Over the past decade, Executive Chef Ben Jones has cooked up creative culinary experiences for remote, high-end mountain properties.
Sage Lodge, located 30 miles north of Yellowstone National Park in Pray, Montana, is the latest resort to tap into chef Ben Jones’ talents, bringing him on board in October 2021 to oversee two restaurants, create memorable culinary experiences, and elevate catering services for meetings and events.
Jones is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he holds a degree in culinary arts from Nelson Polytechnic in Nelson, New Zealand. He served as chef de cuisine at Peninsula Hotel in Chicago before working his way up to executive chef at The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana, and Alderbrook Resort and Spa in Union, Washington. He is also a founder and chef at Open Hearth, a private chef and catering business, alongside his wife and business partner, Michelle Byerly.
At Sage Lodge, though, Jones is developing and mentoring his culinary team, focusing on food preservation, sourcing and highlighting local ingredients, and bolstering The Grill restaurant’s dry-aging room. Developing culinary event programming is also a priority. Tuesday Night BBQs, for instance, complete with live music and lawn games, will be on the calendar this summer, along with two new culinary adventures.
“Groups can take part in a private dinner in the orchard or on the banks of the Yellowstone River,” Jones says, “where our team will spoil you with the most incredible local ingredients. There is nothing better than taking in the majesty of Paradise Valley and the Yellowstone River while enjoying a special meal after a well-spent Montana day.”
In addition, guests staying in one of Sage Lodge’s ranch houses can book a private chef experience, which is ideal for corporate retreats, family reunions, and private getaways with friends. “Our chefs will prepare a decadent and fully customizable four-course (or more) dinner with optional wine pairings,” he explains. “[It’s] a truly one-of-a-kind meal your group will always remember.”
The property’s sales and culinary teams work closely with meeting and event planners to create unique and meaningful experiences, Jones adds. “Whether it’s crafting a custom menu, teaching a mixology or cooking class, or hosting a private dinner, the culinary team is here to ensure your visit is nothing short of world-class.