At Home Summer 2014

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at home summer 2014

published by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle vol. 15 number 2

Rustic-Modern Log home renovation blends Bozeman couple’s love of Montana & horses

Dream Big but Take Small Steps

Capturing your landscape design creativity with big ideas

at a ! e G r t I de f Gi

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contents [ volume 15, number 2 | Summer 2014

at home Editor Tiffany Jerry

design Christine Dubbs

advertising manager



Contributing writers Rebecca Ballotta Page Huyette Erin Schattauer

Sylvia Drain

Contributing photographers

Contributing columnists

Mike Greener Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

Editorial submissions Submissions are welcome and will be considered for publication. Query by emailing or by calling 406-582-2624.

Advertising inquiries Call 582-2640

Jan Cashman Anders Lewendal Diane Peterson

Log home renovation blends Bozeman couple's love of Montana and horses By Rebecca Ballotta


Running on Sun

Bozeman man powers home with solar energy By Erin Schattauer


Dream Big But Take Small Steps Capturing your landscape design creativity with big ideas By Page Huyette

depa rt men ts

6 Interior Design Work with an interior designer to achieve your home-building dreams 7 Gardening Cashman Nursery employees share their favorite perennial flower choices

21 in the kitchen Saffron Table head chef Rick Hilles shares his recipe for lamb vindaloo. 24 Sustainable Living The pros and cons of photovoltaic electric generation

Cover Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez

summer 2014 at home


interior design

Work with an interior designer to achieve your home building, remodeling goals By Di a ne Pet er son


to work with pictures. It used to be that home decorating magazines were the best source, but now there is also a website,, which has a lot of great ideas. It may not be any one thing you like about a room, but rather the feel, color, texture of the wood, tile, etc. that draws your attention. When you meet with the designer, bring your floor plans, even if you do not have them completely fine-tuned. Bring the pictures of the rooms you like, if you have some special furniture piece, art, area rug or something else you want to center things around, bring a photo. Think about your lifestyle. How many will be using a space? Do you want to downsize or

Photo courtesy of Gallatin Valley Furniture Carpet One

re you thinking about building or adding on to your home? Do you feel a little overwhelmed with what to do or how to achieve the look you are dreaming about? Or, as is the case with many new homeowners, are you unsure about what you want or what you can get done on your budget? My best advice is to start with an interior designer who can help you through the process. By working with a professional, it can help you to stay in budget, get the best product for your money and help you not make costly mistakes. To get started and so you are both on the same page about the look you are after, it is helpful

An interior designer can assist with space planning for existing furniture. 6

at home summer 2014

are you just starting a family? What makes sense to make your life easier? The choice of the right product for the right space can make a big difference. I like to paint the background first, looking at the big overall picture. Pick flooring, wall color and trim, then fill in the details such as cabinets, countertops, doors, lighting, hardware, plumbing fixtures, etc. In making these decisions, consider scale as an important element. Along with all the specs and finishes, a designer can also help you with space planning for your existing furniture and help you to know what pieces you still may need to purchase. What about window coverings? You may think this is one of the last decisions you have to make, but if you have a large bank of windows or large oversized ones that would function better by remote, you need to plan ahead and wire for them before the sheet rock goes in. The building process can be fun or it can be frustrating. Working with a professional can help you so you aren’t being pushed into making hurried decisions. You can enjoy the whole building experience. @ Diane is recognized as one of the area’s finest interior designers. Diane graduated with honors from the Parsons School of Design in New York. She is an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Her career with Gallatin Valley Furniture Carpet One started in 1991. The South West Home Builder’s recognized her professionalism by titling her Parade of Homes with “Best Interior Design” several times. Diane’s clients are home owners for many of the finer homes in the Bozeman area as well as Big Sky.


