Jeremy Engebretson

Recent Posts

French baker to set up shop in downtown Billings


Having spent most of his life working as an information technology expert on three continents, Francois Morin has a new home and is embarking on a decidedly different new career. The 55-year-old Frenchman is planning to open a small bakery in downtown Billings this spring, concentrating on a handful of simple, traditional French breads. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Billings Petroleum Club hires Lilac’s Engebretson


Jeremy Engebretson is well on his way to becoming the busiest person in Billings. He opened Lilac, a popular Montana Avenue restaurant, five years ago, and just about a year ago he announced that he was partnering with Joanie Swords, owner of Harper & Madison, a bakery and cafe, so they could share their talents to make improvements at both establishments. Today, the Billings Petroleum Club announced that Engebretson has become its “executive chef in residence.” The Billings Gazette carried a story 10 days ago saying that the Petroleum Club had just finished a six-month, $513,000 renovation of its lounge and dining room on the 22nd floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, formerly the Crowne Plaza hotel at North 27th Street and First Avenue North. A press release from the Petroleum Club pointed out that Engebretson was recently named one of the top 100 executive chefs in the United States. It also said he plans to continue his executive management of Lilac. Continue Reading →

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New downtown art gallery plans open house Thursday


Tucked into a corner just inside the front door of the Western Art Forum, a new gallery in downtown Billings, is an elegant blue easy chair. Gallery owner Kira Fercho, an artist known for her vibrant oil paintings, designed the chair and said it represents the kind of art—slightly Western but also mid-century modern—she wants to display and sell at the gallery. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Taste of Billings: 5 questions for Lilac’s Jeremy Engebretson


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. Continue Reading →

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Owners of Harper & Madison, Lilac forming partnership


So many rumors have been flying about the future of Harper & Madison, a popular café and bakery on the edge of downtown Billings, that owner Joanie Swords thought it was time to spill the beans. But about those rumors: “The biggest one is that we’re closing,” she said. “I also heard I sold it. But no one knows who I sold it to, and I haven’t seen a check.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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New West End restaurant is all about local, and anti-chain


During a discussion about his new West End restaurant, chef Travis Stimpson talked about community almost as much as he talked about food. That’s because he wants his Local Kitchen & Bar to foster a sense of community and to be an important part of the community as well. He wants people to enjoy good food and drink grown and made in Montana, and he wants them to stop thinking that eating at chain restaurants has anything to do with fine dining. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Off to Tuscany: Well-earned break for ‘serial entrepreneur’


Joanie Swords is dreaming of Italy. In the fall, she will seek out the discoveries that author Frances Mayes writes about in her book, “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

As Harper & Madison, the cafe, bakery and market that she has “put her heart and soul into,” enters its fourth year, she can trust her staff to operate the business while she’s away. (more…) Continue Reading →

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