Stella Fong

Lynn Donaldson

In 2019 Flavors Under the Big Sky: Celebrating the Bounty of the Region had many flavorful moments. I am grateful to those who shared stories of their passions in making our foodscape more delicious, but in this show I wanted to honor those women who I believed left the biggest impression.

Stella Fong

Susan Carlson remembered the poinsettias and the flocked Christmas tree at the Northern Hotel. When she was a little girl in the early 60s, this iconic hotel held the dreams of sugar plum fairies especially during the holidays. She was always in “anticipation” when she dined there with her great grandmother Emma Evers, grandmother Dorothea Wolfe and mother Bette Lindsey. The thought of going there excited her. Being there made her happy. Thinking about returning, reignited the sensations of anticipation. In time, her daughter Emily, and son Gary joined the event so looked forward to, so anticipated.

Stella Fong

Apples and fall are synonymous in my world. As cold seeps into the air and the light of day takes on shades of orange, these signs of Mother Nature tell me it’s time to pluck ripening apples from the trees. When collected, they become the treasures to be shined with a pulled down sleeve and bitten into or peeled and sliced to be baked into pies or breads. They can be concentrated into sauce or butter, preserved for future savor. But for me, the prize of the season is fresh pressed apple juice, the nectar from “the noblest of fruits” as honored by Henry David Thoreau.

Stella Fong

Bees help food grow in our world. Their work in cross pollination bring forth the seeds to about one third the farmed crops in the world. In the last years, bee keeping has become abuzz under the Big Sky. The popularity is evident with the Yellowstone BeeKeepers with a membership evolving from a handful of members to now around 60. The group that meets at the Last Chance Cider Mill on the second Tuesday of each month is a wealth of resource for the seasoned beekeeper to the novice to someone who just wants to learn.

Cierra Coppock

When going through the Flavors Under the Big Sky archives, I discovered that this blog was never posted for the show that aired in the summer of 2016. The Yellowstone Valley Farmers Market is about to end for this season, but I wanted to reshare this story about the great resource we have here in Billings. Mostly, I wanted to encourage parents to bring their children to the market and grocery stores, and let them see, taste, touch, smell and experience the bounty from Mother Nature.

Stella Fong

Flavors Under the Big Sky: Celebrating the Bounty of the Region replayed a show that aired in the spring of 2018 to pay tribute to Gene Burgad. The world lost Gene on August 14, 2018, a man who gave us food, drink, community and humor. As the co-owner of The Rex Bar and Grill for 34 years, he was ever present to welcome guests who walked into his establishment. He was influential in reforming and refashioning Montana Avenue.

Stella Fong

Under the flight approach at Bozeman Yellowstone Airport in Belgrade, there’s another winged specimen found at Cowboy Cricket Farms. Here high octane protein products are being produced from Acheta domesticus or the common house cricket by James and Kathy Rolin, the founders and owners of a business that they advertise “brings bugs to the world in fun and exciting ways.”

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.

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