Taste of Billings: 5 questions for Joanie Swords, Harper & Madison


Stella Fong

Joanie Swords, Harper & Madison

The second annual Taste of Billings, featuring two nights of fine dining at the historic Billings Depot on Montana Avenue, is set for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5 and 6.

The Saturday night formal dinner will feature a seven-course meal, each plate paired with a wine. All proceeds will go to support the nonprofit Billings Depot. More information is available on the depot website.

In advance of the affair, Alexander Clark and Bryce Turcotte of Stodgy, a new creative marketing company in Billings, met with the seven chefs who will be serving up the Saturday feast, Turcotte to shoot portraits of them and Clark to ask them to describe the course they will be serving and to ask them five questions about food.

Turcotte and Clark donated their services to the Billings Depot and are allowing Last Best News to run the photos and Q&A’s. Turcotte, however, was not able to photograph today’s chef, Joanie Swords, of Harper & Madison. This is the last installment in the series.

Course: Dessert

Description: Our version of the coconut crème pie. It consists of a pate brisee base, with a coconut filling, bittersweet chocolate meringue on the side, and an almond tuile.

Five Questions:

  1. Favorite guilty pleasure food or eatery?

Nathan’s Hot Dogs.

2. If you weren’t cooking what would you be doing?

Painting. I was a house painter in a previous life and I loved it.

3. Dish on your menu that you eat the most?

Our chocolate croissant.

4. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Cream, it’s so versatile.

5. Person you would love to cook for?

My friend Richard. He is an outstanding cook that has fed me millions of meals and I don’t think I’ve ever returned the favor.

Monday: Tim Zimbelman, chef at Jake’s West End.

Tuesday: Stephen Hindman, Stacked.

Wednesday: Wally Bone, TEN.

Thursday: James Honaker, Enzo Bistro.

Friday: Marlo Sprang, Walkers Grill.

Saturday: Jeremy Engebretson, Lilac.

Leave a Reply