To assemble the recipes for her book, food-lover and veteran journalist Seabring Davis traversed the state, visiting restaurants, guest ranches, resorts and bed-and-breakfasts. She gathered over 100 favorite recipes from 58 chefs, stretching from hearty breakfast fare to elegant desserts.
Davis personally tested the recipes in her own Livingston kitchen. “The recipes range from simple to complex and everything in between,” she writes. Since using fresh, locally grown ingredients whenever possible is her mantra, Davis highlights restaurants that incorporate local ingredients into their menus, and profiles a handful of Montana food producers.
The variety of eating establishments represented in the book is quite remarkable. Start your day with a slice of Oatmeal Pie, recipe courtesy of Yesterday’s Calf-A in Dell. If wild game is appealing, try the Elk Sausage Scramble, cooked up at the Rising Sun Motor Inn and Cabins in East Glacier.
For a casual dinner menu, whip up Holland Lake Lodge’s Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie. Kick off a dinner party with a huckleberry martini, courtesy of the Carabiner Lounge at Big Sky Resort, then finish your feast with another signature Montana ingredient, Davis’s own Rustic Flathead Cherry Tart.
If it’s true that we “eat with our eyes,” readers will be pleasantly satiated by Phlipot’s photographs, which lavishly illustrate the book.
In addition, A Taste of Montana offers helpful tips for cooking at high altitudes and equipping your kitchen for efficiency, an index for regional food producers, stores and organizations, and a list of contributing chefs and their dining establishments.
Davis encourages readers to look close to home first for their ingredients. In addition to farmers and ranchers, Montana is home to a growing number of artisan cheese makers, condiment suppliers, small dairy and poultry farms, and even local wineries and microbreweries.
The author is the editor-in-chief of Big Sky Journal and Western Art and Architecture magazines and has written several lifestyle books. Phlipot is an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle photographer who lives in Sun Valley, ID.
– Judy Shafter