Park city summer 2012 wat mary cech talisker bakery k6ncqb

Pastry chef Mary Cech at work in the Talisker Bakery

Image: Barrett Doran

Driving or cycling up the old Mine Road toward Deer Valley, you might notice the rusted-frame building of the old Ontario Mine, which once cranked out silver ore by the ton. What many don’t know is that this relic is now the home for Talisker Bakery’s motherlode of confections. A small group of five bakers in the cozy kitchen of this unassuming enclave produces all of the desserts for Talisker Restaurant Collection, which encompasses nine dining venues at Canyons Resort and around town.

The leader of this talented group is award-winning executive pastry chef Mary Cech. With 35 years of dessert experience in some of the foodie world’s best kitchens (Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and Cypress Club in San Francisco), she is also one of the instructors who launched the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in Napa Valley and the author of two cookbooks. But as you bite into one of her swoon-worthy desserts, all you really need to know about Cech is that she’s a genius.

Her chocolate torte is made with chocolate custard and served with caramel flan, popcorn-flavored ice cream, and caramel corn. Served at Canyons’ Bistro, the coconut panna cotta is light, refreshing, and kosher. The s’more cake pleases with a double layer of graham-cracker cake held together with chocolate pots de crème and topped with bittersweet chocolate pieces, homemade marshmallows, and rocky road ice cream. The midnight chocolate cake with red cocoa butter is so pretty it’s almost good enough not to eat.

Like the miners of our past, Park City digs deep to reinvent itself, and once again, life is sweet. 

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