"It wasn't until I got everything in the mail that sort of outlined what it was and kind of where I'd be and a spotlight of the event itself that's when I was really excited," said Andy Blanton, "I felt like a kid again."
Andy Blanton should be excited - after all, the executive chef of Whitefish's Cafe Kandahar is bringing Montana to New York City in an invitation only dinner at the James Beard House.
"It's kind of inspiring, actually," he explained, "to know that we've kind of hit the big time scene. It's intimidating to make sure that the coordination of the event, getting everything out there and together. But just the idea of it, the concept of it is extremely inspiring."
Blanton will be presenting a seven course meal highlighting Montana's game as well as huckleberries and Flathead cherries in a style he likes to call "thoughtfully constructed cuisine."
"[It] keeps in mind the ingredients, the sourcing of each ingredient, where it comes from, the seasonality," he said. "So it's a farm-to-table concept but also finding artisan and high quality producers."
Above all, Blanton is proud to show off what Montana is all about.
"To be the first from Montana to go and do it is very exciting," Blanton concluded, "It's not only been a lifelong dream to go and cook at the Beard House but now here I am doing it and representing Montana in the first place."
Blanton presents his culinary creations in NYC on May 24th.
Turns out, Blanton isn't the only Montanan to cook at the James Beard dinner - Chuck Schommer was invited in 1999.