Tuesday, May 14 it’s the Feast Grand Gala Dinner, this year hosted by the folks at Latitude 48 Bistro. The Grand Gala is a one-of-a-kind dining experience with six top local chefs collaborating to present an amazing 6-course dinner, each course paired with award-winning wines from the West Coast and beyond!
In addition to host Chef Melissa Mangold from Latitude 48, this year’s “team” includes Tim Good from the Last Chair Kitchen and Bar, Jeremy Grossman of Tupelo Grill/Abruzzo Italian Kitchen, Michael Cartwright of Cartwright Catering, Reeves Stanwood of Piggyback BBQ and Pastry Chef Molly Burns of Latitude 48!
Check-out our chef bios below, Click Here to see the menu for this year’s Grand Gala.
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Melissa Mangold, Latitude 48 Bistro
Chef Melissa Mangold grew up in Kent, Ohio, and received her culinary degree from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. She studied under master chefs in Koln, Germany before relocating to the Flathead Valley, where she spent three years as executive chef at Big Mountain Resort followed by 12 years as the executive chef at the Belton Chalet.
Chef Melissa took over the kitchen at Latitude 48 Bistro in 2017, was one of the stars of last year’s Grand Gala Dinner, and is looking forward to hosting this year's event at Latitude 48!
Molly Burns, Latitude 48 Bistro
Molly Burns is the former owner of the hugely popular Pig & Olive Sandwich Shoppe in Whitefish, and is currently the Pastry Chef at Latitude 48 Bistro.
Chef Molly moved to Montana from Cleveland, Ohio, and is following her passions … baking, cooking and having a good time with her family and friends.
Michael Cartwright, Cartwright Catering
Michael Cartwright was born and raised in Wisconsin. At 12 years old, he started scrubbing dishes at The White House Inn in Butte Des Morts. Before long, MIT Chef/Owner Miles La Fever noticed his curiosity and passion for food and decided to take him under his wing. He learned there for five years before moving on to apprentice under a CIA instructor in Milwaukee and a Le Cordon Bleu Chef near Madison.
In 2010, he moved to Big Sky, Montana to be in the mountains. There he worked as Sous Chef with 3-star Michelin Chef Marc Poidevin and as Executive Chef for Best Chefs America Recipient Chef Michael Annandono.
He moved to the Flathead Valley in 2017 to start a catering company with his partner, Laura Clayton. Together, they own and operate Cartwright Catering and look forward to many more adventures feeding delicious food to wonderful people.
Reeves Stanwood, Piggyback BBQ
Reeves Stanwood’s career in the restaurant business started in 1991, when he signed-on as dishwasher for Goode Company BBQ in Houston Texas … but he got the “bug” much earlier, cooking with his grandmom whenever he had the chance as a child. After working a variety of jobs in the industry he spent seven years with Gabby’s BBQ in Houston, serving as head chef, front of house manager and – eventually – general manager of the popular bbq and steak house. Reeves and his family moved to Whitefish in 2010 to be closer to his parents, and happened upon a barbecue restaurant that was for sale. Under Reeves’ guidance Piggyback BBQ has become a Whitefish staple, expanding its operation to include a full-service catering service as well. Piggyback won the “Best Taste of the Feast” award at the 2017 Feast Whitefish Distiller’s Fest, and the “Best Burger” at the 2018 Battle of the Burgers!
Jeremy Grossman, Tupelo/Abruzzo
Chef Jeremy Grossman began his adult life as an Army Ranger. An injury forced his separation from the Army and -- having always wanted to become a chef -- he attended culinary school in Los Angeles.
He worked first at Café Pinot and the two Michelin starred Melisse as a line cook. He quickly moved up to Junior Sous Chef at the Wilshire Restaurant, then was hired by Laurent Tourondel’s upscale BLT Steakhouse as Sous Chef when it opened in Los Angeles.
Looking to expand his knowledge and experience, he moved to Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon Wine Bar And Seasonal Kitchen where he was mentored by Evan Funke. He was later hired by celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins to be the Chef De Cuisine of her restaurant Manzanita at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe.
Jeremy and his wife Makayla decided to relocate to Whitefish to raise their two children in the small town his wife spent her childhood; he is currently the Executive Chef for Abruzzo Italian Kitchen and Tupelo Grille in Whitefish, and The Bandit in Columbia Falls.
Tim Good, Last Chair Kitchen and Bar
Chef Tim Good got his start in the restaurant industry 24 years ago at the Barbary Fig in St. Paul, Minnesota, shortly before graduating from Macalester College with a degree in Biology. Realizing food was his true passion, Tim continued working at Mediterranean and French restaurants in the Twin Cities and northern Minnesota before deciding to head west in pursuit of mountains and fresh powder.
Tim landed in the Flathead Valley in 1998. In the winter he skiied Big Mountain during the days; at night, he honed his craft in a variety of Whitefish restaurants, including Moguls, Cafe Kandahar, Tupelo Grille and Wasabi. He spent his summers at the Northern Lights Saloon in Polebridge, running the kitchen for the seasonal restaurant and bar. It was in this tiny off-the-beaten path community just west of Glacier National Park he met his future wife, Ali.
Tim and Ali planted their roots year-round in Whitefish and welcomed a son, Liam, in 2006. The following spring they started another new adventure together, launching The Cuisine Machine, a mobile catering company. The Cuisine Machine traveled the Flathead Valley for the next decade, becoming one of the area's most popular catering companies. Tim specialized in preparing and serving locally-sourced, scratch-made and unique fare at weddings, farmers markets, special events, and private parties.
In the winter of 2016, Tim and Ali purchased the old Haskill Station, and transformed it into the Last Chair Kitchen and Bar the following spring, incorporating some of his most popular menu items ... like the Walleye Sandwich, Chicken and Waffles, and Pad Thai into the new menu. At Last Chair, Tim continues to share his passion for cooking and creativity in the kitchen by offering both eclectic dishes and twists on familiar comfort food utilizing locally grown and sourced products whenever possible.
Tim was voted Whitefish's #1 chef in 2017's "Best of Whitefish" awards, and took home top honors in last year's Feast Whitefish "Battle of the Burgers." Despite the accolades, he remains humble, grateful and steadfast to the motto you can find on a faded sticker on the back of The Cuisine Machine's trailer door: “Love people. Cook them tasty food.”