Incorporating Patagonia roots into Guest Ranch cuisine

The Beauty of Chimichurri

Eighteen years ago I boarded a plane heading south for Argentina to guide fly fishing in Tierra del Fuego. I had little knowledge of the country, its system of government, geographical boundaries, or economy. What I did know, was that Argentina is famous for towering peaks, vast deserts, bountiful cropland, large trout, and of course it’s beef! The allure of guiding fly fishing in Patagonia took control of me, and for the next 13 seasons, Shelby and I loaded up in the fall and flew south for the winter. We moved around a little, working several seasons in Chile, and then permanently settling in the less wet, but often more windy side of the Andes, Argentina.

The culture was intoxicating. Everyone happy to hug one another, share the same bombilla (straw) while drinking Mate, share a beer, but most importantly, sit down and share an Asado. Asado is the Spanish equivalent of the English word Barbecue, but in South America, going to an Asado takes on almost more of a mystique than that of going to a barbecue. Maybe it was because it was all new; The smell of the smoke from the Patagonia beech wood while you eat a chori-pan (chorizo sausage and baguette) while sipping another glass of Malbec while you wait for the Bife de Chorizo to cook so slowly on the parilla (grill) that you almost lose interest in it. Then, like every good barbecue, there’s the sauce, called Chimichurri in Argentina. Chimichurri, is the all purpose, tastes amazing on everything, pretty healthy, easy to make, star of the Argentine asado! I could rant all day about what it takes to cook a beautiful steak, but the truth is, this sauce will make almost anything taste good.

I have always wanted to bring the cuisine of Patagonia back to Wyoming with we. Chimichurri now frequently accompanies our steaks at Flat Creek Ranch. Guests often rave about the flavor this simple sauce has. It’s simple to make, and I hope you enjoy this recipe from the book “Siete Fuegos” by Francis Mallmann.


Seven Fires cookbook focuses on the culture and cuisine of Argentina

Francis Mallmann’s Chimichurri

1 cup water
1 tbs. coarse salt
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup fresh oregano leaves
2 tsp. crushed red- pepper flakes
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt, and stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Mince the garlic very finely, and put in a medium bowl. (1) Mince the parsley and oregano, and add to the garlic, along with the red-pepper flakes. (2) Whisk in the red-wine vinegar, then the olive oil. Whisk in the salted water. (3) Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and keep in the refrigerator. Let the flavors mingle for at least a day, and serve with grilled meats. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 weeks


Cooking on a Wyoming Ranch, Ranch Cuisine

Chef for a Summer on a Wyoming Ranch, Wyoming Ranch Cuisine

I arrived two months ago to Flat Creek Ranch to create wonderful Ranch Cuisine.  This Wyoming ranch can easily be referred to as a place of serenity, peace and beauty.  I am wrapping up my final days here at Flat Creek Ranch with bittersweet emotions.  The image I had in my mind as I left my cozy spot in the Caribbean is nothing compared to the majestic beauty that is this little ranch tucked up under the protection of the Sleeping Indian mountain.
Wyoming Guest Ranch Food
Some of the greatest qualities this Wyoming ranch has is the unparalleled amount of professionalism and the amazing service that is provided here by the young athletes, scholars, and world travelers that make up the staff at Flat Creek Ranch. I can only say that it has been my extreme pleasure to have worked with such incredible people, from management to housekeeping and everyone in between.

Creating Ranch Cuisine

I had the distinct honor to cook for groups of guests from New York to California; we have hosted guests from abroad, from the city and from the country.  The food really is undescribable, from French and Italian cuisine, to country gourmet.  I count myself fortunate to have worked with two chefs who have traveled the world, I have learned, I have taught, and I have tasted food that easily compares with some of the best restaurants in anywhere.

So as you cross that bridge that takes you up to the lodge, breathe in the quiet serenity, take in the picturesque beauty of the lake and the wildlife that call it home.  Feel the comforting welcome that comes from the crew as they welcome you into this summer home for them.  Bring your appetite because “the cook” is sure to have something amazing ready for your every meal that is sure to please your palate and satisfy your hunger.

I am sending out a huge Thank You to Trey and Shelby for bringing me on as the weekend Chef; I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life.

Chef Tami
Puerto Rico/Oregon


Oven Roasted Salmon
4 6-8 oz center cut salmon filet
1 Tbsp fine smoked sea salt
1Tbsp fennel pollen
Fresh cracked black pepper
Line a baking sheet with tin foil, lay out salmon, skin side down, up to an hour before roasting, mix the smoked salt and the fennel pollen together. Sprinkle fennel pollen mixture on the top, lightly and evenly. Top with fresh ground pepper to taste.
Roast in oven 15-18 minutes.
Serve with herbed fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus.

Roasted Salmon

Chef Tami creating Oven Roasted Salmon . Another 5 star meal from the Flat Creek Kitchen.

Flat Creek Ranch kitchen

Chef Tami, always with a smile.


Flat Creek Ranch Griddle Cakes

Flat Creek Ranch Griddle Cakes

1 large Egg
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 1/3 cups AP flour
1/3 yellow corn meal
1/3 cup wheat germ
¼ cup bran
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ melted butter
2-3 soft bananas
Smash bananas, mix with melted butter, buttermilk, maple syrup and egg.  Mix well with wooden spoon.
In a separate bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together completely.  Add dry ingredient mixture with the buttermilk mixture – mix just until combined. (Do not over mix)
Ladle onto a hot (med-high) griddle.

Enjoy!!  Tami McMurrian

Flat Creek Ranch Huckleberry Cookies

Are you missing Flat Creek Ranch already? The smell of fresh baked huckleberry cookies coming from the kitchen? Summer seems just a bit too far away? Here is a great way to remember the ranch this spring before you come back and visit. Here is the recipe for our Flat Creek Ranch Cookies.  They are packed full of goodness, and if you can’t find huckleberry jam in your area, blueberry will work just fine. We get several requests every summer for this recipe and we are always happy to share. Not too sweet, not too ‘healthy’ tasting. Just one cookie will bring back memories of sitting on the deck at the lodge taking in views of the lake after an awesome hike. But you will find it hard to eat just one!


  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground
  • ¼ cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup butter, soft
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 each eggs
  • 1 teaspoons almond extract
  • As needed huckleberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the all purpose flour, walnuts, oat bran, and wheat germ.  In a Kitchenaid with a paddle attachment, beat on medium speed the soft butter, lard, and sugar until well incorporated, then add one egg at a time.  Change the speed to low and mix in the extract and the bowl of mixed dried ingredients until well incorporated.

Portion the cookies into round disks and place on a sheet tray with parchment, insert a dip in the center of the cookie and fill with about ½ a teaspoon of jam.  Bake for 15 minutes, until almost firm. This recipe makes 2-3 dozen huckleberry cookies.