MSU Billings Foundations Wine & Food Festival 2013
Co-Chairs Amy Gibler Brown and Julie Linderman
Twenty years and 21 festivals ago, the MSU Billings Wine & Food Festival was created to raise funds for student scholarships. The Festival has raised over $4 million to date and expanded from two nights to nearly a full week of events. We thank our event guests, partners and sponsors for their generosity and support of our students and our University.
Briggs Distributing, our corporate partner for these 21 festivals, has secured outstanding winemasters again. We join them in welcoming Maximiliano Erlwein, Brand Ambassador for the USA Market for Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery in Chile, and Billings native Patrick Merry, of Merry Cellars in Pullman, Washington. We are thrilled to have these winemakers join Executive Chef Eric Stenburg at the newly reopened, stunning Northern Hotel for the Winemaster Symposium celebration.
The festival kicks off a jam-packed week with the spectacular Guest Chef Dinner. Chef Jason Wilson, Executive Chef and Owner of Crush Restaurant in Seattle, Washington, joins Executive Chef David Mapelthorpe of The Rex in creating an unforgettable evening of highly original, exquisite food paired with premier wines. Once again, we thank Gene Burgad and his exceptional staff of The Rex for welcoming our chefs and guests.
Our cooking schools continue to bring new tastes and cuisines to our guests, always showcased in stunning Billings homes. Cooking school favorite Amy Smith, Executive Chef of The Grand Hotel in Big Timber, Montana, is joined by Elise Wiggins, Executive Chef of Panzano Restaurant in Denver, Colorado; Matt Israel, Executive Chef of Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks, Montana; and Executive Chef Andrew Martin and Pastry Chef Amy Nack of Caffe Dolcé in Missoula, Montana. Dave Zino, Executive Chef of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, joins us from Chicago to guide students in a hands-on class for the novice and expert alike. Chef and author Raghavan Iyer, partnered with local food and wine expert Stella Fong, returns to delight us with the flavors of India and southeast Asia.
We raise a glass in thanks as we recognize our wonderful festival volunteers. More than 400 dedicated community members continue to provide the festival with countless hours of expertise, commitment and energy to make this event the smashing success it is. We thank each of you for all you do.
Amy Gibler Brown and Julie Linderman,
Wine & Food Festival Co-Chairs