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A spotlight on PREROGATIvE KITCHEN, Tippet Rise’s newest culinary partner

August 23, 2022

Beginning this Friday, guests at Tippet Rise will have the opportunity to purchase lunch or dinner prepared by our second culinary partner of the summer – the Red Lodge-based PREROGATIvE KITCHEN. Co-owned by the husband-and-wife team Gena Burghoff and chef Chris Lockhart, together with chef Danny Mowatt, PREROGATIvE opened in Red Lodge in 2018 and is a mainstay and must-try for locals and tourists alike.

While Chris hails from Warwick, England, and Gena from Powell, Wyoming, their story as a couple and as future joint restaurateurs began in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, where they first met during their respective travels and jobs abroad. They eventually made their way to Red Lodge in 2009, opening a food cart called The Local Yokel, which served sliders, specials, and sides, setting the stage for their mission of sourcing as many ingredients as possible locally, and preparing items from scratch. This approach followed them to their next venture, Montana Jacks, a popular restaurant that was located just outside of Fishtail. It was here that they began working with chef Danny, who grew up in nearby Absarokee and had returned to the area after attending the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute.

The team’s concept for PREROGATIvE has been a major success – it was even recognized this year by the prestigious James Beard Awards as a semi-finalist for Best Chef in the Mountain Region. At PREROGATIvE, customers can select from an à la carte style menu that encourages people to “eat what you want to eat.” This motto inspired the restaurant’s name as well. The team had reached a point in their careers where they felt confident creating and cooking from a menu which they felt passionately about and connected to creatively, but also wanted to create a restaurant that gave customers a lot of leeway and choices. It’s jointly their/your prerogative!

Everyone at PREROGATIvE feels as passionate about serving their local Red Lodge community as they do about their food. They make every effort to operate the restaurant in the most sustainable ways possible, and they support local and regional nonprofits, having donated nearly $60,000 since their opening. They are equally inspired by the generosity they have received at times such as during the pandemic, when customers continued to purchase gift cards or order take-out, or during the recent flood, when the community rallied together to clean-up and make necessary repairs throughout the area.

Gena, Chris, and Danny have known members of the Tippet Rise team since before the art center’s opening, having met co-founders Cathy and Peter Halstead, visiting musicians and artists, and local staff at the former Montana Jacks or PREROGATIvE over the years. After having to cancel the 2020 season at Tippet Rise due to the pandemic, which included our first planned collaboration with PREROGATIvE, the team came up with a creative to-go picnic lunch option for hikers and bikers during our 2021 season. This year’s partnership, however, fulfills our organization’s long-held desire to work together, providing guests of the summer music season the opportunity to taste even more of their delicious food while surrounded by the beauty and peaceful energy of Tippet Rise.

Starting this weekend, the grab-and-go cooler at lunchtime for hikers and bikers will feature five types of sandwiches, a selection of salads of different bases – from couscous and pasta to greens, and a variety of snacks. Dinners will feature three main options, from local beef brisket to PREROGATIvE’s famous roasted chicken thighs, which can be paired with sides made to complement the dishes, and a unique selection of canned wines, prosecco, and sparkling rose. Like their restaurant, options to accommodate gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan diets will be available.

PREROGATIvE’s operating hours at Tippet Rise will be:

Friday (Lunch) : 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday (Dinner for concert ticketholders) : 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday (Lunch) : 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM ( *8/27 : 12:30 - 5:00 PM )
Sunday (Lunch) : 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM ( *9/18 : 12:30 - 5:00 PM )

We are also so appreciative of Asano Otsu and her team at Samurai Sue’s Everyday Foods for the incredible to-go items they have prepared since early July for hikers, bikers, and van tour participants. We feel fortunate to be able to collaborate with such a talented group of culinary artists from our region.