Favorite perennial flowers from our staff


per en n i a l fl ow er g a r den i s rewarding, less expensive and less work than having to re-plant annual flowers every year. With proper planning, you can have flowers blooming in your perennial garden all summer long. But what are the best perennials for our area that can anchor your perennial garden? I asked seven of our employees, experienced gardeners, “What is your favorite perennial flower?” Here are their choices: Bonnie Hickey, our bedding plant buyer, named bergenia, common name “Pigsqueak,” as her favorite perennial. It got the name Pigsqueak from the sound the leaf makes when rubbed between two fingers. Foot tall bergenia grows easily in shade or partial shade and is evergreen through the winter so is interesting in all four seasons. In May, bergenia has perky pink blossoms, in summer, leathery, slug-resistant leaves. Some varieties, like Bressingham Ruby, have bronzy-colored leaves all spring and summer. But in the fall, the leaves of all bergenia turn a beautiful burgundy color and stay that way throughout the winter. Annie Woodward, who lives north of Main Street in the old part of town where temperatures are a little milder and the soil is rich, has chosen echinacea or purple coneflower as her favorite. She likes its tall stems (up to 3’) with showy purplishpink-ray petals. This long-blooming, native perennial is easy to grow in any sunny garden as long as it doesn’t get too much water. Purple coneflower attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. In the winter finches feed on its seed. Many stunning new coneflower flower shapes, colors and heights have been bred in the last few years.

by Ja n c a shm a n

Photos court es y of Sk agi t Ga r dens

Iris is an old fashioned favorite of many of us, including Lisa MacFarlane. Reliably hardy and long-lived, fragrant, with few pests, you can’t beat iris. After they bloom their tall, thick, grass-like leaves form a nice backdrop for shorter flowers. Denise Montgomery, Cashman Nursery’s expert on native plants, likes native penstemon. Her favorite penstemons are the brilliant blues of ‘Alberta,’ ‘Shining,’ and ‘Little-Flower.’ Penstemon needs well-drained soil and will do well on dry, rocky sites. It is long-blooming, from late spring to mid-summer here in the valley, but will bloom later in higher elevations.

Of course, someone on our staff had to name the classic peony as their favorite and Rebecca did. Many of us remember peonies blooming in June in our grandmother’s or mother’s garden, whether we grew up in Montana or in the Mid-West. Peonies can’t be beat for their long life and huge, wonderfully fragrant blooms in pinks, reds, or shades of white. Michelle Ratliff likes black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia) because they are drought tolerant, reliable and in mid-summer, produce daisy-like flowers the color of sunshine. Goldsturm rudbeckia (30” tall) is one of the best selections for us. There is a new dwarf version called Little Goldstar that is only 16” tall. Black-eyed susan makes a great cutting flower!

Sun-loving Autumn Joy Sedum and the newer improved Autumn Fire, are Ann Wilbert’s favorite perennials. Hardy and healthy, this 18-24” sedum has few pests; it is a plant with four seasons of interest. In the spring, the young sedum plants look like little cabbages as they emerge with lightgreen leaves; then in summer and fall the tops slowly turn rosy-pink. Leave sedum standing in the garden all winter for its interesting shape or cut and dry it. Our staff chose these plants not only for their beauty, but for winter-hardiness, pest and deer resistance, length of bloom time, and drought resistance. Also, they considered the flowers’ usefulness as pollinators and if the plant attracts butterflies and birds. There are others that could have made the list: Jerry’s favorite is bleeding heart, mine is hardy geranium. But you can’t go wrong by adding one or more of these garden staples to your perennial garden! @ Jan Cashman has operated Cashman Nursery in Bozeman with her husband, Jerry, since 1975. summer 2014 at home


Dream Big but Take Small Steps Capturing your landscape design creativity with big ideas

Work with the space you have Many newer homes in subdivisions often have narrow, rectilinear yards with inhospitable, closed in side yards. Consider extending a backyard arbor or your flooring material into the side yard to provide more gardening or entertaining room while also creating the illusion of a larger space. Laying paving at an angle to the fence boundaries or incorporating broad, curving lines into your design can also make it appear larger. Allow your lines to continue beyond the boundaries. If your space is tiny, borrow an idea from Spanish courtyard gardens, and go vertical on the walls and fences with potted plants of matching color and species. Or take the opposite

