Posts Tagged ‘Events in Big Sky


Steel Wine Dinner: Rosy Cheeks and Happy Stomachs

When I arrived at Buck’s T-4 on Sunday evening for the Steele wine dinner I found the dining room already brimming with guests sipping on the night’s first wines. One of the first wines was an Aligoté—a varietal I’d never even heard of. I found the delicate and clean flavor of this grape to be a wonderful surprise, why don’t we drink more of this grape? Apparently, the Aligoté variety has a long history of under representation as Jed Steele, founder of Steele wineries, shared with us. The Aligoté was originally considered fit only for servants to drink in long ago French history.

Buck’s executive chef, Todd Christensen, definitely outdid himself with the hors d’oeuvres creation and presentation. Just looking at my pictures makes my mouth water as I remember savoring the butter poached oysters with wild mushrooms, pancetta and reggiano. And as if those weren’t enough by themselves, Japanese salad wonton cups and duck confit fried rice accompanied the delicious oysters.

This winter’s wine dinner not only showcased culinary talent but was also designed as a metaphorical representation of Todd’s personal journey as a chef.  In Japanese culture this is called a kaiseki ryori. Each course stood for a different chapter in both his life and career, from growing up to heritage. Todd called upon his Japanese mother’s memory to remind him about the foods and dishes that captured his attention in his younger years; he really did love those wonton salad cups as a child.

We were fortunate enough to be in the company of not one but two Steele winemakers, with Jed’s son Quincy also in attendance. Quincy shared his experiences collaborating with his father on the Writer’s Block label. Like Quincy himself, it seems to be the more adventurous and quirky of all of the Steele labels. Interestingly, each of the eight wines crafted for this label feature unique writing from different authors on the bottles. The Roussane we drank that evening featured Mahinder Kalids Lapland’s work.

Throughout the eating and drinking, laughing and talking, I did my best to accurately capture all aspects of the evening on film. (Okay, I’ll admit that I really used an SD card but that doesn’t have the same sound to it, now does it?) Standing at the back of the room at one point with my camera it was a pleasure to see how good food and wine work a special magic to fill a room with a sense of merriment. Tasty wine made for rosy cheeks and delicious Rocky Mountain Elk and dessert sushi made for happy stomachs.

Too, the night was a reminder of how appreciative Big Sky is to have Mike Scholz, Chuck Schommer and Dave O’Connor back at the helm of Buck’s T-4. Together they have put countless years into making Buck’s what it is. Mike even got a little bit choked up when he was thanking all the guests for making Buck’s possible. I am from LA, and we just don’t have restaurants like Buck’s there, and we definitely don’t have people like Mike, Chuck and Dave running them.

The evening was a huge success. I hope you enjoy the pictures and if you weren’t able to attend this winter’s wine dinner I bet you won’t miss the next one.


Lifts Open at Big Sky – Buck’s T-4 offers KILLER Deals!

Welcome back to the Buck’s Blog. I am happy to be back writing about the Big Sky area and everything going on around here. Since the month of December brings so many events, I will try to keep my chatter to a minimum.

Big Sky Resort opened the Swift Current and Explorer lifts November 27 on Thanksgiving Day. Early season conditions exist, but that didn’t stop all the local skiers. Everybody seemed overjoyed to be back on the mountain skiing and seeing friends again. Lift tickets are $39.

I decided to take advantage of the backcountry on Thursday. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I couldn’t pass up an invitation to ski Beehive Basin with some friends. We headed out early when the thermometer read only 11 degrees. It didn’t take long for the sun to warm the earth and before I knew it I was stripped down to just my thermal shirt and snow pants. We had about a 2 hour skin up to the top of the ridge between Beehive and Middle Basin. We took a fantastic run through what felt like mid-winter powder snow into Middle Basin. Then hiked back up to ski a couloir that lead us back into Beehive. We certainly earned our Thanksgiving dinners that night. I could not have asked for a more spectacular holiday.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I skied Big Sky Resort. It was wonderful to talk to everybody on the lifts and in the bar about the skiing. I can’t tell you that I was skiing the best powder of my life, but I was having almost as much fun. The whole mountain seemed to buzz with ecstatic skiers and snowboarders just happy to be back on snow.

The free week for Big Sky Frequent Sky Card holders began Sunday, November 30 and will go through Saturday December 6, 2008. Buck’s T-4 offers $99/night for single or double occupancy for all Big Sky Frequent Sky Card holders. So if any of you don’t feel like driving back to Bozeman, Livingston, Butte, Gardiner, Bismark or any of the other surrounding areas, we invite you to be our guest! Also all winter long any Big Sky Resort lift ticket holder receives a 15% discount on lodging here at Buck’s.

Don’t feel left out if you are a Moonlight Basin skier. Moonlight Basin is scheduled to open December 12, 2008. Buck’s offers fantastic ski & stay packages for Moonlight, as low as $79 per night per person.

Here is my ‘dirtbag skier tip of the day’; If you are a college student log onto www.buckst4.comand check out some student discounts offered for both lodging and food for you at Buck’s. If you are a MSU student (or even if you are a student elsewhere) get a hold of that MSU Pocket Guide and clip the coupons for DIRT CHEAP DEALS!!!

December holds so many events in Big Sky. I personally am looking forward to attending a wine tasting with gourmet hors d’oeuvres this Friday at Buck’s. It’s only $15 per person and is a screaming deal for 6 wines paired with elegant food.

Also on Friday, December 5 it is $20 day at Big Sky Resort. This is the cheapest day to ski all season long!

The ever so popular Madrigal Dinner will be held at Buck’s on December 8, 2008. This is a holiday tradition in Big Sky. The MSU choir sings, there is a fantastic plated dinner, wasail toast and more. This is one of the more elegant events happening this December.

One of my favorite Christmas events is the Christmas Stroll around BIg Sky. Local businesses offer spectacular deal, there are activities for kids, and a beer stroll for adults. It is a great time to meet and greet friends and neighbors. I even heard a rumor that Santa will be there!!!!

Also the Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday ball, the Boots and Belles Ball is December 13, 2008. This is a fantastic event that proves to be even better this year. Not only will there be the buffet dinner which features dishes from many local restaurants, but ’10 Foot Tall and 80 Proof’ will be playing. I can’t wait to dance by boots right off my feet! The Boots and Belles Ball will be held at Buck’s T-4.

The Buck’s T-4 Community Holiday Party is December 16, 2008. This is a fabulous event, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and tons of Big Sky locals. I got a sneak peak at the menu and I have to tell you it looks delectable. I can’t wait. Every year is so much fun seeing friends I haven’t seen since last winter. The best part is the free food!

December 20 Big Sky Resort has a rail jam called R.U.S.T.

Buck’s T-4 offers a $99/night rate (single or double occupancy) for anybody attending any special events in Big Sky through the month of December. All the events are listed on our website

Sorry to sound so much like a marketing girl! 😉 But I just had to let everybody know what is going on this month in Big Sky.

Think snow! I will see you on the slopes.

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