Restaurant Closed For Season October 8

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The restaurant at Buck's T-4 will be closed for the Fall October 8-November 22. Our full hot breakfast, complimentary for hotel guests, remains open daily 6:00-9:00 AM. See you this winter!

Big Sky Makes The New York Times

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BIG SKY, Mont. — Stephen Kircher has fond memories of the first time he visited Big Sky Resort, in 1976. A native of Michigan, he traveled to Montana on a reconnaissance mission with his family, the owners of Boyne Resorts. Having passed on opportunities to buy Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, his father, Everett, was considering adding Big Sky Resort to the company’s growing portfolio.

“Big Sky was a far cry from what it is today,” said Mr. Kircher, now 52 and president and chief executive of Boyne Resorts, which his father founded in the 1940s. The resort had four chairlifts, 70,000 skier visits per year and a gravel road from Highway 191 to its base. “There was one direct flight to Bozeman, and that was from Billings,” he added.

Even so, the family saw promise in the expansive resort, 40 miles south of Bozeman and about 20 miles north of the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. “It was a blue bird day,” he said, referring to the azure sky, “and I remember seeing Lone Mountain as we came out of the canyon. We said ‘Dad, we have to do this.’” And they did, paying $8.5 million.

Forty years later, the Big Sky area is the midst of a building boom, with an estimated $1 billion in development set to go up over the next decade.

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New commercial developments near Town Center are part of a recent boom. CreditJanie Osborne for The New York Times 

The resort, which plans to spend $150 million on improvements between now and 2025, is one of three entities looking to transform the area. With 5,800 skiable acres and 4,350 feet from its highest point on Lone Mountain to its base, Big Sky Resort is one of the country’s largest ski areas. Yet it is still relatively undiscovered.

Continue reading the main story

Co-Owner David O'Connor Named MLHA Lodging Person of the Year

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BUCK'S T-4 CO-OWNER AND BIG SKY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT DAVID O'CONNOR NAMED MLHA "LODGING PERSON OF THE YEAR"

David O'Connor of Buck's T-4 was awarded the prestigious "Lodging Person of the Year" Award during the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association's annual Awards Banquet on October 25, 2016.
Presenting the award to David was Steve Wahrlich, the Chair of MLHA. Steve detailed David's extensive record of achievements and read portions of a nomination letter that stated, "David spent many years working his way up the Buck's T-4 ladder to its pinnacle; a managing partner. At Buck's he works tirelessly to both learn more from the constantly growing world of Montana tourism, and contributing  his knowledge and experiences back to the hospitality and tourism industry selflessly throughout the state of Montana. David's passion for tourism is immediately evident the moment you sit down with him. His efforts are unmatched in his participation in several organizations; both in our community as well as around the state. He also possesses a relentless desire to learn how to better promote and provide great service to the endless supply of visitors."
David is the current president of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and is the former president of the Big Sky Convention and Visitors' Bureau. Currently he sits on the Yellowstone Country Board and is a Rotarian. He is active in many issues that affect the Big Sky community, including tourism promotion, workforce housing, and economic development. In 2006, David was named Big Sky's Tourism Person of the Year by the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations, David!

Amuse-Bouche: Decoding Restaurant Language

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Executive Chef Scott Mechura

Executive Chef Scott Mechura

Amuse-bouche refers to an appetizer, and by French translation means, “to entertain the mouth.” It offers a glimpse into what you should expect from a meal. Also it’s free, compliments of the chef.

 

 

 

 

“Walking in, one red deer mid, one mister, two all day; one ribeye, stepped on; one chicken, naked; one trout reg; one trout with walleye prep, two all day; and all this is on the fly so let’s knock it out.”

While the above sentence may read like nonsensical gibberish to most, this is how cooks communicate with each other on a regular basis. Notice the difference in length between the previous paragraph and the following translation:

“There is a new ticket printing right now, and it has two red deer steaks total. One is prepared medium, the other one is prepared medium rare. Next is one rib eye prepared well done. After that, one chicken dish prepared with no sauce. And finally, two trout dishes, one prepared normal, and the other prepared with all the accompaniments that would normally go on the walleye dish. And because the ticket is late coming in, we are already behind so let’s try and get it going as quickly as possible.”

