If people from elsewhere think of Colorado as a meat and potatoes state, no matter how sophisticated our cuisine really is, Wyoming has an even harder job convincing others that there is a culinary presence that defies the stereotype. Wyoming is, after all, nicknamed “the cowboy state,” and we all know that cowboys don’t go around wrangling tofu blocks and free-range chickens. Culinary lights illuminate corners of Wyoming too with chefs, restaurateurs, growers and foodies with 21st century food sensibilities.
One center is Jackson and nearby posh Teton Village at the base of the Jackson Hole ski resort that have their share of truly fine-dining restaurants with excellent food and wines to match. The kitchens at some of the more upscale guest ranches around the state hold their own as well. And then, there are scattered individuals like Pam Sinclair. This foodie, culinarian, writer and Slow Food advocate, based in Worland, has set a high culinary bar.
Sinclair is well known as the author of A Taste of Wyoming: Favorite Recipes from the Cowboy State, which was photographed by Paulette Phlipot, an award-winning photographer specializing in still life and food photography. She now maintains a blog called Fabulous Food featuring favorite recipes she has wrested from talented chefs beyond Wyoming’s borders and also beautiful photos. Fabulous Food: Signature Recipes from Distinctive Destinations, her next book, will feature signature recipes from distinguished chefs at the finest inns, lodges, and resorts in the country. The research must have been a kick. She tells me that she is including south-of-of-the-border (i.e., Colorado) recipes from some chefs as Kevin Taylor of the Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group and Elise Wiggins of Panzano.