The vacations and chilly winter days are the proper excuses to assemble with buddies, coworkers and household to eat, drink and be merry. It’s the season of night cocktail events, hearth wine tastings and après-ski nourishment, and nobody can take that to the subsequent degree fairly like Chef Chris DiMaio with Montana Craft Kitchen.
DiMaio spent a decade as the chief chef at Three Forks Grille in Columbia Falls earlier than he pivoted to catering full-time, a shift that enables him to spend extra of his time foraging and cultivating his backyard whereas nonetheless experimenting together with his cooking.
“I like having the ability to carry this high quality of cooking to the folks,” DiMaio stated. “Having the ability to prepare dinner for smaller events offers me a lot extra latitude for crafting every dish.”
DiMaio’s cooking ethos — to easily not overcomplicate issues — stems from his Sicilian background and his time working in kitchens within the Northwest. His fashion takes seasonal substances and native flavors and manipulates them into cohesive dishes that might stability on a needlepoint. DiMaio additionally retains the general healthiness of every dish in thoughts and sees his companies as a strategy to enlighten folks by way of their tastebuds.
Retaining to a code of seasonality could be troublesome throughout Montana’s lengthy winter season, however DiMaio enjoys the problem. He makes use of preservation strategies comparable to fermenting, curing, drying and canning contemporary produce to carry even hyper-seasonal delicacies to the winter palate. The assorted methods “enable us to carry slightly little bit of sunshine to even the coldest winter menu.”
“We’ve bought cool flavors and colours to make use of all through the winter that lots of people would overlook, like rose hips, serviceberries, chokecherries and delicata squash,” DiMaio stated. “The inspiration for winter is leaning into consolation meals, heartier spices and hotter flavors.”
One of the best ways to expertise the total spectrum of flavors DiMaio can pull collectively is thru appetizers. The number of smaller shared dishes retains every journey to refill your plate thrilling.
Every menu DiMaio crafts is custom-made and pulled collectively on a whim however follows comparatively easy profiles. Just lately, he paired birch-glazed delicata squash with native goat cheese and apples, topped with contemporary cranberry chutney, Swiss chard and pumpkin seeds. Subsequent to that was a crostini lined in a butternut squash puree and extra goat cheese, with a fig, some pomegranate seeds and native microgreens for a colourful aptitude and shiny taste profile.
Scallops skewered together with native pears and foraged chanterelles had been subsequent. That was adopted by beef carpaccio with a regionally made black garlic aioli, sundried tomato and freshly harvested kale and pickled morels with a shaving of parmesan.
“It’s like taking a restaurant entree dish and condensing it all the way down to a single chunk,” DiMaio stated of the method. “So far as get together season goes, it’s a great way of feeding the plenty and maintaining meals thrilling throughout the winter.”
Description: Chef’s selection appetizer choice that includes seasonal flavors.
Location: Wherever you might be
Extra data: montanacraftkitchen.com