Every February, when days are cold and the nights are still long, the Flathead Beacon turns its attention to the warming communal culinary tradition of breaking bread with our neighbors. Over the past few weeks, we have learned from the premier chefs of the Flathead Valley about what works and what doesn’t in the foodie world while crowdsourcing our readers’ favorite meals and profiling new arrivals to the region’s culinary scene.
We talked to locals lending helping hands to those in need and interviewed meat mavens about how to prepare their favorite cuts.
This week, we celebrate the finer things in life and learn that perhaps the best thing about a great meal isn’t the food on the table but the people around it.
Bon appetite, from our family to yours.
Zen and the Art of Sushi
Local sushi chefs discuss their affinity for fresh fish and the alluring atmospheres that make dining with them unique
By Tristan Scott
In traditional circles, the high art of sushi isn’t taken lightly — top chefs train for decades, and good sushi restaurants have customs all unto their own. Across the U.S., examples of the Japanese culinary discipline’s pervasive Westernization abound, introducing personalized flourishes to a craft steeped in tradition.
Although one might expect to encounter a sushi desert in this far-flung corner of Montana, the Flathead Valley is home to a roster of notable exceptions, standing out as an oasis of sushi shops all with their own distinguishing characteristics, eclectic menus, skilled chefs, and deference to quality.
Your Favorite Meals
Reader-submitted dining recommendations, stretching from Hot Springs to Eureka and everywhere in between
By Myers Reece
We asked readers a simple question: What’s your favorite meal when you go out to eat? The objective wasn’t to conduct a contest, but rather to provide a forum to showcase and celebrate readers’ tastes and the region’s eclectic culinary opportunities — and maybe inspire people to try something new.
The Perfect Steak
Local masters of everything meat divulge their personal preferences on cuts of beef, how to prepare it and where best to find it
By Molly Priddy
As long as people have populated the land we now call Montana, they’ve hunted and eventually domesticated animals to grow this precious protein.
And while it’s not necessary anymore for Flathead Valley residents and visitors to procure their own meat through hunting, many of the basic traditions surrounding a good steak remind us that no matter how busy the world gets, sometimes all you need is a good cut of beef and a fire.
Rising in Degrees at Latitude
With a new executive chef and a rebooted menu, Latitude 48 Bistro sweetens its disposition
By Tristan Scott
To maintain footing among the upper ranks of the region’s top dining establishments, Matt Carlin knew it was time to ditch some old concepts at Latitude 48 Bistro in Whitefish, where he works as the general manager, and do something fresh.
Enter Melissa Mangold.
New Kids on the Block
New eateries pop up across Northwest Montana, while old favorites get new owners
By Justin Franz
Seth Black spent 17 years making a name for himself in Denver’s burgeoning culinary scene, working at some of the city’s most popular restaurants — Bones and Aubergine Café to name a couple. But a few years ago, Black and his wife Riley had an urge to move away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and enjoy a slower pace. Seth had a place in mind: his hometown of Libby.
Local Park Guide Rallies to Feed Hungry Families
Glacier Adventure Guides operator Greg Fortin delivered 2,500 pounds of food to Blackfeet Reservation
By Andy Viano
Greg Fortin has been making his living for more than 15 years in Glacier National Park, operating Glacier Adventure Guides out of Columbia Falls and leading tours throughout the landscape, but 2017 was the first time, he said, that he asked those he considers the owners of the park for permission.