David Maplethorpe, Executive Chef
Rex Restaurant, Billings, Montana
Though his training and experience have taken him all over the country, David Maplethorpe returned to Billings for good five years ago, resuming his position as Executive Chef at The Rex Restaurant Bar & Grill. In February 2008, The Rex Restaurant Bar & Grill was given the “2007 National Beef Backer Award for Innovator of the Year” by the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. This coveted award recognizes the efforts of owner Gene Burgad, David and the highly professional team at The Rex Restaurant.
Gonzaga University, Seattle, Washington
Jeremy Goldsmith is the executive chef at the McCarthey Athletic Center. He has 18 years’ experience in fine dining establishments in the Seattle, Portland and Spokane areas. Jeremy is a graduate of the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon.
Stella Fong shares her personal love of food and wine through her cooking classes and wine seminars as well as through her writings in her Libations column for Magic Magazine and contributions to Yellowstone Valley Woman. In the summer of 2008, she received 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 on the West Coast for cooking schools such as Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Macy’s Cellars, and Gelsons, and in Billings at the Billings Depot, Wellness Center, Copper Colander and the YWCA.
Fong has featured local bounty through her participation at the Good Earth Sunday Suppers and the first Field to Table dinner at Danly Farms in the summer of 2009 in collaboration with caterer Tom Nelson and Executive Chef Shane Weigel.
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised in a traditional Chinese family, Fong devises culinary creations that include a mixture of old and new. Her understanding of food for the consumer came from working in her father’s grocery store, Martin’s Market, in Berkeley, California and have developed recipes for San Diego State University food services and the Kids Cooking Club. Fong’s articles have appeared in Cooking Light, the Washington Post, and Fine Cooking. More recently, she has written for Big Sky Journal, Western Art and Architecture, and Montana Quarterly. Fong judged the International Association of Culinary Professionals cookbook awards, chairing the program in 2010 and 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, and a general cooking certificate from the Culinary Institute of America. Fong has volunteered for the MSU Billings Wine & Food Festival for many years and chaired it in 2008 and 2009 with Susan Carlson.
Chef Eric Stenberg
Chef Eric Stenberg, Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director at the Northern Hotel, is passionate about preparing foods derived from sustainable harvesting and supporting his local farmers. Keeping food as close to home and plate as possible.
Born and raised in Portland, he learned to cook by helping his mother prepare family meals. Eric graduated from California Culinary Academy with honors and began cooking for Chef Greg Higgins at the Heathman Bakery and Pub in Portland.
At this time, Chef Higgins was beginning his ground-breaking involvement in causes related to sustainable farming and fishing practices. Eric recognized that Greg was well ahead of his time in designing a restaurant around sustainablity and joined him in his efforts. Within a year, he was promoted to sous chef and then executive chef. While at the Heathman Bakery and Pub, Eric spent six weeks in Alsace, France, working under Joseph Matter, a chef awarded three Michelin stars. This opportunity greatly enhanced Eric’s classical French cooking skills.
When Eric returned to Portland, he went to work as sous chef for Chef Greg Higgins at his new, highly successful fine-dining restaurant, Higgins, located in downtown Portland. During his four years there, Eric worked with the James Beard Foundation and cooked occasionally at the James Beard House.
After moving his family to Bozeman Montana in 2000, Eric owned and operated the Savory Olive located in the Baxter Hotel. During this time Eric was featured in Food and Wine Magazine in November of 2004, “The Story of a Steak”. The Restaurant was also named as one of the top green restaurants in the United States.
Eric has served as the Board Chairman of the Chefs Collaborative, a nonprofit organization consisting of Chefs, food professionals, and producers dedicated to supporting local and sustainable food communities.
PBS Chef Christy Rost is an author, a television and radio personality, entertaining guru, lifestyle authority, cooking teacher, home restoration expert, Registered Nurse, and a popular guest chef and presenter. Above all, Christy is passionately dedicated to the celebration of home and family. Christy has a gift for making family feel special and friends feel like family.
