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Several Montana eateries and chefs named as James Beard Award semifinalists

2022 James Beard Semifinalists.jpg
From left to right, top to bottom: Sous Chef Travis Lang and Executive Chef Paul Naugle of Izakaya Three Fish in Bozeman; Executive Chef Jason Marble and his partner and wife, Jen, of The Marble Table in Billings; and Executive Chef Chris Lockhart, Gena Burghoff and Executive Chef Danny Mowatt of PREROGATIvE Kitchen in Red Lodge.

Nine restaurants from Montana received the honored nod as semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards.

The recognition, established in 1990, is the most prestigious recognition of talent in the culinary industry. For 2022, here under the Big Sky, five semifinalists in the Best Chef: Mountain which includes Montana as well as Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming; and one each for Outstanding Wine Program, Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Best New Restaurant were acknowledged for their contribution in making the food and beverage scene more flavorful and delicious.

The following Montana restaurants and chefs were the semifinalists for 2022:

Best New Restaurant

  • The Marble Table (Billings)

Outstanding Baker

  • Caroline Schweitzer and Lauren Heemstra, Wild Crumb (Bozeman)

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Krystle Swenson, The Social Haus (Greenough)

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Rainbow Ranch Lodge (Gallatin Gateway)

Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)

  • Saibeen Acord, Saibeen's Kitchen )Great Falls)
  • Chris Lockhart and Danny Mowatt, PREROGATIvE Kitchen (Red Lodge)
  • Brian Menges, The 2nd Street Bistro (Livingston)
  • Paul Naugle, Izakaya Three Fish (Bozeman)
  • Dave Wells, The Tasting Room at Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa (Pray)
Stella Fong shares her personal love of food and wine through her cooking classes and wine seminars as well as through her contributions to Yellowstone Valley Woman, and Last Best News and The Last Best Plates blogs. Her first book, Historic Restaurants of Billings hit the shelves in November of 2015 with Billings Food available in the summer of 2016. After receiving her Certified Wine Professional certification from the Culinary Institute of America with the assistance of a Robert Parker Scholarship for continuing studies, she has taught the Wine Studies programs for Montana State University Billings Wine and Food Festival since 2008. She has instructed on the West Coast for cooking schools such as Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s Cellars, and Gelsons, and in Billings, at the Billings Depot, Copper Colander, Wellness Center, the YMCA and the YWCA. Locally she has collaborated with Raghavan Iyer and Christy Rost in teaching classes.