Eventually, Coffman earned a promotion as the restaurant’s executive sous-chef, a position he held for more than three years before accepting Evans’ offer to assist in the operation of a second Blue Canyon restaurant starting up in Missoula.
Chef Coffman enjoys utilizing the access he has to a voluminous database of hundreds of original recipes created by Evans. He also credits Evans with imparting the strong set of values, which have helped him adapt and succeed in the swift-footed tempo of the restaurant lifestyle.
“Brandt Evans has taught me everything I know about fine dining,” says Coffman. “And he’s taught me everything to know about his palate, and wine and food pairings. He taught me that no matter how buried you get, to just take it one plate at a time.”
Blue Canyon’s beverage manager, Chris DeSoto, pairs wine with food for chef’s table guests. Blue Canyon owns its own wine label, producing a smooth chardonnay, a sweet Fratelli Rosso red, a zingy cabernet sauvignon red, and a mellow Riesling white, harvested in the Napa Valley. In fact, Evans handpicks winemakers who exhibit each Blue Canyon classification with gusto.
Indeed, Brandt Evan’s protégé is keeping the bar of expectations for both him and the restaurant he’s cooking at raised high. Right now, he’s even contributing his opinions on how to make the food, the service, and the ambiance at the newest addition to the Blue Canyon family—a Kalispell restaurant offering rustic elegance for approximately 220 guests—as good as, if not better than, its predecessors.