Design by J.R. Kramer, Remark Studio

Consider the garden floor One of the areas that quickly trips up homeowners tackling their own landscape design is how to create structure and rhythm in an outdoor space that lacks the walls, ceilings and doorways easily found inside a home’s interior. Focusing on the layout and materials of your garden floor goes a long way toward achieving a design with good bones that holds together in all types of weather conditions and seasonal changes. Choose flooring materials that suit both your style and budget. Harder materials such as natural stone,

concrete and brick are more costly, but also add value to your home and stand up better in the higher use areas of the landscape. Installing them correctly on a level base keeps them from shifting and heaving, also providing a safe surface for circulation and outdoor play. Looser pea gravel or stepping stones are better left to the more casual areas of the garden, and should be sized as generously as possible. If you want to provide space for bulbs, creeping thyme or other plants to tuck into the spaces between stones or throughout your walkway, set stones no more than 2 1/2 to 3 inches apart, keeping the spaces as uniform as possible. Plant the gravel areas by poking holes through the weed cloth beneath, either grouping plants in clusters to keep circulation open, or choosing small varieties such as creeping thyme or violets.

Pulling an interesting pattern of paving into the side yard expands usable space.

Photo by Vida Flora


soon as the first patches of green begin to show in our mountainous landscape after a long winter, gardeners jump start plans for tackling this year’s goals while also balancing the desire to enjoy maximum outdoor relaxation time. By approaching decisions and purchases from a master plan approach and implementing them in very small steps, you can enjoy each and every balmy day this brief season brings without spending all of your minutes toiling away over mundane tasks or fretting over lost time. Whether your outdoor space is postage stamp sized, a narrow yard boxed in by fences or large rolling pasture, building your design around a dominant idea will give it the feel of a professional completeness while avoiding the disjointed feeling that many hastily installed landscapes often suffer from, leaving you wanting more.

By Page Hu y et t e

Art pieces tucked into corners encourage up-close enjoyment in your garden. 8

at home summer 2014

new idea or new image, include them on the idea board and you’ll begin to see your individual style emerge. By making it easy to visually access your master plan and items you really love, you’re more likely to check in to ensure every purchase you make and each step you take towards achieving your design goals work with your big ideas and dreams. @

Design by Koch Architects, Inc., photo by Jeannie O’Connor Photography

approach and focus on up-close details that encourage pause and contemplation, clustering a group of bonsai or succulents in matching containers for quiet enjoyment as you sit and work outside. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t completely overhaul your outdoor living space before cooler weather returns. Start achieving your goals now by setting up idea boards on your computer or Pinterest online for each area you want to tackle. Add notes under each image to remind you of why you like them. Whenever you are seduced by a

Page Huyette owns Vida Flora Design and can be reached at

If your space is small, go vertical on the walls and fences.

GETTING YOU INTO A NEW HOME IS WHAT MOVES US. A home you can call your own is one measure of success. That’s why First Security Bank offers refinancing options, home equity loans, mortgages, construction loans, lot loans and lines of credit. However you define success, we’re committed to helping you get there. To learn more, call 406.585.3800.

Member FDIC Equal Housing Opportunity summer 2014 at home


Rustic-Modern Log home renovation blends Bozeman couple’s love of Montana & horses B y Re b ecc a B a l l o t ta P h o t o g r a p h y B y A d r i a n S a n c h e z- G o n z a l e z

10 at home summer 2014


t’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of horse racing when visiting with Tom Trahey and Lynn Kober, owners of CalMont Thoroughbreds, a “breed to race” operation facilitated from their farm south of Bozeman. Trahey described the number of horses they have at the farm on any given day as a “moving target, always changing,” but his dream of breeding them on a Montana farm has never changed.

“We primarily have Tom Trahey and Lynn the brood mares,” he Kober completely gutted and remodeled said. “We could have their log home. gone the route of buying yearlings and prepping them to race, but we chose the ‘home-bred’ approach. Even though it takes more time and more money, we know what we do, who we’re breeding to, what we have, how we’re raising them, how we’re training them, how we’re letting them grow up.”

Plaster was tinted before application to give the walls their color.

Trahey’s and Kober’s passion for horses is evident within their home as well. When they completely gutted the original log structure, Trahey said, “there were a lot of ‘ohs,’ a lot of ‘ah-has,’ and a lot of ‘uh-ohs.’ But, thankfully, not a lot of tears.” They credit much of the absence of tears to the fact that they utilized what they felt were the best of the best in local contractors, suppliers, artisans, and craftsmen; people like Jeff and Kevin Galyen of Ascent Builders, Dave at Simkins-Hallin, and Elizabeth Robb Interiors. They also relied heavily on their architect, Ed Ugorowski of Design Partnership.

summer 2014 at home 11

The kitchen cabinets drew their cranberry color from the original ceiling planks.

