
With the opening of Firewood—slated for December 15th—Murcko is getting something else he wants, too: time back in the kitchen. “After launching so many restaurants for someone else, you lose the opportunity to do what got you into this business in the first place, and that’s cooking,” he says. “I’m looking forward to being back behind the line, doing what I love.”