Dave Zino, Executive Chef
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Dave Zino is the culinary spokesperson for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. An excellent public speaker and dynamic on-camera personality, Dave develops concepts and recipes for both the retail and food service industries. He has been a guest on the Food Network and public television’s Healthy Flavors of America program. Dave also travels the country giving presentations on beef to universities, culinary schools and industry groups. His writing has been featured in Food Product Design, Beef, Meat & Deli Retailer and Progressive Grocer magazines. In 2004 Culinology magazine chose Dave as their featured Chef.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University and has earned three culinary certifications from Kendall College and one from The Culinary Institute of America. He is a member of the Research Chef’s Association and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chef-CEO/President of Beyond Basil Catering
Marcy is the owner of Beyond Basil Catering. Marcy is a graduate of nursing school and has been working as a registered nurse since 1980. Marcy and her husband Dan opened Beyond Basil Catering on a dare in 1994. They specialize in custom menus and superb service. Marcy enjoys creating dishes using new items, unique foods and fresh herbs and spices and all within the budget of the customer. Marcy received the highest honor by the Chefs and Cooks of Montana when she was named “Chef of the Year” for 2007.
Beyond Basil Catering caters events from the simplest of events to the most elaborate. Beyond Basil Catering can be seen preparing food at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for their corporate sponsors, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Elton john, and at the wedding of your neighbor’s daughter, as well as, your company picnic. Beyond Basil travels through out Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Marcy has been fortunate to have a close working experience with the Montana Beef Council. She has attended several conferences on Beef and the cattle industry. While at the Pasture to Plate conference sponsored by The Kansas Beef Council, Marcy was awarded first place in the appetizer division during the iron chef competition. Marcy enjoys speaking and doing presentations on beef, with the goal of bringing urban people back to the pasture.
Marcy is the President of Chefs and Cooks of Montana. Marcy completed her beginning level sommelier classes, and enjoys doing food and wine pairing presentations as well.
Most recently Marcy has started 2 new adventures. She went to Los Angeles, where she worked as a food stylist with Chef Jamie Oliver and The Food Revolution program. As well, Marcy has started The Monday Night Food Brigade. The Food Brigade is an ongoing series of cooking classes offered at Marcy’s shop, where she and her students travel the globe one plate at a time.
Amy Smith is a native of Toledo, Ohio. She moved to Montana in 1989 when she took the job of executive chef at the Grand Hotel in Big Timber. Since her arrival, the Grand has become one of Montana’s premier dining destinations. It has been a Wine Spectator award winner since 1993.
Amy gained culinary experience while apprenticing at Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio. She attended the University of Washington and studied ichthyology (the study of fish). She moved to Grand Cayman for four years to work as a scuba instructor. After spending time in Seattle, she took a job as a chef on a 110-foot private charter yacht, where she excelled in Caribbean cuisine.
Working in Big Timber has created an interesting perk for Amy. An array of celebrities including Tom Brokaw, Peter Fonda, Michael Keaton, Senators Alan Simpson and John Warner, Marchese Lodovico Antinori and Robert Redford have dined on Amy’s culinary creations.
Executive Chef, Red Lodge Restaurants
Eric Trager has been the Executive Chef of Red Lodge Restaurants since October of 2011 when he took on the challenge of running three restaurants; Carbon County Steakhouse, Red Lodge Pizza Co. and Bogart’s Restaurant. During his career in Red Lodge he has gained a passion for supporting local sustainable foods and enjoys forwarding that knowledge to his staff, peers and friends. In 2004 he received top honors from the Montana Connection Chef’s Competition for his entree submission highlighting the finest of Montana grown and raised ingredients. He repeated with a silver medal during the 2005 competition. Then in 2009 Eric was awarded “Chef of the Year” by the Chefs and Cooks of Montana.
Eric earned his Culinary Degree at Paul Smith’s College and apprenticed on Nantucket Island. He expanded his culinary style in Vail, Co, Laramie, WY, and Napa Valley, CA with a final move to Red Lodge in 1998. In addition to the Red Lodge restaurants, Eric utilizes his culinary skills through cooking classes and assisting with fundraisers for area organizations. He has become known for presenting some of the most innovative and yet comfortably familiar cuisine in the region.
Eric and his wife, Dulcie, enjoy spending time with their two children Anja and Cedric.
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.
Raghavan Iyer, CCP
Bombay-native Raghavan Iyer, is a Certified Culinary Professional and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is a cookbook author, culinary educator, and consultant to many national and international clients.