In a fast-paced kitchen, where seconds feel like an eternity, the average cook is trying as hard as he or she can to focus on a multitude of tasks and dishes they already have started. The first sentence is quick industry lingo that is clear and efficient to the well-trained cook’s ear. Also, any server walking by knows exactly what the expeditor just called out.

A typical response from another cook might be “Heard. I can cover the board, then I’m 86’d on chicken.”

Translation: “I have only one chicken left which will now be sold on the ticket that was just called out. I also have every other chicken order currently on my ticket rail, but I have no more after that.”

Like most every occupation or discipline, there is an inherent language that the average outsider would deem thoroughly confusing, or sometimes even humorous. Like a microwave being called “Chef Mike.”

When a cook is running low on an ingredient, for example, and he knows that running out at that moment is not an option, he “puts it on the stretcher.” In other words, he spreads out the remaining supply to last the rest of the evening.

Perhaps one of the most recognizable terms spanning multiple industries is the term “86.” Most people use it regularly but few know its origins.

It was coined in the era between the gold rush days and the overall gentrification of America at the turn of the century, otherwise known as the “Wild West.” In those days, there were typically two proofs of whiskey: 100 and 86 proof. When a patron was deemed too intoxicated or was getting unruly, he was “86’d.” This meant he was no longer permitted to drink the 100 proof whiskey but rather “downgraded” to the mere 86 proof. No wonder we refer to it as the Wild West.

Scott Mechura has spent a life in the hospitality industry. He is a former certified beer judge and currently the Executive Chef at Buck’s T-4 Lodge in Big Sky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amuse-Bouche: The Seven Deadly Sins of the Restaurant

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Executive Chef Scott Mechura

Executive Chef Scott Mechura

Amuse-bouche refers to an appetizer, and by French translation means, “to entertain the mouth.” It offers a glimpse into what you should expect from a meal. Also it’s free, compliments of the chef.

For years, maître d’ Ben Chekroun at New York City’s Le Bernardin has reined in new servers with his list of 129 cardinal sins of “Monumentally Magnificent Trivialities.” I have distilled my list down to seven sins that can be devastating to your restaurant.

By Scott Mechura,

Executive Chef

Filthy bathrooms. Years ago, I had an uncle who collected classic cars. He took me under his wing and coached me on, among other things, how the previous owner maintained his vehicle. His indicator was how clean the trunk was. Look at the cleanliness of a restaurant’s bathrooms and you will have a pretty accurate indicator of how they run their restaurant.

No salt and pepper shakers on tables. As a chef, tables with no salt and pepper shakers are a sign of arrogance. It says you are impervious to mistakes or criticism. Cold food is cold food, but seasoning is subjective. Maybe your guest would prefer more salt than you chose to initially season the dish with. If you allow substitutions, then you allow salt and pepper shakers on the table.

Rushed service. I once dined at a new restaurant that a friend in the wine business said we absolutely had to try. It was one of her accounts and the owner was dying to entertain us. This restaurant was all the buzz; a much sought-after reservation. Clouded by their anxiety to impress, they botched one basic aspect of our overall experience. Every course was forced on us before we were done with the preceding one. The quality of the food was completely overshadowed by the “expedient” service.

Questioning the guest. On a trip to Las Vegas, my wife Carrie and I once had a dining experience that still has people shaking their heads when I tell the story. Carrie ordered a salad that was supposed to have walnuts. It initially appeared there were no walnuts. Upon closer inspection, however, her salad did contain a few walnuts beneath the lettuce. The only problem was that the waiter conducted the inspection. With Carrie’s fork. We did not tip 20 percent.

Not writing it down. You see it all the time: your server approaches the table to take your order with nothing to write on. You make a mental note of your group’s size, and you just know something will be incorrect. A bartender merely turns around to begin your drinks seconds after leaving you. Your server may experience many other distractions on his or her way to the computer, and your order is almost inevitably wrong.

