Ibsen Martinez

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From fried food stuff to balanced selections, MontanaFair has a taste for everyone

5 min read

BILLINGS — If you cease by MontanaFair in Billings through its nine-day operate, you are going to locate all the traditional foodstuff like corn pet dogs, cotton sweet and caramel apples.

But you will find a seller who delivers a dish that’s a bit a lot more healthy and has a 13-year legacy across fairs in Montana.

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MTN Information / Mitch Lagge

Bourbon Chicken Skewers operator, Patrick Obrien, flips his hen whilst giving an job interview with MTN News on Tuesday.

Patrick Obrien owns Bourbon Hen Skewers, a small business centered in Fantastic Falls that he started in 2009. His stand is about the only place at MontanaFair you can get steamed veggies served on a bed of jasmine rice and topped with a pork or hen skewer.

“We really don’t have a fryer. We really don’t have a microwave. We cook on these grills. The unwanted fat can drop absent and it does. We provide steamed vegetables, and at the truthful, that’s form of a uncommon issue to find, but we preferred to present a wholesome choice and we draw in people from all about the fairgrounds who appear to get steamed veggies. We do definitely well with that. It’s an incorporate on to our jasmine rice bowl. We contact it ‘the works bowl,'” Obrien instructed MTN News on Tuesday.

From June to September, Obrien and his workforce market food items at fairs and other functions across jap Montana. He started off as a foodstuff vendor in 2007 at a farmers market promoting cinnamon roasted nuts.

“I had discovered at the hockey games that people cinnamon roasted nuts stick to your nose. I was carrying out it at the farmers marketplace, but nuts are hefty and the shipping and delivery is high priced and the gain margin seriously wasn’t that lucrative,” Obrien explained.

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MTN News / Mitch Lagge

A freshly-organized works bowl from Bourboon rooster Skewers at MontanaFair in Billings.

Obrien said his subsequent enterprise selling street tacos and Coney canine failed to fairly pan out since much too numerous other individuals ended up supplying very similar choices.

Two several years later, with the aid and tips of a further food stuff seller named Porky Paul, Obrien switched to offering chicken on a skewer although Paul marketed the pork. Obrien said sooner or later when Paul received out of the enterprise, he picked up selling each pork and hen at his booth.

Obrien stated everything is contemporary with his food. The meat is all refreshing and he would make the marinades from scratch.

“We do all the things the tricky way,” stated Obrien.

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MTN News / Mitch Lagge

The Bourbon Hen Skewers stand sits in the north area of the halfway at MontanaFair in Billings.

He’s also picky about the selection of rice. It has to be jasmine rice from Thailand, and the top secret is to cook with h2o for 12 minutes in a pot with a apparent lid, so you can see the cooking course of action.

“We pick out it for texture, flavor and aroma. We’re actually very pleased of our rice. We’re definitely pleased with the way each and every batch turns out. We have our possess way of steaming it. A extremely widespread comment is, ‘I’ve under no circumstances experienced rice like this,’ or, ‘best rice I’ve ever experienced in my daily life,’” Obrien mentioned.

This 12 months, MontanaFair has a broader selection of meals options as opposed to 2020. MontanaFair personnel only authorized food vendors from inside Yellowstone County to run past year. Obrien stated the only reasonable he acquired to previous 12 months was in Miles Town, and this 12 months has been superior for company.

“Everywhere we have absent, we have been up 10 to 15 percent. Folks just want to get out and want to do matters. It’s been actual chaotic all over the place we go,” Obrien claimed.

For some, the fancy reasonable meals is a household organization. Brian Chadwick, owner and operator of Chadwick Concessions, has been included with truthful meals considering that he was 9 a long time previous.

“It’s form of been in our blood. My father worked for the people in the Coke tent when he was a kid together with my cousin, my grandma. We ended up purchasing it from them about 20 many years ago. We have just kind of been out right here doing the job the honest considering the fact that I was a kid and my dad was a child,” Chadwick claimed.

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MTN Information / Mitch Lagge

Brian Chadwick, operator of Chadwick Concessions.

The Coke tent is now sponsored by Pepsi, but it is really a single of the only fair meals vendors that offer you booth seating. Chadwick explained his cousin owns the tent and he owns and operates other stands that strictly provide funnel cakes and cheese curds produced from Wisconsin cheese.

The two merchandise typically offer about equally all through the run of the reasonable, Chadwick explained.

“One does well through the day. A person does effectively through the night, and it all just type of is dependent on the temperatures. They go in spurts. When another person orders a cheese curd, it looks like you get 100 cheese curds in a row. Then anyone goes with a funnel cake and it does the exact same thing,” Chadwick stated.

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MTN News / Mitch Lagge

A employee dusts powdered sugar onto a funnel cake at MontanaFair in Billings.

The funnel cake and cheese curd stands journey to MontanaFair and the Montana Condition Honest in Great Falls just about every yr, Chadwick explained. And the Pepsi tent will on top of that travel to Blackfoot, Idaho.

This is Chadwick’s 30th yr in truthful concessions and looking again on it all, he reported viewing household and friends is the emphasize each and every yr.

“I no longer dwell in Montana, so I get to variety of occur listed here and see children I grew up with and family just about every time I’m back. Which is what I love the most about it. Definitely, the reasonable itself is excellent, but we get a great deal of our friends and family that appear perform with us, so it tends to make it a whole lot of fun,” Chadwick claimed.

And about the course of 30 several years, the organization of good food items has improved. Chadwick pointed out that people today have thrown new factors in the fryer, like Oreo cookies. But a obvious modify in the Midway landscape is the addition of area places to eat and food stuff vans about time, Chadwick stated.

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MTN News / Mitch Lagge

A individual holds a boat of refreshing cheese curds from a stand owned by Brian Chadwick.

“There’s a lot additional suppliers, not always even a lot more booths, but a good deal more sellers bringing in diverse, distinctive things. You didn’t see a great deal of, Flavor of Asia or a gyro. You did not see that 20 decades in the past, or at least I didn’t observe it. You know, it was all the corn canine and cotton candies and caramelized apples, but now you are type of viewing a great deal a lot more diverse food as well,” Chadwick reported.

Relevant: Crowds pack in to MontanaFair in Billings for a weekend of enjoyment