“Ed was good because he listened,” Trahey said. “He was a good consulting architect, and had just that good critical eye – it was a good check and balance against all these great ideas you think you have. He might say, ‘that’s going to work, but it will cost much more than the budget.’” The original logs are still behind the walls. They do give depth and extra insulation, but their presence raised the question of how to make smooth, flat, interior walls. Chad from Yooper Wall Systems built it out with framing and Corbond insulation, and then finished it with a single-coat plaster, troweled to be smooth. The plaster was tinted before application, giving the walls (which are not painted) their sage color. This process also caused natural shading and marbling that fool the eye into thinking the walls are textured. 12 at home summer 2014

Tom Trahey and Lynn Kober found a Blue Star range to match their kitchen cabinets.

The original logs are still behind the walls in the home.

Steel plates and caps on the stair treads and railings, high-fired ceramic floor tiles (that look like steel), stainless steel and glass kitchen backsplash tiles, hammered copper sink, and glistening granite kitchen counter tops added some cosmopolitan panache. The kitchen cabinets drew their cranberry color from that left in the original ceiling planks after old paint was sandblasted off them (using ground walnuts rather than sand), and Trahey and Kober couldn’t believe their good fortune to find the cranberry-colored Blue Star range that matches the cabinets so perfectly. Conceptually, Trahey credits 20th century artist, Georgia O’Keefe with influencing his choice to include skulls and southwestern flare, and his love of Montana with influencing the “rustic-modern” flavor. Repeating arches offer clear sight lines throughout the house. summer 2014 at home 13

Artwork in the home reflects the couple’s passion for horses.

Tom Trahey’s love of Montana influenced his design choices.

Repeating arches fed Trahey’s preference for clear sight lines throughout the house, and Hurd windows positioned to provide fabulous outside views from every direction made it easy to incorporate Montana into the décor. Much of the artwork on the walls came from auctions Trahey and Kober attended in support of various nonprofits. Some of the artwork is by Fred Stone, a wellknown artist in the breeder’s world. Stone signed one treasured picture, “Tom and Lynn, best of luck, and keep your eye on the roses,” referring, of course, to the rose garland placed around the neck of a winning horse. The interior of the home was designed with a rustic-modern flavor. 14 at home summer 2014

It was important to Tom Trahey that the new construction not look like an addition.

The giant picture hanging in the sitting room encapsulates their passion. Trahey first saw the photo of a running steed placed incidentally in the background of an ad for an interior design company. After a thorough, cross-country search and numerous contacts, Trahey tracked down a source from which to acquire the picture, and he couldn’t be happier about it. He explained it was “just one of those little epiphanies.” He didn’t already have a wall in mind for the picture, but he decided he would find the wall to hang it on, because “I had to have that picture!” “People call (the interior design style) eclectic, but it’s not that because there is actually a theme,” Trahey said. “It isn’t necessarily easily labeled, but it is well-defined.”

“We didn’t want the new construction to look like an addition. It required a lot of time sitting and thinking and drawing site lines, utilizing actual tape and string to get a clear visual, and then, finally, moving forward. The idea was, how do we transition internally and externally to have the house look like it was one entire structure all along. It takes a team that can communicate well; share the dream well. We are so fortunate in SW Montana, and geographically on a broader scope, to have such good companies, with good customer service, and good consultative service.” @

