Elevated Dining at ULUM Moab

ULUM Moab, a luxury outdoor resort located 25 minutes south of Moab, Utah, provides an elevated dining experience unique to the region. Perfectly situated in a crescent-shaped desert landscape, ULUM’s exceptional restaurant offers a creative, Southwest-inspired menu featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients, and indoor and outdoor dining with spectacular views of Looking Glass Arch.

We spoke with Marissa Valdez, Director of Food & Beverage at ULUM and Under Canvas, to learn more about the restaurant and how she helped bring its vision to life.

What is your background?

With nearly three decades in the industry, my background is very diverse. I have run operations for various types of restaurants—from premium clubs and catering in sports and entertainment, to corporate dining, to the outdoor hospitality space. A little over six years ago, my husband and I took a road trip and stayed at the then-new Under Canvas Zion location. We had such a memorable stay! Four weeks later, I saw a job posting for a Corporate Food & Beverage Manager with Under Canvas and, as they say, the rest is history!

Where do you find inspiration?

Personally, much of my inspiration comes from planning intimate gatherings with loved ones. I also draw inspiration from having been lucky enough to grow up in the San Francisco Bay Area, known for its incredible food from cultures around the world.

At ULUM Moab, my team and I have developed a menu that reflects the local desert landscape, particularly the region’s flora and fauna. In many of our Southwestern dishes, for example, we’ve incorporated flavors such as juniper, sage, hibiscus, and jicama, as well as the creative use of smoke.

What are you most proud of?

Having the opportunity to launch a new, elevated version of Under Canvas’ unique dining experience—with programing driven by an amazing team, in a truly breathtaking environment—is something that has given me a great sense of pride. From the creative breakfast and dinner menus, to the innovative beverage options, to the outstanding staff, ULUM Moab is everything I dreamed of and more.

What are your favorite menu items?

If I am forced to pick a few favorite menu items from the past season, I would choose the Tostada-acdo, a crispy corn tortilla with avocado, cold smoked salmon, capers, lime crema, and cilantro for breakfast, and the Salted Beets with cold smoked avocado, toasted cashew, oregano, and pickled peppers for dinner. These items are the creations of Jesse Smith, ULUM Moab’s Culinary Manager, while the drinks are the creations of Maggie Early, ULUM Moab’s Beverage Manager. Two of my favorite cocktails: the Thelma and Louise, crafted with espresso, chai tea, smoked vanilla, and oat milk, and The Three Gossips, a delicious Beehive Gin, earl grey, and lemon cocktail.

What makes dining at ULUM Moab unique?

What truly sets ULUM Moab apart is the combination of exciting culinary and beverage programming, the relaxing ambiance, and the truly breathtaking landscape.

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