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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  • "I plan to take my City Slicker self back to Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort."
    Great lodging, a lot of savvy, and a great river for anyone interested in the near-spiritual experience of fly-fishing. Here is a place I only knew from postcards, now I can truly brag that I’ve been there and done that! If Nick and his guides have any patience left, I plan to take my City Slicker self back to Forrester’s Bighorn River Resort.
    - Phil Donahue
  • "It was an awesome trip"
    I spent six days with my dad at Forrester's in mid-October 2017. The original intent was to split the time between upland hunting and fishing. We were so impressed after our first day of hunting, we altered our plans to hunt as many days as possible. Having brought my 3 year old red setter all the way from Minnesota, I was a bit nervous about how she'd handle the big Montana terrain. I'm happy to report she did awesome, and truly made the trip extra special. Our hunting guide was very helpful and worked with me to get my dog hunting well. It was an awesome trip. I hope this review helps for anyone bringing a dog. We had multiple moments where we had to pinch ourselves. That's how good the entire experience was.
    - Guest
  • "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
  • "Exceptional Experience"
    My parents and I spent 4 fabulous days at Forrester's Bighorn River Resort. We caught lots of good-sized trout and had the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation. We hope to return there this fall or next year. The lodge and lodging was first class, the food was exceptional, the staff was wonderful, and the fly fishing with their guides Jaime Anderson and Jim Wilkins was fantastic! My parents are beginner fly fishers, and I had never fly fished before. Thankfully, our hardworking, patient, and enthusiastic (and humorous) guides were really excellent instructors who helped us master the basics. Thank you to Fran and Nick, Chefs Frank, Fran and Leanne, Jean, Matt, and the wonderful staff at Forrester's for a vacation that exceeded all our expectations.
    - Stephen B.
  • "Can't Wait to Return to Forrester's!"
    Our first visit to Forrester's will definitely not be our last! Cozy, well-appointed cabin, yummy cuisine, and best of all, our fishing experience! We're still newbies at fly-fishing, and our fantastic guide, Matthew Granberg, could not have been more patient, knowledgeable and accommodating (as well as humorous and entertaining!). Being on the river with Matthew as our guide was definitely the high-point of the trip. Will definitely be back!
    - Rusty
  • "The quality of the hunting and fishing are world-class"
    The three trips that I had experienced with you at Forrester’s are some of the finest memories of my life. The quality of the hunting and fishing are world-class…the bottom line is that I can’t wait to come back again!
    - Johnny Miller
  • "Forrester’s is a great experience and their location right on the Bighorn can’t be beat."
    For the last eight years I didn’t have much free time on my schedule. But whenever I had an opportunity to visit Forrester’s and fish the Bighorn, I made time. Forrester’s is a great experience and their location right on the Bighorn can’t be beat. Would highly recommend Forrester’s to anyone who demands the best location, lodging, dining and guides.
    - Dick Cheney
  • "The staff is always on point"
    Foresters is the spot to get out in the great outdoors and do some darn fly-fishing (and hunting during the proper seasons). The staff is always on point and they top it off with food that is on another level (possibly from a different planet), and will keep you guessing until your last night !!!
    - Justin T.

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
40.754 Hwy 313
Fort Smith, MT 59035
Map & Directions
  • Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 7am - 7pm