summer 2014 at home 15

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16 at home summer 2014

ettled in the beautiful Paradise Valley amidst 200 acres of organic wheat, the home features massive timbers and native stone throughout. The timberframe and SIP (structural insulated panel) home is the owners’ Montana dream come true. The main house enjoys an open floorplan with large windows offering plenty of natural light and incredible views of the Absaroka mountain range. The intricate timber frame structure and plaster walls are as warm as the morning sun. The great room is enhanced by a floor to ceiling stone fireplace and a mahogany/walnut and stone kitchen, perfect for entertaining. The stone master wing was designed to resemble an old Forest Service cabin, but inside is far from rustic. Timber ceilings in the hall/gallery and the vaulted bedroom ceiling carry through to the bathroom where the brushed and chiseled travertine adds elegance to the painted cabinetry. The second floor stairwell that leads to two guest bedrooms executes the owner’s idea of replicating an old grain tower. We extended that detailing to the guest quarters to give the appearance of an old barn, featuring red washed wood walls and reclaimed barn wood doors and trim. The lower level has large windows to flood the space with natural light and views from the future walnut bar/game room and media center. The covered breezeway leading to the garage wraps around to the mudroom and main entry inviting you to have a seat and take in the view. The large 3 car garage features a guest apartment that shares the same beautiful details as the home, including the views! Overall the home is as energy efficient as one can be featuring 12” SIP (structural insulated panel) roof and 8” walls. The HVAC system uses variable capacity gas furnaces @ 98.2 % efficiency rating combined with heat pumps. Electrical uses Savant interior technologies as the backbone to control systems.

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Running On Sun Bozeman man powers home with solar energy B y E r i n Sc h at ta u e r P h o t o g r a p h y B y M i ke G r ee n e r

18 at home summer 2014


hen Orion Thornton started looking for a home to buy in Bozeman, one of the first things he noticed about the house he now lives in was its roof. “I literally looked at this place, it was one of the first places, and it had a good solar roof and a good design. The sun just cranks in here in the winter,” Thornton said of the north side home he now occupies. Thornton, who moved to Bozeman in 2006 for a job, now owns his own solar energy business – Onsite Energy Solutions – and his own home. Being in the solar energy business, he wanted to live what he was selling to others.

“I’m out trying to Orion Thornton runs his convince people to go home with a solar electric solar, so for me it was system and a solar water really important to heating system. live there … and to do it to a point that I was actually covering all my electricity and power with sunlight,” he said. Now, a few years later, he’s doing just that. Thornton’s energy bill is $5.25. That’s the base service charge. His bill always looks like that. “There’s no actual usage, because the system’s producing as much as the home is using on the year-to-year basis,” he explained.

Because he uses the sun’s energy to power his home, Orion Thornton’s energy bill is just $5.25.

“So the way it works is this time of year the solar electric system’s going to start producing more than the house is using on a month-to-month basis, so the meter is literally spinning backward. So when NorthWestern comes to read it every month it’s just going to say a negative number or less than they read the month before. So until it gets to that point where it’s at your baseline number, you’re never going to have a bill. And for me, I just never have a bill because I produce as much as I use.” A lot of people want to know how Thornton ends up with nothing on the little bar graph that shows energy usage on his bill. “The only way to do that was to address all the things your home needs, which is heat, hot water, electricity, all those different things and one thing that it comes down to is you have to get off gas to really, truly be independent of fossil fuels,” he said. Thornton installed two systems that would allow him to use the sun’s energy: a solar electric

system and a solar water heating system. From the outside, Thornton’s three-bedroom north side home looks similar to its neighbors, but a closer look reveals 23 solar panels on the roof. “I was committed to the solar industry and just that kind of lifestyle, just trying to live as sustainably as possible. My big driver was a house that I could make solar powered,” he said. The roof was a big factor. While it doesn’t have the ideal 35 to 40 degree pitch suitable for solar panels, it was close enough. It also had enough solar access and an “open solar window,” allowing enough sun to hit the roof. Thornton explained that it’s important for a solar energy system that the roof isn’t too shaded. Thornton’s home system is unique compared to most of the ones he installs for work in residential and commercial buildings in that it is a batterybased system. While most other solar energy systems rely on the grid as their battery, Thornton has his own

battery system, so if the grid power goes down he doesn’t lose power. “When the power goes down I can still run my fridge, pumps for the solar hot water system, lights. I could literally run my house for like three days,” he said. The solar water system also takes energy from the sun. Water circulates through a closed-loop system and goes into a 50-gallon collector tank. The next step for his goal to be independent of fossil fuels was stop using a gas furnace to heat the house. While remodeling the home in 2009, Thornton tore out a closet between the kitchen and living room and installed a wood-burning stove. “So that was it. That was the last step really in getting off fossil fuels for the house.” He made other changes during the remodel as well. He replaced carpeting with cork floors, installed bamboo countertops and purchased cabinets built in Dillon. summer 2014 at home 19

For Orion Thornton, solar energy systems are an investment not only in his home, but in his way of life.