Formerly the host of her own long-running Texas cooking and lifestyle television series, Just Like Home, Christy’s expertise in celebrating home and family has been featured nationwide each November since 2009 on PBS and CREATE TV stations with her one-hour holiday production for American Public Television, A Home for Christy Rost: Thanksgiving, centered around her stunning 1898 historic mountain home, “Swan’s Nest” in Breckenridge, Colorado. This highly-acclaimed show is a testament to Christy’s passion for family, friends, home, gardening, historic preservation, decorating, food, wine, and celebrating each day around the table with her signature style of casual elegance. Beginning in March 2014, Christy’s fans will find additional inspiration through her series of 4-minute cooking and lifestyle videos on YouTube and on her website, www.christyrost.com. Christy is also hosting an unforgettable Culinary Cruise from Athens to Barcelona, October 2-12, 2014 on Oceania Cruises.
Christy’s third and newest book, Celebrating Home: A Handbook For Gracious Living was published in September 2012 and was a finalist for the 2013 High Plains Book Awards. Focusing on the joys of nesting and at-home gatherings, Celebrating Home encompasses every aspect of great entertaining for family and close friends – flavorful recipes, seasonal table settings, party vignettes, warm interiors, helpful serving suggestions, and fresh floral arrangements. Sprinkled throughout the book are gorgeous, full-color photographs by award-winning photographer Rick Souders, who beautifully captures the intimate environment Christy creates in her 19th-century mountain home.
Mason Zeglen is the executive chef of 14 North, Bozeman’s first gastropub, offering high quality food in a casual relaxed atmosphere that highlights local produce and quality ingredients.
Growing up on a small sustainable farm in Killington, Vermont, Mason learned the value of a hard day’s work. It was there that he developed a love of the flavor of garden-fresh ingredients. Mason’s first experiences with cooking in a professional kitchen began at age thirteen as a night prep cook and runner for a high-volume restaurant, Santa Fe Steak House. Intrigued by the energy, atmosphere, and food, Masons’ career path was set at an early age. The French techniques Mason uses today were learned at the New England Culinary Institute. After two internships and a couple of years running a small French bistro in Vermont, Mason knew it was time to find his next adventure. All signs pointed west. He settled into Bozeman easily, loving the outdoor lifestyle that was similar to his home state of Vermont. Mason worked as the front house manager at Ted’s Montana Grill for a few years. When the opportunity to become the executive chef at 14 North became available, Mason jumped at the chance.
Mason and his knowledgeable staff are hard at work every morning at 8:00 a.m. making pickles, soups, sauces, pastas, and breads from scratch. The combination of flavorful food and passion for the craft ensure a great authentic plate of food that won’t be soon forgotten.
ABillings native and class of 2003 Skyview High School Graduate, Nick Steen has spent the last ten years cooking professionally, as well as for family and friends.
Nick began his professional cooking career at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana where his career path as a chef became clear.
Over the next few years, Nick worked with James Beard Award winners, local chefs, and other local Montana chefs where he learned about using the best local ingredients. He then tried his hand in many different food arenas from a corporate chef, mass food production, private chef and a food service director for a local school district and also as a sous chef and chef de cuisine of several Bozeman restaurants.
Nick worked as the Executive Chef of the historic Mint Bar and Café in Belgrade, MT, but eventually returned to where his heart and soul had never left, Big Sky. As the Executive Chef at Lone Mountain Ranch, Nick prepares every dish on his menu with the finest meats and ingredients, using local produce and meats from area farms and ranches whenever possible.
After working in fine-dining restaurants in Portland, Oregon, Andrew Kalotay went on to study Culinary Arts at Western Culinary Institute and also pursued a degree in Business Management from Washington State University. While attending school Andrew worked in several prestigious private clubs in the Northwest.
In 1996, Andrew was appointed as the Executive Chef for Bon Appétit Management Company at Seattle University. He then continued this position at the Intel Corporation and Reed College in Portland, Oregon. While at Bon Appétit, Andrew led and facilitated the opening of numerous restaurant properties along the western coast and throughout the country. He helped initiate and support the local “farm to fork movement”.