Confusing service with servitude. We recently visited some friends in Santa Monica, Calif., where we patronized a few restaurants. When you live in a community as small and off the beaten path as Big Sky, you often get the feeling we play second or even third fiddle to the “big city.” In all three establishments, the poor service made me re-realize the warmth and friendliness of  Buck’s T-4, but also Big Sky in general.

Slow food, wrong food. Like many quality, high-volume restaurants that generally run like a Swiss watch, Buck’s is no exception to slow service or slow food at times. We realize that occasionally, slowness happens. But don’t compound that by not preparing your guest’s food to their liking after they’ve already been waiting too long.

Scott Mechura has spent a life in the hospitality industry. He is a former certified beer judge and currently the Executive Chef at Buck’s T-4 Lodge in Big Sky

Big Sky Food Festival

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In celebration of summer, Big Sky area restaurants work together for an evening of culinary delight. Over fifteen chefs participate, showcasing the best their individual menus have to offer. This is a great opportunity to experience a cross-section of the many talented individuals in the Big Sky area. Local breweries and California wineries are also invited to attend and showcase their products. The annual event is held outside at Big Sky’s historic Buck’s T-4 Lodge in the Gallatin Canyon. Each restaurant offers 2-4 items in “tasting portions”. Prices vary for each item, with an average of $3. Admission is $5 per person. The hours are from 5:00-9:00 PM. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

Big Sky Food Festival

Whiskey Wednesdays This Summer On The Patio

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Join us Wednesdays on the Patio this summer for Whiskey Wednesdays. Representatives from Montana's and the region's booming distilling industry will be on hand to talk about their operations and sample their creations. Our Full menu will be offered so you can dine al fresco while sipping on some of Montana's latest additions to the beverage scene.

Yellowstone Sees Record May Visitation

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Apparently lots of people have found their park.

Coinciding with the recent marketing campaign "Find Your Park"to promote the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service, visitation at Yellowstone National Park has jumped nearly 15 percent so far this year.

Yellowstone National Park

Visitation for the first five months of the year increased 14.65 percent over the same period last year, according to a park press release. Visitation in May increased by 15 percent over last May.

All of the park’s five entrances showed an increase in vehicles for the month of May compared to May 2015.

The West Entrance recorded the largest increase in May, with 33,927 more vehicles than May 2015.

The most striking increase in vehicle traffic this month was with buses. There were 48 percent more buses (594 vehicles) this May compared with May 2015.

"While many factors could be at play, park managers point to the National Park Service’s Centennial year, marketing and tourism promotions by the states of Montana and Wyoming, and lower gas prices as influences in the record number of visits to Yellowstone so far this year," the press release states.

Buck's Restaurant Opens For Summer Season

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Buck's Is Now Open

The restaurant at Buck's T-4 Lodge opened for nightly dinner service May 27. Our new summer menu features old favorites, along with some new twists.

We'll soon be offering Patio dining so you can enjoy the beautiful weather while dining outside. This summer we will also be featuring "Whiskey Wednesdays", where you can meet with representatives from Montana's booming distilling culture and sample their creations.

We are excited to announce a new partnership with SeatMe, an online dinner reservations platform that enables you to make a confirmed dinner reservation with just a few clicks. Reservations can be made at our dining web site. You can always call the restaurant directly at 406-993-5222. Contact Dining Room Manager Jeremiah Dawson and let us know what you think!

RestEntSnow_WithStars

Buck's Restaurant Closes April 10-May 26

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Buck's Remodeled Restaurant EntranceThanks for a great season! While we always offer our full hot breakfast, included in all room rates, to hotel guests, the restaurant at Buck's T-4 will close for dinner service from April 10-May 26. We're hard at work developing some cool new items for the summer menu. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for previews and tasting opportunities.

For group catering inquiries during this time, please contact Valerie Edwards at 406-581-3330. The office can always be reached at 406-995-4111.

See You This Summer!