Flavors Under the Big Sky

Third Monday of Each Month from 6:30-7:00PM

Host Stella Fong shares her personal love of food and wine in this monthly series. Celebrate the bounty of the region with Flavors Under the Big Sky.

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Stella Fong

The dark chocolate cake edged with perfectly piped ribbons on a bright white cake stand.  The auburn browned turkey on a silver platter garnished with glistening identical cuts of carrot.  These are images on the cover of food magazines. You are mesmerized, and then say “I can do that.” So you challenge yourself and spend the hours securing the right ingredients, and then preparing and cooking in the kitchen. At the very end, your cake and turkey vaguely resembles the photo. Furthermore, you are not all that sure the tastes warranted the effort.

Stella Fong

The Thanksgiving season focuses our awareness on food and volunteerism. Food represents abundance, the blessings we have in our lives and the bounty we want to share with those close to us, and to make connections with others.
 

Stella Fong

Back in April, my husband Joe Dillard had the privilege of learning how to make French Bread from Greg Patent. I gifted him a weekend where he could have hands on experience with an award winning cookbook author. Patent’s book Baking in America won him the James Beard Cookbook Award and finalist recognition for the International Association of Culinary Professionals Best Baking Book. Greg has become a mentor and has provided me invaluable support and advice in the culinary arena over the years.

Stella Fong

Veronika’s Pastry Shop is easy to walk by. From the sidewalk, the small storefront is unassuming.  White outline sketches of France’s Eiffel Tower and Russia’s Basil Cathedral mark the front window. However from the street when driving by, a red awning emblazoned with the shop’s name marks its location on Montana Avenue.

Stella Fong

As I write this post for the next Flavors Under the Big Sky, I send strength and hope to those in California, especially in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. Mother Nature has not been kind, but I know the human spirit perseveres. May time heal all the damage that has been done. May Mother Nature grant a reprieve for repair and renewal.

Stella Fong

Women chefs. Women produced wines. Chef Megan Jessee, Programs Manager for the Montana Restaurant Association Education Foundation is one of the chefs participating in the 2nd Annual ZONTA Sip and Savor. Jessee shared about the event, “I think it is the perfect partnership – female chefs female winemakers and ZONTA since their goal is to empower leaders, female leaders in our community.”   

Flavor Moments: MoAv Coffee

Sep 25, 2017
Stella Fong / YPR

A cup of java jolts those who enter MoAv Coffee at the corner of N 25th Street and Montana Avenue in the historic Carlin Hotel built in 1913.  Jeff Hosa, co-owner of MoAv coffee confessed, “We always say we are nerds about coffee.” From dawn to beyond dusk, this gathering space offers caffeine to bring pulse to life in the mornings or calm through wine and beer later in the day.

Stella Fong

Raghavan Iyer and James Dodge taught cooking class Savory Sweet: Tater Love for the 25th MSU Billings Foundation Wine and Food Festival.

The two, James Beard and IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) recognized cookbook authors and teachers returned to Montana to help raise scholarships. The class, based on Iyer’s latest book - Smashed Mashed Boiled and Baked-and Fried, Too! paid tribute to potatoes from around the world.

Stella Fong

Emblazoned on Chef Josh Cannon’s knuckles are the words “COOK THIS.” As the Executive Chef at the recently opened SEVA Kitchen in downtown Billings, he had obviously declared his passion for food. Together with Owners Harvey Singh and Schuyler Budde, he hoped to bring “globally inspired flavors” to his guests. 

Stella Fong

Executive Chef Bernard Guillas recently participated in the 25th MSU Billings Wine and Food Festival teaching a class entitled Spring Fling – Sharing the Love.  The title of the class embodied the spirit of Guillas, a Frenchman living La Jolla near San Diego, California. The man exuded charm packaged with passion for food and living. As the head culinary leader for the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and Marine Room restaurant, Guillas not only impressed the locals, especially the women with his multiple air kisses, but also with the art he created on the plate.

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