Stella Fong

Stella Fong

On this evening in Bozeman at Dinosaur Park, the blue skies were edged with happy clouds. I use the word happy because I finally had the opportunity to meet Claudia Krevat of Claudia’s Mesa with mesa meaning table in Spanish. Friends, especially those who know food, have told me I needed to meet her. On this night she was hosting Barefoot in the Park. Monthly in the summers, she gathers people outdoors to share lentils and other foods from her childhood home of Colombia.  

Stella Fong

For the 2019 MSU Billings Wine and Food Festival, Matchbook Wine Company and Penfolds brought New World wines to help raise scholarships. Owners John and Lane Giguiere from Dunnigan Hills in Yolo County outside of Sacramento California presented their Matchbook wines with their whites created with 100% varietal and their blended reds. Ewan Proctor, Australia Brand Ambassador and Head of Luxury Education for Treasury Wine Estates of America, shared Australia’s iconic wines, most famous for their red wine blend, Grange.

Stella Fong

Even with obscure names as Cold Smoke and Shady for their beers, KettleHouse Brewing Company  continues to light the way in the Montana craft beer world. The brewery opened in Missoula by Tim O’Leary and Suzy Rizza in 1995 began as a “U-Brew.” It was then the first microbrewery to charge patrons for a pint of beer, and recently one of the first Montana producers to package beer in a can.

Stella Fong

Have you ever wondered where that shrink-wrapped package of hamburger or pork chops you purchase at the store come from? How does a cow grazing in the field or a pig wallowing in mud come to be nourishment on our plates? Shane and Tanya Flowers, owners of Ranch House Sausage Company, helped unravel some of the mystery surrounding how meat is butchered into proportions for cooking, and then how items such as bacon and sausage are produced.

Stella Fong

The 16th Annual International Food Fair at MSU Billings demonstrated how small can be big. Recently in the Rimrock Café, eleven countries from around the world served up food from their native lands representing the 75 students enrolled from outside the United States.

Stella Fong

Rich buttery sweetness enveloped me upon entering Béquet Confections. I felt as though I was embraced by a good friend, in a place of joy and comfort. I was reminded of the sensations evoked by aromas of Thanksgiving dinner cooking and baking bread.

Lynn Donaldson

On the week of Valentine’s Day this year, Montana State University Bozeman hosted the 31st Bug Buffet.  I will admit to being repelled by the whole idea of insects initially.

Stella Fong

The house of perpetual spring is found year-round between Billings and Laurel, Montana, not far from the Yellowstone River. In a 30,000 square-foot aquaponic greenhouse, Swanky Roots grows lettuce, herbs, edible flowers and microgreens.  The owners, mother and daughter team Ronna Klamert and Veronnaka Evenson, started their venture in 2016. 

Stella Fong

The corner of 3rd Avenue North and North 19th Street in Billings warms with spice and flavor. On the outskirts of downtown, Mirch Masala, an Indian restaurant opened by the Patels in the fall, serves up homestyle vegetarian food. With mother and chef Vandana, patriarch Navnit, son Nick and his wife Delisha with grandson, Neel, and daughter Dhara and husband Vatsal, they illustrate what can be cooked up with the power and energy of family.

Stella Fong

Just before the calendar page flips into the New Year, some of us have traditions or rituals we put into practice to honor the start of another year. In the few years Flavors Under the Big Sky: Celebrating the Bounty of the Region has been on the air, I have gone near and far in Montana to talk to chefs, cooks, producers, restauranteurs, farmers, ranchers, wine makers, brewers, designers and many others who nourish us. I know I have countless more people to talk to who make our Big Sky foodscape more delicious. I look forward to meeting and talking to you.

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