The Feast Grand Gala May 14th pg banner.jpg

Tuesday, May 14 it’s the Feast Grand Gala Dinner, this year hosted by the folks at Latitude 48.  The Grand Gala is a one-of-a-kind dining experience with 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, this year’s “team” includes Andy Blanton of Café Kandahar, Tim Good from the Last Chair, Jeremy Grossman of Tupelo/Abruzzo, Michael Cartwright of Cartwright Catering, and special guest chef Shane McAnelly, Executive Chef at a pair of outstanding Healdsburg, CA restaurants -- The Brass Rabbit and Chalkboard.

Meet the Chefs of 2019...

Chef Melissa Mangold, Latitude 48

Melissa+pic.jpg

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 the 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 last year, and is looking forward to working on this year's Grand Gala dinner!

 

Chef Andy Blanton, Cafe Kandahar

Andy photo -- new.jpg

Chef Andy Blanton’s culinary journey began while working as a dishwasher at the age of 15, when the allure of cooking became apparent and his curiosity began to arise.  He enrolled at the Culinary Arts Institute of Louisiana in Baton Rouge, earning an Associates Degree in Culinary Artswhile exploring the flavorful cuisine and learning the techniques and core foundations of all facets of food preparation.  
 
After gaining hard-earned experience at several local restaurants, Andy’s first job as a professional cook was at Commanders Palace in New Orleans, recipient of the James Beard Award for “Most Outstanding Restaurant in 1996.”  There he learned to appreciate the depth within each dish, paying attention to details such as texture, mouth feel, presentation, eye appeal, and flavor … and how these elements combine for each and every palate.  His next move was to Brigtsen’s, working under Frank Brigtsen – another James Beard Award-winning chef.  While at Brigtsens, Andy was fortunate to also work with Chef Susan Spicer of Bayona at Spice Inc, and fine tune his experience even further.

In the fall of 1999, Andy chose to move to Whitefish, Montana for a change of pace and scenery. His talents were quickly recognized and he became Executive Chef of Café Kandahar at Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain) in 2000. After six years as Executive Chef, Andy along with his parents purchased the restaurant in 2006.

Recently Chef Blanton has been featured in numerous publications on the local, regional, and national scale, notably Wine Enthusiast, Sunset, and Travel and Leisure Magazines. In addition, Andy has been nominated four times as a semi-finalist for the coveted James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Northwest, in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014.  In 2012 he was invited to cook at the James Beard House, a culinary rite of passage and a distinguished honor. Cafe Kandahar was also named as one of the ten best small town fine dining Restaurants in the U.S. by Culturetrip.com.

Café Kandahar serves thoughtfully constructed cuisine.  Showcasing locally cultivated products, local game, and farm-to-table ingredients, Café Kandahar strives to provide patrons with a unique and exquisite dining experience.  The café specializes in the art of pairing food and wine and boasts an extensive wine list, with accolades from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

Michael Cartwright, of Cartwright Catering

Cartwright Catering.jpg
 

Chef Melissa Mangold, Latitude 48 

Melissa pic.jpg

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 the 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 last year, and is looking forward to working on this year's Grand Gala dinner!

 

 

Chef Jeremy Grossman, Tupelo/Abruzzo Italian Kitchen

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Tim Good, Last Chair Kitchen and Bar

Tim+Good.jpg

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.”