“When I did the remodel I tried to be conscious of materials,” Thornton said. “I really tried to keep things local as much as possible.” He also added other touches, like a reflective solar light tube in the ceiling of the bathroom, which allows natural daylight to pass through. “You come in here and never turn on a light,” he said. He also made some changes on the ground, digging out the Kentucky bluegrass on the lawn and replacing it with plants and vegetables. When Thornton was looking for a home to buy he was even conscious of the location. He looked at the town’s layout. “Bozeman is really well set up because of its orientation. The streets run east, west and north, south, so if you have a house that’s already facing the street like this then you’re going to be south-facing,” he said. He knew he wanted to be close to downtown so he could be within biking or walking distance to work, restaurants and other accommodations. “Anytime I don’t have to get in a vehicle is awesome,” he said. So why is this lifestyle so important to him? Some of it is common sense and some has to do with how he was raised, Thornton said. Far from the electric grid and with no running water, “it was kind of a homesteading lifestyle until I was like 8 or 9. So, for me, I

just like that. I like being able to be self-sufficient and do things on your own.” Thornton said another part of it is that Montana is going to be on the “front lines” of a lot of environmental issues, including oil, gas and coal expansion. “Before I can really address any of those things in my life, I feel like I actually have to do things personally to offset how I would be contributing to any of those factors, whether it’s using gas or using fuel or things like that,” he said. Thornton acknowledges that some people believe changing over to solar energy is financially unattainable. “That’s usually the big barrier: financial. People are scared of it. But people somehow aren’t scared of paying a $200 to $300 electric bill every month. They just do it. They think it’s something they have to do. It’s not,” he said. “It’s just a matter of priorities.” Thornton’s systems cost him about $20,000 before tax credits. After tax and other credits, he ended up paying about $11,000 to $12,000 out of pocket, he said. For Thornton, it was an investment not only in his home, but in his way of life. “If you want to be somewhat of an environmentalist, you’ve got to kind of start with how you operate on a day-to-day basis.” @ Erin Schattauer can be reached at 582-2628 or She’s on Twitter at @erinschattauer.


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in the kitchen

Saffron Table offers contemporary South Asian cuisine By T iffa n y Jer ry At Home Editor


hen Rick Hilles saw a Craigslist ad last year for a head chef position in Bozeman, he knew immediately that he wanted the job. Hilles, who was working as a sous chef in Sun Valley, Idaho, had been searching for a new opportunity and wanted to relocate to Bozeman. The ad, posted by Andleeb Dawood, described the concept for a restaurant she wanted to open – South Asian cuisine – and it piqued Hilles’ interest. “I was looking for something that was going to take things to another level for me and a project that was going to be really interesting,” Hilles said. “This felt like the right next step. It was just the perfect fit.” After visiting with Dawood about the restaurant, Hilles moved to Bozeman to become the head chef and he and Dawood spent the next several months working on the food for the menu. On May 20, Saffron Table officially opened at 1511 W. Babcock Street, in the building that formerly housed La Chatelaine Chocolat Co. – a building

that is part of the original homestead belonging to the family of Dawood’s husband. Dawood, who is originally from Pakistan, said the bistro-style restaurant features contemporary South Asian cuisine with elements from various regions including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. “When I was younger in Pakistan, it was actually a very safe and beautiful place,” Dawood said. “Over the years, it’s gotten to be a place where there’s a lot of conflict and a lot of strife and a lot of violence and a lot of poverty. I personally wanted to bring a little piece of something that’s still really beautiful and authentic and pleasurable about Pakistan and that region because I miss that.” Dawood also brought a piece of her family to the restaurant. Although collaboration with Hilles has brought new elements to traditional dishes and his ideas have taken recipes “to a whole other place” and a “higher level,” Dawood said many of the dishes originate from family recipes.

