Happy Valentine's Day from Big Sky Resort to all of you. Get some faceshots today and enjoy this powder video from February footage.
Beginning in the 1970s, Chet's Bar had a traditional fondue stube with Austrian singers, servers, and cheesy hot goodness in every pot. After a hiatus, the stube reopened a few years back and is better than ever. Cheese, oil, chocolate, and interactive eating, what a grand idea.
Originating in the confluence of Switzerland, Italy and France, this communal pot (called a caquelon) over a portable stove (a rechaud) was made fashionable by the Swiss as a way to increase cheese consumption, and therefore, cheese sales in the early 1900s. Fondue was then popularized in America at the 1964 World's Fair. Then, not long after, at Big Sky Resort.
Fondue means "to melt," and the first written fondue recipe called for the melting of cheese and wine as a dip for bread. At Big Sky Resort's Fondue Stube I had the chance to drink a glass of wine, while dipping bread in a melted pot of cheese (Gruyere and Emmentaler). This palatable experience was as delicious as it sounds, and it only gets better. I sat around the table with friends, none of whom had experienced fondue before, and we became curious about fondue's origin story as we ordered our second course of hot oil for elk, shrimp and chicken. What we found most surprising was that fondue, as silly and entertaining as it can be, has its own formal etiquette. For instance, if a man loses his piece of food in the communal pot he must buy a round of drinks for the table, and if a woman loses her piece of food in the pot, she much kiss those she is sitting next to. It is not proper etiquette to double dip any food, and the dipping fork is only used for dipping and not to be used for eating. Finally, beverage choice is important when eating fondue, but it varies from country to country. In the United States anything goes, but in Switzerland white wine or black tea is the way to go to avoid any cultural embarrassment.
The Fondue Stube at Chet's, where flavors mingle and stories will be told.
The Cheese Fondue Experience with apples and bread
The Cheese Fondue Experience with a glass of red
Aged Elk Tenderloin Entree dipped in oil fondue
Tempura Tiger Shrimp Entree with batter
All four forks in the Fondue Oil
Chocolate Fondue with bananas, cherries, strawberries, mint marshmellows, chocolate cookie dough, and pound cake.
"Skiing is a dance and the mountain always leads."-Anonymous
"You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved."-Ansel Adams
Ski photography has a history as long as skiing itself. The following photos are from the past two weeks at Big Sky Resort. A place where sunny bluebird powder days and snow falling powder days both mean beautiful photos and smiling friends enjoying the mountain dance.
Photo: Chris Kamman
Dan's Cookies now open at the Tram.
Photo: Perry Rust
Rob McCoury, 2013 Grammy winner for Best New Bluegrass Album, The Streets of Baltimore, plays Big Sky Resort's Big Sky Big Grass this weekend with The Travelin' McCourys. His 5-string banjo and bluegrass songwriting skills are the best in the business. When McCoury is not touring the country he makes his home in Nashville, where he has received numerous awards for his contributions to bluegrass music. Here are a few words from McCoury on his years in Bluegrass and his excitement at coming back to Big Sky Big Grass for the fourth time:
Where did you grow up and how did that place influence your music?
I grew up in southern Pennsylvania, in a house filled with music.
Who are your musical influences and style influences, whether musical or otherwise?
My father Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs, Sonny Osborne, JD Crowe, and the people they played with.
Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with your instruments and strings?
My two main instruments were very special gifts given to me out of the blue. I use Daddario strings, they sound great and last a long time.
Can you tell us a story from being on the road?
Nothing juicy. Our first trip to Big Grass, we got snowed in, in South Carolina of all places, and arrived at the festival a day late.
This is your fourth year back to Big Sky Big Grass, what is unique to playing in Big Sky, Montana?
Its just an awesome event all the way around.
What keeps you coming back?
Steve Merlino, what a great guy.
What do you love about Big Sky outside of the festival?
Where do you see bluegrass music headed?
Bluegrass is steady growing in popularity.
What does the future of bluegrass look like?
The future looks great, better than ever.
Check out The Travelin' McCourys at Big Sky Big Grass in the Missouri Ballroom on Sunday. Get tickets here.
The Travelin' McCourys
As I watch the unbelievable amount of snow fall outside my window, I begin to reflect on what it has meant to be an employee of Big Sky Resort the past month. I used to be a consumer here for 20 years, completely ignorant of how a ski organization runs. I snowboarded all the time, and though I appreciated the mountain, I took the entire operation of Big Sky Resort for granted.
Now, after interning for the Sales & Marketing Department for a month, I have a completely different view of the mountain. There are a lot of facets to making a ski resort great. It could be the liftee who is running the lifts 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or the snowreporter who has to be up by 4 a.m. to report on the weather, or the chef who cooks the food for guests at the Summit Hotel. Each one of these 1,500 workers is just as important as the other. They all work harmoniously, whether they understand that or not, to come together to provide an amazing experience for guests. Furthermore, they all have a common bond to each other, which makes it feel like we're a family rather than just coworkers. When I mention to the people I would meet in the Meadow Village or Mountain Village that I work at Big Sky Resort he/she would immediately ask where, and then tell me which department they work for. From then on, a bond is set.
Friendships are formed over the one common factor of why everyone is here: snow and snowsports. Everyone loves the sport, and had enough passion for it to move to a mountain town not much larger than a typical city suburb (except with an hour long drive to the nearest real city). Even enthusiasts who have been here for a while, or even moved from a high paying job, have "lived a life of no regrets". They never regret their decision to move out here, and I believe them. With grad school looming over my head, I think of gloomy Durham, North Carolina. In Durham, there is just suburbia, no mountains, no outdoors, and definitely no sky like Montana's. Then I think of Big Sky, the powder, the people, the ever expanding sky. No wonder people move out here, they are happy and content. It's about the experience, the adventure of life, not the number on a paycheck or the distance to the nearest Wal-Mart. I just hope I can be as content as the people I have met here along the way. Only then will I have reached a healthy balance and achieved my life's purpose: to spread the joy of the outdoors to others.
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