Ask the Experts: Chef Tony Coppernoll

After 24 years of serving up locally-flavored cuisine in Salt Lake City, Spencer’s for Steak & Chops welcomed a fresh face a little over a year ago: Executive Chef Tony Coppernoll joined the team, straight from a stint at the Waldorf Astoria in Key West, Florida. 

Chef Tony was born and raised in Wisconsin, where his passion for locally sourced and sustainably produced dishes began to flourish. Since age 12, he has gained experience from every type of culinary atmosphere imaginable, from mom and pop diners to lavish wedding banquets. 

“I am well versed in a lot of culinary settings, but I try to keep my Midwest roots at heart,” says Chef Tony. “I grew up in a very lush farming community, so I always like to look out for the local guys.” 

Local fare is all over Spencer’s menu: microgreen garnishes from Steen Greens, Caputo’s prosciutto, cuts from Wasatch Meats, and more. 

The Hilton Salt Lake City Center and the Spencer’s team take sustainability and the hotel’s motto of “Travel with Purpose” very seriously. Their on-site herb garden, which is used in dishes daily, is pollinated by thousands of bees inhabiting the hotel’s four rooftop hives which are on track to produce more than 15 gallons of honey this year. 

It’s easy to cultivate quality when it comes from your own backyard, but Chef Tony has also built a reputation in quality in more than just flavor profiles. All of the service staff in the restaurant are dedicated to giving each customer a 5-star experience, and keep tabs on the tiniest details to make sure every diner has a positive experience on their first visit and beyond.


How do I order like a pro at Spencer’s?  

“Our most popular appetizer is called Millionaire’s Bacon. It features local Daily’s bacon, and pairs fantastically with a deep, dark, red wine. Our composed salads are also an elevated twist on the classics. 

We call our main plate concept “Center of the Plate,” with options for all grades of meat. Try a classic or step outside the box with a veal chop, and keep an eye on our seasonal menu. This winter, we are feeling all things braised.”

How is Spencer’s a different experience from other steakhouses? 

‘Dining experience’, rather than just ‘going out to dinner.’ Most chains have to conform to a nationally-distributed menu. At Spencer’s, we have the freedom to infuse a much more personal touch into everything we do. Our dishes follow a classic steakhouse concept but have a contemporary flair that makes it fun to dine here.”  

What does it mean to “Travel with Purpose?” 

“Hilton’s worldwide motto reflects a company-wide commitment to sustainability and waste reduction. In some places, that looks like switching to energy-conserving electric outlets and other low waste efforts. Here, we wanted to do something a bit more ‘Utah-flavored’, and have brought sustainability into every level of our dining experiences, from our local sourcing to our home-grown produce.” 

Spencer’s For Steak and Chops

255 S. West Temple, Salt lake city

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