“It’s been a process of starting with a core idea and expanding on it to meet the vision for the restaurant,” Dawood said. “A lot of the bases of the food that we’re doing here are my family’s recipes. It’s really neat because it feels like it’s a family enterprise. It’s like they’re all here in some way.” Hilles, who went to culinary school in 2000 after more than a decade in software development, and has worked at a variety of restaurants, including the French Laundry, said he loves the menu at Saffron Table. “We’re taking things that have core flavors and fundamental ideas that come from the South Asian cuisine, but then we’re saying, ‘hey, let’s look at this in a different way’ and we play with it a little bit and do something that’s a little bit more unique and contemporary that people will appreciate when they sit down,” Hilles said. “They’ll say, ‘wow’ from a visual point of view and from a flavor point of view. In this particular cuisine, those are hard restaurants to find.” @

Photo by Mike Greener

“A lot of the bases of the food that we’re doing here are my family’s recipes. It’s really neat because it feels like it’s a family enterprise. It’s like they’re all here in some way.” -Andleeb Daewood

Collaboration between head chef Rick Hilles and owner Andleeb Dawood brought new elements to traditional dishes.

summer 2014 at home 21

ask the chef AH: How long have you been cooking? RH: I’ve been cooking for about 14 years now. I went to culinary school in 2000 in Paris. AH: How would you define your style of cooking at Saffron Table? RH: It’s a contemporary bistro style of cooking. Everything’s made to order for the guests that come in. All the ingredients, everything that we do is fundamentally from scratch. When people come in and sit down and order something to eat, it’s cooked on the spot for them. We don’t have things produced in mass quantities back there. That’s part of what I think brings a freshness to the cuisine. And then there’s a certain precision, I guess I would call it a simplicity, that we want to do with the plating of the food that makes it interesting and have a purpose behind all the things that we do on the plate, but it’s not overly fussy. AH: What is your favorite dish on the menu to prepare? RH: I think I enjoy braising the lamb for the vindaloo buns and the lamb shoulder. What I love about it is the process of braising and the cooking and the aromatics and the searing of the meat and the smell of the braise when you’re preparing it. Then you put it in the oven and it goes for several hours and then you take it out and you open up the lid and you have this magical mix of flavors that comes out and it smells so good. You took this lamb shoulder that came from the animal down the way and then you pull it out of the oven and you open it up and you have all these great flavors and this tender meat and you just kind of feel like you just created something. AH: What is your favorite dish on the menu to eat? RH: I would say the eggplant chaat. It’s an Indian street food-style item. It has an incredible mix of flavors with tamarind chutney, a mint chutney, yogurt, and a chopped masala. It’s a really bright burst of flavors.

Photo by Mike Greener

AH: Which dish is the customer favorite? RH: The naan is super popular because we have an authentic tandoor in the kitchen. That’s all made to order as well. As far as other dishes that have been very popular – the vegetable biryani. It’s basically a rich, vegetable stew with saffron rice and crispy onions. It has a lot of spice to it and a lot of complexity of flavor. That is one of the biggest hits. The other one is the lamb shoulder. It’s probably right up there with the tandoor chicken.

Saffron Table head chef Rick Hilles prepares a plate of lamb vindaloo buns.

22 at home summer 2014

AH: What is your favorite part about cooking at Saffron Table? RH: I think what I like the most here is that the crew of cooks that I have in the kitchen are all really professional and quick learners and enthusiastic about the food as well. There’s a lot of camaraderie and that’s sometimes not the culture you find in a kitchen. AH: As a chef, what are three things you cannot live without? RH: Extremely sharp knives, onions, spice. You’ve got to have spice.

See Us For All Your

Lamb Vindaloo 2 minced cloves garlic 2 minced 1” pieces ginger 4 crushed Indian dried chiles 2 fl. oz. red wine vinegar 4 tsp toasted cumin seed

• 2 tsp toasted Indian long

pepper • 16 oz. lamb shoulder • 2 fl. oz. canola oil • 1 tsp green cardamom pods

1. Grind dried chilli, cumin seed and long pepper in coffee grinder. 2. Combine ground spices along with ginger and garlic in blender or small bowl of food processer. Add just enough water to blend into a paste. 3. Cut lamb shoulder into one inch pieces, removing excess fat. Marinate shoulder in spice paste 4 hours. 4. In an oven safe pan, toast cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick in oil, add onion and fennel, cook until well caramelized. Add meat, marinade, and salt. Cook meat until browned and fragrant (working in small batches if necessary). Add 2 cups water to pan. Cover tightly with foil or lid and braise @ 325 until tender, about 3 hours.