Iyer is the author of 660 Curries, chosen as one of the top cookbooks of 2008 by the New York Times and Food and Wine Magazine. His fifth book, Indian Cooking Unfolded: A master Class in Indian Cooking, with 100 Easy Recipes Using Ten Ingredients or Less is due for release in August 2013. He has written numerous articles for national food magazines including Cooking Light, Weight Watchers, Cooking Pleasures, Gastronomica, and many others.
Raghavan Iyer is a co-founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institute, a member of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and also a frequent cookbook judge for the prestigious James Beard Foundation. Fluent in more than six languages, Iyer leads food and cultural tours to India annually.
As an accomplished and prolific culinary instructor, Raghavan has shared his culinary talents at many international, national and local venues including numerous International Association of Culinary Professionals conferences.
Video – Aloo Chaas – Chunky Potatoes with Buttermilk
Iyer is co-founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd. (www.asianculinaryarts.com), an organization dedicated to the preservation, understanding, and enjoyment of the culinary arts of Asia. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Culinary Professionals and also a frequent judge for the cookbook awards for the prestigious James Beard Foundation. An accomplished and prolific culinary instructor at many international, national,
and local venues, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Annual Conferences in Phoenix, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montreal, Dallas, Seattle, and Chicago. With over 24 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Iyer is also fluent in more than six languages. Annually, he leads food and cultural tours to India.
He has appeared in numerous radio and television shows across the United States and Canada including Martha Stewart Radio, The Splendid Table (national public radio show with Lynne Rossetto Kasper), WGN Morning News (WGN Chicago), Good Day Atlanta (WAGA TV – Fox Affiliate), Good Day Tampa (Fox Affiliate Tampa), The Morning Show (KARE 11 – NBC Affiliate in Minneapolis/St. Paul), and the Vicki Gabereau Show (national Canadian television talk show).
Executive Chef, Pompey’s Grill
Chef Israel has been cooking since he was 15. A Montana native, Matt knew at an early age that he would pursue a career in the food industry. While he doesn’t hold any formal culinary degrees his life-long experience and tutelage in some of Montana’s finest restaurants, has elevated his reputation as among the best in state. The reviews coming from his current restaurant, Pompey’s Grill, are reflective of his creativity and talent.
Matt began his culinary apprenticeship with Chef Blu Funk at Showtime in Big Fork, MT. During high school he worked on weekends and throughout the summer learning the ropes of how a kitchen functions. Chef Blu took Matt under his wing and showed him how to create interesting and creative dishes. This led to Matt’s passion for pure flavors, using local ingredients to create amazing food. At age 19, Matt earned the rank of Sous Chef and knew he was going to be a “lifer”.
In 2007, Matt was hired as Executive Chef at the Blue Canyon in Kalispell. In this arena he was assigned responsibility for opening and running the successful restaurant and banquet facility, giving him the tools and experience to move forward in his career.
When the Folkvord Family purchased the Sacajawea Hotel in 2009 and committed to complete restoration of the 100-year-old building, they also knew they would need a chef to raise the bar in their new restaurant. Matt had been gaining notoriety in the Flathead Valley, but jumped at the chance to start anew with an entrepreneur family and a new venture. Since its opening, Pompey’s Grill has enjoyed rave reviews and a satisfied clientele. Chef Matt has created a reputation known throughout the state for his fresh and creative cuisine, that has proven to be the best ever in Montana.
Elise Wiggins, Executive Chef
Growing up in Louisiana, Elise’s first memories centered around the camaraderie of family and food. Family gatherings were an opportunity to showcase cooking skills and engage in a little friendly competition over who made the best gumbo or who boiled the best crawfish. Northern Italian cuisine was also a specialty handed down by Elise’s mother who spent her teenage years at Lake Como. Elise’s family was her inspiration – what a great start for a chef.
Following graduation from Northeastern Louisiana University, Elise began her career at the Grotto in Dallas as the floor manager. She soon realized her passion and skills were in the kitchen and enrolled in the Colorado Institute of Art’s school in Denver, graduating with honors. Elise then worked as executive chef at Bella Ristorante, a busy Southern Italian restaurant in Denver followed by a five-month trip through Central America where she took classes, visited markets and sampled street food as well as haute cuisine. The Western Rio Mar Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, offered her a position and during her stay the restaurant earned a Mobil Four Diamond rating. The opening chef position for the Capriccio Restaurant in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis was Elise’s next stop where she was responsible for menu development, training, and managing a staff of 30.
In 2004, Elise returned to Colorado as the executive chef at Panzano where she prepares award-winning cuisine and regional Italian delights. Panzano’s menu is updated regularly with fresh new dishes Elise discovers on her frequent trips to Italy. Since her arrival, Panzano has been selected for Four Diamond status by the American Automobile Association, 2010-2012 and named the best Italian restaurant in Denver by Westword for 2011 and 2012. The American Culinary Federation named Elise 2005 Colorado Chef of the Year and the Colorado Restaurant Association named her Outstanding Professional in 2012.
