Amangani’s third wine dinner of the winter is quickly approaching, and it is the perfect event to get a taste of the flavors of new Executive Chef Bradley Pryor. This hiker and skier came to the valley in 2014, and hit the ground running as Amangani’s executive chef at the end of last year. Pryor has run kitchens around the country, but we are thrilled he’s taken up this post atop Gros Ventre Butte.
After attending college at East Carolina University, Pryor relocated to Portland, Oreg., to study at the Western Culinary Institute. When I asked how he entered the world of cooking, he explained, “People wouldn’t cook what I wanted them to cook for me, so I figured out how to do it myself. I wanted pie a lot as a kid. So I learned to make pie.” His first kitchen job was at the age of twenty-one. He worked as a dishwasher the first day, was on the fry station the second, and two weeks later he was running the line.
Prior to coming to Jackson, Pryor worked in kitchens in Oregon, North Carolina, Alaska, Utah, and Montana. Pryor spent his first Jackson summer at Lost Creek Ranch, fell in love with the area, and decided to stay. In his cooking, he enjoys featuring regional fare, as a well as local and seasonal products. The menu at Amangani reflects seasonality, which is why the current winter menu showcases the flavors of a variety of root vegetables and squashes. Pryor’s favorite menu item is currently the New Zealand lamb loin, with mustard seeds, spruce gastrique, rosemary tips, and lyonnaise potatoes sauce chasseur. The spruce gastrique is similar to a mint jelly, but with a very clear evergreen flavor.
At home, Pryor enjoys making dishes with Asian or ethnic flavors. He makes most of these dishes dairy free, substituting coconut oil and milk for butter or other dairy products. Tricks of the trade for the at-home chef? Arm yourself with a microplane grater, quality chef knives, and good cutting boards. You may be surprised to learn that the fine dining chef has a sweet spot for the McDonald’s Big Mac meal and chicken McNuggets. We all have our weaknesses.
The best time to try the fresh flavors Pryor brings to Amangani at the Kingston Vineyards wine dinner this Friday at 6:30 p.m. Check out the menu here:
On our way out, the front of house staff at Amangani expressed that Pryor’s new role has positively affected their entire front and back of house teams. Evidently, Pryor has a knack for bringing out the best in these individuals. He may even bring out the best in you if you find yourself in attendance at one of his Central Wyoming College cooking courses. But until then, soak in some of his culinary creativity the next time you want to step outside the village for your après ski festivities.