• • • • •

1/2 oz. whole clove 1 cinnamon stick

1 cup yellow onion 1/2 cup fennel bulb 1 tbsp kosher salt

5. Cool slightly, remove meat. Skim excess fat from braising liquid. Remove cinnamon stick. Blend braising liquid and vegetable liquids into coarse sauce. Combine meat with sauce and heat through for serving.

Trees & Shrubs Bedding Plants Mulches - Bagged or Bulk North 19th at Springhill Road • 587-3406

Photo by Mike Greener

• • • • •

GardeninG needs

Do you have a house that should be featured in an upcoming issue of At Home?

Contact Tiffany Jerry at or 582-2624 summer 2014 at home 23

sustainable living

Should we put PVs on our homes? By a nder s Lew enda l


ummer is here and the sun is shinning virtually every day. With talk about both climate change and the economy in the news, now is a good time to debate whether PVs or photovoltaic electric generation is appropriate. You can see them in almost every part of town on southfacing roofs. Is it a good idea or an inefficient idea? I asked two folks who have very different perspectives. First the pro side from my neighbor, Jeff Wongstrom, who owns a business, Thirsty Lake Solar, which installs PV systems. Second, the con side from Tom Burnett a candidate for HD67. After, I offer you my two cents and then you will have to decide for yourself. Solar is sexy Stars such as Johnny Depp have solar modules on the roofs of their homes showing off sleek sexy technology that generates electricity from the sun with no moving parts, virtually no maintenance, no noise or pollution. Buying solar demonstrates a sensitivity to the environment by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and easing the burden to develop energy resources on our cherished wild lands that we hike, bike, camp, and hunt on. Solar is savvy. ROI for PV in Montana is typically 2-5 percent with as little as a $6,000 investment.

Should the government subsidize residential photovoltaic (PV) systems?

If you buy a 3.1 kWh system – sized for an “average” home – that costs $4 per 24 at home summer 2014

watt, you’ve spent $12,400. Federal government taxpayers subsidize you 30 percent or $3,720. NorthWestern Energy ratepayers subsidize you $4,650. You pay $4,030; others pay $8,370. The system may produce $32 worth of electricity per month, $384 per year. A simple payback calculation shows you getting your money back in 10.5 years. That is a 9.5 percent return on investment (ROI) on your money, better than CDs or government bonds but less than the historical return of U.S. equities which is about 11.9 percent. The return is only that high because of the imposition you’ve made on your neighbors, taxpayers and ratepayers. Their return is negative. Twelve thousand, four hundred dollars invested at 11.9 percent for 25 years yields $206,000, at the unsubsidized rate of 3 percent, $25,962. No homeowners will install PV without subsidies. It is unfriendly to drag others into a poor investment. My two cents Seems like we have two choices: buy PVs for emotional reasons or buy PVs for ROI reasons. Or is it a combination? If you were to buy PVs for emotional reasons, or in this case, to reduce CO2, I think we would evaluate if PVs are really the best way to reduce CO2. You could buy a more efficient car, or buy some rainforest in Brazil. There are plenty of other opportunities that can save more CO2 than buying PVs if your decision is emotional. Alternately, we can make a ROI decision. Buying a PV system is arguably a purchase with discretionary funds. Many of us do not

have an endless supply of discretionary funds and have to make smart decisions for our future and retirement. A few weeks ago, Jeff commissioned a 5.25 KW PV system on my garage in town. It cost $20,400 but my out-of-pocket cost is only about $9,300 after grants and tax credits. Now is a good time to thank the government (you). I purchased the PV system largely as a hedge against future electric costs and as a diversification of my retirement plan. Most investment advisors would argue that we should not put all of our eggs in one basket. A PV system is just one egg in that basket. Without the grants and tax credits, I might make a different decision. I like reducing pollution and I enjoy watching the electric meter running backwards. It works for me. I encourage you to think about all of the options before deciding on installing a PV system. @ Anders Lewendal moved to Bozeman in 1991 and owns Anders Lewendal Construction, Inc. He became involved in sustainability in the early 1980s working for a large commercial recycling company and then composting for the City of San Francisco after receiving a degree in business economics at UCSB. Currently, he chairs the Green Building Committee for SWMBIA. Anders is also an NAHB Certified Green Professional and an Energy Star builder.

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