In the summer of 2006 Andrew moved to Billings, Montana and joined Sysco Montana as the Corporate Chef. Over the past years, Andrew is proud to have conducted culinary trainings and worked with hundreds of different Sysco customers.
Throughout Andrew’s culinary career he has worked with chefs from around North America and the world in a wide variety of industry settings. This has given Andrew a diverse culinary experience allowing him to learn about many different international cuisines and techniques.
Jeff Hobart was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle, Washington. He began working in restaurants at the age of 13. Before high school graduation he attended a 2-year extended culinary arts program with Bev Anderson in Shoreline, WA. During this two year period, he was provided the opportunity to work with Chef Tom Douglas from Dahlia Lounge, Chef Tamara Murphy from Brasa, Chef Peter Birk from Ray’s Boathouse and other Seattle area powerhouses. After graduation Jeff relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend culinary school at Scottsdale Community College. He excelled in Karen Chalmers program and was asked to join Chef Jeff Coons and the banquet team at the AAA Five-Diamond awarded JW Marriot Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa.
Jeff worked in a variety of positions during the next three years to expand his culinary repertoire while earning his BA in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University.
In 2006 Jeff relocated to Sun Valley, Idaho to take on the Executive Chef position for Sun Valley Resort’s main lodge. For two years Jeff worked closely with James Beard award winning chef Scott Wamsley, Chef Don Wise and Chef Michael Diem. During his time in Idaho, Jeff started a family with his lovely wife Jenna, now with three children.
After a short time with Chef John-Paul Gordon at the Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea, Kauai, he returned to the mainland here in beautiful Whitefish, Montana to take on the Executive Chef position for the Boat Club at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake.
Jeff’s culinary philosophy is that in the end, a great meal is not about the food and the wine, a great meal is an emotional experience. The Boat Club tries to make it an extraordinary one by creating a beautiful place, one filled with staff that cares about it as they do about their home, and care for you as the most important guest in it. Jeff is obsessive about the culinary details and fundamental techniques that are the foundation of an exciting culinary imagination and a kitchen that delivers the very best products of the earth to the table. No detail or element can be less important or more important than another. Because a great meal is not one that fills you up. A great meal is a kind of journey that returns you to sources of pleasure you may have forgotten and takes you to places you haven’t been before.
Chef / owner Mark Reggiannini’s philosophy on food is simplicity. He works closely with local organic farmers and combines classic French techniques. With simple fresh ingredients Mark creates his contemporary cuisine. He is able to keep the rich flavor and decrease the heaviness associated with classic French cooking. This highlights the bold essence of Mark’s cooking style.
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire Mark attended Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He then went to New York City to work with some of the worlds most respected chefs; Todd English of Olives, Scott Bryant of Vertis and Jean Georges Vongrichten. Before opening La Marmotte he was sous chef at Jean Georges’ Mercer Kitchen.
Executive Chef Eric Donnelly is a Seattle native and local chef favorite with over fifteen years of experience at some of the Northwest’s most celebrated restaurants. In 1998, he opened the New Orleans cuisine restaurant Sazerac, where he worked with Jan Birnbaum, a well-known San Franciscan and Napa Valley chef. In 2004, he was recruited by Chef Kevin Davis to work at The Oceanaire Seafood Room, eventually as the Executive Chef at this high end seafood restaurant. While at the Oceanaire, Eric was invited to Dutch Harbor, Alaska to board The Time Bandit on The Deadliest Catch television series (Season 3). In 2009, Eric was recruited to open and serve as the Executive Chef of Toulouse Petit, a Seattle French Quarter New Orleans cuisine restaurant.
In July 2013, Chef Eric opened RockCreek Seafoods & Spirits and it has quickly become a popular Seattle restaurant. In the short time that RockCreek Seafoods & Spirits has been open, it has been named as a Top U.S. Restaurant by Urbanspoon, and a Best New Restaurant by Seattle Magazine. The Seattle Met Magazine named RockCreek SeaFoods & Spirits as having one of the Best 50 Dishes of 2013.