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Tim Freeman is the first Chef in the "Cooking in the Dark" series and we could not have friended a better person !!!

Tim Freeman, the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency in Aurora is working to build community through diversity in his staff and experience with various cooking formats and venues.

Freeman credits adding dishes with pheasant, venison and bison to the menu for helping bring the downtown restaurant recognition from the 2015 World Gourmet Society Festival. Game also fits into this year’s theme, which is “Discover New Culinary Landscapes in the Best Restaurants Across the World.”

Freeman is one of two chefs in North America to receive the designation. He invited TEN sous chef Tyler Ellis to share in the honor by creating a five-course meal to be served during March as part of the festival. A special commemorative menu with the World Gourmet Society logo will be printed and ready for customers on Thursday, when the new five-course meal will be available. The meal will be available for $50 per serving on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“It’s a nice recognition,” Freeman said. “This gives us global recognition. Now the Northern has this global presence. If they didn’t know about Montana and have never thought about Billings, now they do.”

The new meal begins with snapper ceviche, made with Montana-grown micro greens, and also includes dishes with Flathead cherries, venison medallions and Montana-made cheeses.

“People are recognizing that big city food is here in Billings,” Ellis said.

Freeman started his career at Spago in Beverly Hills, Calif., and has cooked around the world, most recently in Kenya, where he was a head chef from 2011 to 2013. He won the designation from the World Gourmet Society Festival while in Kenya.

Freeman came on board at TEN as executive chef in May 2014 and has focused on finding culinary inspiration in local flavors approached in a simple way. He was surprised to discover there were so few wild game items on the menu, even though Montana is a state where so many people hunt.

“It’s very gratifying to come to work every day and change people’s mind-sets about food. I think slowly we’re doing it,” Freeman said.

He also served as a chef in Moscow, Portugal, the Philippines and Washington, D.C.

Freeman said it is an honor to be recognized by the World Gourmet Society because it puts him among an exclusive group of chefs, most of whom have been awarded stars by France’s Michelin Guide.

In the latest television project for RMPBS, "Cooking in the Dark", Tim expressed his new found appreciation for how food is prepared and how the feeling of preparing food must be felt by his patrons.  With the help of the Hyatt Regency cooking staff, Tim was able to navigate his experience on the set of the show.  Virtual Vanguard Productions wishes to express a sincere Thank You to Tim Freeman and all the wonderful staff at the Hyatt Regency.  Please enjoy the videos below and get to know the exceptional people working in the kitchens of the Hyatt Regency. 
Tim Freeman, executive chef