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Flavors Moment: Finalist for Best New Restaurant - Shan

Chef Jarrett Wrisely relocated to Bozeman with his wife Candice Lin a year ago to open Shan that now has become a nominee for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation.
Stella Fong
Chef Jarrett Wrisely relocated to Bozeman with his wife Candice Lin a year ago to open Shan that now has become a nominee for Best New Restaurant from the James Beard Foundation.

Chef Brandon Cunningham from Social Haus in Greenough received a nod as Best Chef: Mountain while in Bozeman there was another nominee from the James Beard Foundation.

Stella Fong: In the Cannery District, just outside downtown Bozeman, Shan owned by Jarrett Wrisley and Candice Lin made the short list for the James Beard Foundation Awards for Best New Restaurant.

Jarrett Wrisley: I am totally overwhelmed by it. I was really surprised. I always set out to open something that was unique, and I used my 20 years of training in Asia to create this restaurant in Montana.

Stella Fong: And where did Wrisley receive the good news?

Jarrett Wrisley: I was actually skiing. I was hiking up the side of a mountain at Bridger Bowl when I heard. I was on a backcountry tour and my friend, Andy Ricker, who has been nominated for Beard Awards in the past, texted me on my phone and it said, ‘Hey Chef, have you seen this?
Stella Fong: As outdoor enthusiasts, Wrisley with his wife Candice found Bozeman fitting their wants and needs to then open Shan a 40 seat restaurant in 2022.

Jarrett Wrisley: I left Thailand in the midst of the pandemic. I closed five restaurants, and I moved here and didn’t know a single person so I had a lot of time on my hands to sort of play with local product and see what was available from markets in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles and Seattle. So what I’m trying to do is connect the product that’s available in Montana and the landscape to food from places in Asia that I’m very familiar with.

Stella Fong: So why did Wrisley name his new restaurant Shan meaning mountain in Chinese?

Jarrett Wrisley: Because we’re in the mountains, I decided to call it Shan and I’m cooking food from Sichuan, a little bit from Guangzhou, from central China, southwestern China, some Hunan dishes, and then food from the other side of those mountains in Northern Thailand and Lao, Isan in Thailand as well. So it’s basically mountain food.

Stella Fong: At Shan, Wrisley has truly embraced what is found here under the Big Sky.

Jarrett Wrisley: I have no access to fresh seafood, so I can’t cook food from Bangkok or coastal China. But I do have access to beautiful lamb and beef and pork raised by local farmers. That’s, I think, some of the best in the world and also the pantry for that sort of Asian food is more basic. It doesn’t require as many herbs. It doesn’t require as many fresh ingredients because of the place that it came from. So that’s really the concept, is connecting the mountain food of that part of the world with what’s available here.

Stella Fong: In landlocked Montana, trying to represent food from the other side of the world can be difficult.

Jarrett Wrisley: My biggest challenge was, like, conquer the logistics of serving food that I felt confident was, that had the fidelity. I don’t like the word authentic. I try to avoid it. But food that tasted the way that it should.

Stella Fong: To cook food with fidelity, Shan uses the equipment and technique found in China and Thailand.

Jarrett Wrisley: I work with a smoker, but I also work with a wood grill. I’ve always enjoyed fire cooking. I like the flavor of smoke on vegetables from a wok or on proteins from the grill, so that is an important aspect of the cooking that we do here.

Stella Fong: Wrisley is grateful to the community and his local suppliers. He will be heading to Chicago, to the Lyric Opera to be at the James Beard Foundation Best Restaurant and Chef Awards Ceremony on June 10th. The best of luck to Shan. I’m Stella Fong for YPRadio news.



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.