After a little more than a year spent in the number two position in the ranch’s kitchen, Charlie Moon now assumes top billing and is ready to put his stamp on the great food enjoyed by guests.
The promotion comes just as summer approaches, a time most chefs relish. The possibilities for meals become almost limitless with the abundance of fruits, vegetables and other seasonal ingredients.
For the coming Green Season, the ranch’s menu will feature New American cuisine that guests have grown to love. One major change for this summer will be the consistency and predictability that comes with a new seven-day menu. He is also partnering with local farms and providers.
“We’re really pushing to support the local foods we have in the area,” he said. “It might not seem like much to outsiders, but there are a lot of dedicated local providers.”
Where it Began
Moon’s culinary background can be traced back to his roots growing up in a rural town in Southern Arizona.
“There were certainly more cows than people in our community,” he said.
Growing up in the community, Moon quickly realized where his food was coming from. He took pride in the area’s agricultural roots and his freshman year at Northern Arizona University, he enrolled in a food systems class. He enjoyed the experience so much, that he took a role as a teaching assistant with the program for the next three years. During that time, he also gained experience in several of the area’s restaurants.
Have Food, Will Travel
Moon worked in restaurants throughout college to help pay the bills. He parlayed that experience abroad when he spent several years traveling to more than 25 countries. At each stop, he’d work in a local restaurant. He learned as much about the country’s culture through food as he did visiting the historic monuments.
The Last Stop
Those travels ultimately brought him to our corner of the world.
“My love of the outdoors ultimately drew me here,” he said.
As sous chef, Moon gathered a good feeling of the ranch and the guests we host. He spent the spring preparing for Green Season by establishing full shares in community supported agricultural (CSA) programs hosted by Cosmic Apple Garden and Teton Full Circle Farm. He’s also working with local meat purveyors, Carter Country Meats.
This Season’s Menu
Perhaps the biggest change to the evening meals for returning guests will be the seven-day menu. On the three-course meal, guests have the flexibility to choose their appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Guests can rest assured that they will not become bored with their dining options no matter how long their stay. In addition to the hearty ranch fare, there will also be a lighter vegetarian option for each course.
A typical evening is sure to impress. Dinner begins with artisan bread that is baked daily at the ranch. For the first course, guests can count on a selection of soup, salad, charcuterie and other appetizers. Main courses are as delicious and satisfying as they are beautiful. Guests will have the choice of thoughtfully prepared desserts to put the finishing touches on every meal.
“It’s nice to give guests a few options instead of traditional fixed-course meals,” he said.
Outsiders to the ranch might assume meals at the lodge are for guests only, but Moon and the staff are ready to welcome locals and people staying in nearby Jackson. It’s a perfect destination for people to come out for lunch or maybe a date-night dinner.
“I never imagined myself ending up where I’m today, but now that I’m here I couldn’t be happier” he said.