Forrester's Montana Resort Cuisine Savor the Season: Indulge in Gourmet Delights at Our Montana Luxury Resort & Lodge

Head Chef

Our Guests Come for the Fishing but Come Back for the Food

Frank Kerstetter

After 40 years of cooking, I consider myself a lucky man because I still love what I do every day. The saying might seem a little cliché but it has held true for me all these years: “You will never work a day in your life if you love what you do”.

I started at age 16 as a dishwasher. In 1981, I graduated from the Culinary Institute of American. I was the Chef de Cuisine at Papillion Café in Cherry Creek, Colorado. During this time Papillion was chosen by Gourmet Magazine as one of the "10 Best Restaurants of the West." I also worked Pastry/Sous Chef at Mirabelle in Beaver Creek and had dishes featured in Bon Appetite Magazine. I have been with Forrester’s since 2006.

Resumes & dates are nothing without learning from those who have motivated, inspired, mentored and taught. Over time, I’ve developed what I’ve learned into my own distinct style. My first Chef Jean Jacques Gage (Picots Place) taught me what a sense of urgency meant and that great cooking was in the finesse. Culinary School taught me how to be a true professional and to respect the profession. My time with Pierre Luc (MirabelleRestaurant) taught me how to work hard and that if cooking was truly easy, everyone would be doing it.

Radek Cerney (Pappillion) showed me how to organize myself as an executive chef and to also see the importance of presentation on a plate; creating the "wow" factor that truly engages the diner with each dish served.

Jon Mendoza (Viand) helped me shift from the old school culinary mentality into the world of contemporary cooking, while always looking at everything through fresh, young eyes.

Heroes along the way for me have been Jeremiah Tower, Alfred Portale, Thomas Keller, Marco Pierre White and Emeril Lagasse. All have had a big influence on my evolution as a chef and my overall career. However, there are also countless Chefs and cooks I have worked with over time who have provided me the greatest inspiration. I learned so much from such a wide variety of brilliant people.

The kitchen is my workshop. I love coming to work to a clean and organized kitchen each day. I’m proud to walk into the shop with all its plates, pans, tools, mixers, knives, cutting boards, stoves, griddles, ovens and gadgets. Just being in the kitchen is exciting and it never gets old. I find solace, peace and affirmation in the environment. I completely lose myself in the creative process.

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  • "You wont be disappointed"
    Nick and Fran do a very nice job. You wont be disappointed.
    - Jeremy D.
  • "This place is a truly top notch"
    This place is a truly top notch in every way possible! Amazing staff, guides and ammeneties!! I will recommend to anyone.
    - Mike A.
  • "With the terrific bird hunting and excellent food at Forrester’s, we have a great vacation every time."
    Mayo and I have come to the Bighorn for four years now, and for the last three years, we have arrived at the lodge to find the same convergence of fun repeat guests who hail from all over the country. We’ve become good friends, and will even be meeting up for some quail hunting in Georgia this winter. The group has a good mix of men and women. Some of us women hunt, some walk with the hunters, and some stay in and enjoy the peace and quiet of the lodge. We’re a little raucous at cocktail hour which we enjoy. With the terrific bird hunting and excellent food at Forrester’s, we have a great vacation every time.
    - Susan
  • "This place is absolutely world class!"
    My Father and I spent 5 days there hunting and fishing with Forresters. This place is absolutely world class! Francine and Nick are super nice and extremely attentive and will ensure you have everything you need - down to the last detail. The guides (Cash, Sean, and Ray) were truly experts in their craft. Oh, and the food was amazing! I would strongly recommend them.
    - Adam R.
  • "Great Getaway"
    My 12 year old son and my husband had the chance to spend time here for 4 nights and 5 days. They came back with wonderful stories about the fishing, the food, and their wonderful hosts. Great pictures were sent back to us in New York. They hope to return soon. Hopefully, next time, our daughters and I will join them for a full family trip!
    - Y. B.
  • "Take my word for it, the hunting, the fishing, and the people are all great."
    Take my word for it, the hunting, the fishing, and the people are all great. I hunted. I fished. I had a damn fine time.
    - Bobby Knight
  • "All Inclusive"
    Forrester's Bighorn River Resort is a gem for those who want to float/wade the 13 miles of the tail out waters of the Bighorn Rive or go hunting for upland game birds. I opted for fishing and spent four nights with three days of fishing. The owners, Nick and Francine are wonderful hosts and have developed a wonderful lodge with wonderful accommodations, food guide service. Now the All-Inclusive package included transportation to a from the Billings, Montana airport to the lodge in Fort Smith, an hour and half drive. All lodging, meals, guides, fishing equipment and license, and the liquor of your choice. Now the lodge has two main floors. When you enter the lodge there is an open area that has a small lounge area with comfy leather chairs and a great fireplace, the reception desk, a gift shop and a small computer area. Down the hall is the kitchen and dining room. Breakfast is served at 8am each morning and dinner at 8pm and the meals are fantastic Upstairs is the Cigar Room where smoking is allowed when the heap exhaust fans are working, a large seating area, wide screen TV, which was never on, a game table and bar. Ones drink of choice will be at the bar with mixes and a small frig with beers. I stayed in one of the six cabins and my room had a rustic western motif with a wonderful bed, nice full bathroom, reading desk and a deck overlooking the river. Of course there was no TV or radio so it required you to read or connect with your device of choice. I read. Now this is not a hotel but a lodge so answers about a hotel do not apply.
    - W. J.
  • "Thank you for another outstanding visit!"
    I can't say enough good things about Forester's Bighorn River Resort. My father has been going there to fish every year for over 20 years and I have been fortunate enough to go with him 4 times. If you are a serious fly fisher you will think you have died and gone to heaven at the resort. Even if you are rank amateur like me you will love it. The guides are so good you can't help but catch fish. Nick, Francie and the staff go out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and to cater to individual preferences. The cabins and the lodge are comfortable and well appointed. And the food is worth the trip all by itself. Frank makes better tasting and more beautifully presented meals than I've had in excellent restaurants. Thank you for another outstanding visit!
    - Guest

Where Every Moment is Exceptional

  • Unparalleled Luxury
    Experience the epitome of luxury at Forrester's Bighorn River Resort, where every detail is meticulously curated to provide guests with a lavish and unforgettable retreat amidst the stunning landscapes of Montana.
  • Culinary Excellence
    Indulge in the finest cuisine at Forrester's Bighorn River Resort, where our expert chefs create culinary masterpieces using locally sourced ingredients, promising a gastronomic journey that delights the senses.
  • Tailored Experiences
    At Forrester's Bighorn River Resort, we specialize in crafting personalized adventures, ensuring each guest enjoys tailored excursions tailored to their preferences and skill levels.

Book Your Stay

Visit our world-class Montana hunting & fishing lodge!

Forrester's Bighorn River Resort, perched above Montana's Bighorn River, offers unparalleled luxury hunting and fly fishing experiences amidst breathtaking vistas, private riverbanks, and deluxe accommodations, making it the ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking unforgettable adventures in the untamed Montana foothills.

Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort
Contact 406-333-1449
Address
40.754 Hwy 313
Fort Smith, MT 59035
Map & Directions
Hours
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 7am - 7pm