Owner and Executive Chef, Crush Restaurant in Seattle, Washington
Executive Chef Jason Wilson, named Best Chef Northwest 2010 by the James Beard
Foundation, and also named as one of the 10 Best New Chefs 2006 by Food & Wine magazine, is the owner and executive chef of the critically acclaimed Crush Restaurant in Seattle. Arguably one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants and most innovative dining experiences, Crush offers Modern American Cuisine in a contemporary setting with professional service and personal attention. Jason’s seasonally changing menus highlight the highest quality ingredients and showcase the best that the Northwest and American farmers, producers, and fisherman have to offer.
A 1995 graduate of the esteemed California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Wilson’s passion for culinary knowledge and experience took him to some of the most influential kitchens and patisseries in California, Singapore and France before eventually settling in Seattle. He opened Crush in 2005 with business and real life partner, Nicole Wilson, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
His modern approach to cooking, using seasonally fresh, local, organic, and sustainable ingredients, is one that is focused on creating the best experiences for his guests with the best products possible. A personal style of “Crush” cuisine has emerged that can be described as “a dining experience that arouses your senses.”
In addition to the numerous accolades and awards that have been bestowed upon the restaurant, Wilson takes great pride in his industry beyond the doors of Crush. He is active in the culinary community, and has appeared on Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels, has been a guest on Martha Stewart’s show, and has been featured on the Fine Living Network’s “I Want Your Job” as well as multiple local morning and cooking segments for local affiliate stations.
Owner and Executive Chef, Juliano’s Restaurant, Billings, MT
EChef Carl Kurokawa worked in numerous hotels and restaurants on three different islands in his home state of Hawaii before relocating to Montana in 1980. After three years as the Executive Sous Chef at the Billings Sheraton and a year as Manager of the Carriage Inn at Twin Lakes Village in Idaho, he took the position of Executive Chef at Bozeman’s Riverside Country Club. In 1987, Chef Carl returned to Billings as Executive Chef of the Radisson Northern Hotel for a year.
The next six years, Chef Kurokawa was Chef at DeVerniero’s Ristorante until 1995, when he and two partners purchased Juliano’s Restaurant. Chef Carl and Juliano’s have received numerous awards, including the DiRoNa Award as one of the distinguished restaurants in America, one of only three establishments to receive this distinction in Montana. Chef Carl serves on the board of the Chefs and Cooks of Montana and was named “Chef of the Year” three straight years from 1987 to 1989.
Andrew Martin & Amy Nack
Caffe Dolce, Missoula, MT
Amy and Andrew met while obtaining their culinary degrees at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. Amy went on to specialize in pastry at the Ritz Carlton – Laguna Niguel in Southern California, while Andrew worked in their Dining Room and Club Grill restaurants. They both transferred to the Ritz Carlton Club in Aspen, Colorado and later went onto the Little Nell Hotel Aspen’s only five star/five diamond hotel at the time. Here, Amy became the head pastry chef while Andrew became the Executive Chef of the Nell’s exclusive Aspen Mountain Club.
After the birth of their son, Samuel, the family moved to Portland where Andrew worked as a sous-chef for Pazzo Ristorante, in the Hotel Vintage Plaza. Amy became the pastry chef for Elephant’s Delicatessen and later Red Star Tavern and Roast House, in the Hotel Monaco. Four years ago the couple moved to Missoula where Andrew works as the Executive Chef of Caffe Dolce, and Amy the Pastry Chef. After 15 years in the industry Andrew and Amy are working together to bring their experiences and ideas to the Missoula area. They pride themselves on using the finest ingredients they can obtain, using the soundest techniques, creating the most inventive dishes possible, and living a balanced life.
Carrie Sullivan started working at The Copper Colander in 2007. In January of 2009, she was promoted to the position of Culinary Center Coordinator. In this position, she works with many local chefs as well as in house instructors to provide cooking classes at the store. Along with finding instructors and teaching classes herself, Carrie is also in charge of developing menus for the classes and has organized and taught many private parties and team building events. Carrie was at the center during the creation of the kids cooking class program (Create a Chef) at The Copper Colander and has recently started teaching classes for the Billings Child Care Association members using recipes that meet the states nutritional guidelines.
Carrie developed a passion for food at a young age. She was constantly helping her grandparents garden, and learned the art of canning at a young age. She moved to Montana from Iowa 14 years ago. When her head isn’t buried in a book reading up on the latest culinary trends, she is enjoying the outdoors with her husband Brian and daughter Jessica.
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.