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Academy Style dinner served by the American Culinary Federation Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs.

Our local chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation, Black Hills Chapter of Professional Chefs, sponsored their annual fundraising dinner March 29, 2015. The event was held at the Alpine Inn in Hill City. Tickets were sold for 100$ per person, these proceeds are used by the chapter for continuing education for chef members, regional and national conferences, scholarships for high school students wanting to enter the culinary profession, catering to our local girls club (Youth and Family Services) annual fundraising event “Diamond and Denim”, and our local Club for Boys. The mission of the American Culinary Federation is to encourage young people to enter the culinary profession and promote comradeship and professionalism among chefs.

The dinner consisted of seven courses paired with wine and seven chefs preparing them. Our 2 guest chefs Rob Grunendike and Pete Franklin are not current members but we are looking forward to them joining our association. Ben Venables, executive chef at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn presented the appetizers and acted as our Executive chef for the event. Johnson Brothers Wholesalers were responsible for the wine service and explanation of pairings. Rob Grunedike Executive Chef of Stonewalls coffee presented the Thai coconut soup with shrimp and lemongrass. Clark Braun, Executive Chef of the Alpine Inn, served the Halibut poached in oil with gribiche and poached egg. Pete Franklin, Executive chef of the Juniper, presented the roasted beet salad with bleu cheese/ pistachio & pear vinaigrette. Tyler Venables & Chris Stamps, sous Chef’s at the Holiday Plaza Inn, served the roasted duck breast with apricot and parsnip puree & blood orange vinaigrette. Josh Kranz, Instructor at the Mitchell Technical Culinary Academy along with his students, served Short ribs with sweet potato puree, demi glaze & horseradish foam. Jeff Slathar, Pastry Chef of the Colonial House, presented Raspberry cream cheese Blintz trio’s, checkerboard shortbread, chocolate truffle on meringue disc and raspberry coulis.

A number of students assisted and Joe Schaffer presided with announcements and managed the valuable wait staff.
Guests with surensifed appetites and favorable reviews, thanks to their support we continue to promote our culinary endeavors’!

Community Dough Look Back

Our Colonial House Endowment Fund is raised through the “Civic Mondays” program, in which $2.00 is subtracted from guest checks when they wear a shirt bearing a local civic organization’s logo. We place the money into the fund which is then match by Colonial House. Our staff also contributes a portion of their tips toward the community oriented fund.

The schools and charities that have seen our support consist of Wilson Elementary, Bethany Christian School, Fallen Officers, W.A.V.I, Horace Mann Elementary, South Canyon Elementary and Black Hawk Elementary.

We are proud to have donated over $20,000 to give back to their community. In the picture below, Kevin is handing over the check to last year’s winner Black Hawk Elementary for their Xylophone program.

Marjolaine, Marjolaine!

Marjolaine, A particular form of the dacquoise (dessert cake made with layers of almond and hazelnut meringue) was invented by legendary French chef Fernand Point. This French dessert is long, rectangular and combines layers of meringue with French buttercream. Legend has it that the dessert was named after Chef Fernand Point’s lady friend.

Colonial House makes their Marjolaine with three different buttercreams a vanilla, mocha and chocolate. Once prepared the dessert is decorated and chilled. Each slice is topped with whole hazelnuts. One taste of these decadent layers and your mouth will be in paradise. Be sure to check our Youtube for our video on “The Making of Marjolaine.”

Update Number Three

Turning the curve of winter, we get more excited each day for the opening of our new location! Hoping our guests are as excited as we are, here’s some more inside information.

Our parking lot will be the same height as the sidewalk out front, making access to the building hassle free. We also installed ballards to protect the building. We don’t want anyone getting too excited for the pie and driving into the building, safety first! (Inside joke for our loyal regulars.) Another perk of our new parking lot will be the “To-Go” spots reserved for those who have called in carry out. This will include a To-Go station inside, assuring that you won’t need to wait in line and get you on your way.

Colonial House is also excited about the bus stop being right out front of our location and the additional turn lane we will have going out of the parking lot.

Enough with the parking lot- let’s take a look on the inside. The interior has been completely gutted. With a clean slate, this location will be 100% Colonial House! There will be two new additions to the kitchen that will take Colonial House to the next level. One being the pasta extruder. What is this you ask? The pasta extruder will allow us to make fresh from scratch pasta in house at a much faster pace. The extruder can make several different shapes of pasta enhancing the flavor and texture of our dishes.

And last but not least, our new walk-in OVEN. The current oven capacity allows for 22 dozen caramel rolls a day. With the new oven we expect to double, perhaps triple our output, without compromising quality. You know what that means? More caramel rolls, pies, and pastries for everyone!

We hope this insider news helped ignite your excitement for the new location. Remember same great atmosphere, people and food- just a new location!

Janice Horton and the Colonial House celebrate 10 glorious years together.

Janice Horton and the Colonial House celebrate 10 glorious years together.

They just don’t make them like Janice any more. Janice AKA J.Ho is the real deal. She’s beautiful, she’s all in, and she’s the nicest person I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Born into this world at St. John’s of Rapid City she grew up in the Black Hills. She went to Central High School where she is currently employed. She is known as the, “Hot Lunch Lady”, that’s what me and my adolescent cohorts called her when we went through the lunch line anyway. She and her husband Rich have two wonderful boys together, Richard and Troy. Both have worked or work at the restaurant. J.Ho and I sat down on a Friday afternoon so that I could scribble down some of her touchstones. Little did I know our slated 10 minute conversation would run rampant into an hour and a half heart to heart. I loved this woman before but I am infatuated now. What I learned was Janice is a superb mom. Hey Troy! Hey Richard! Make way, I’m coming in hot, I’m your new brother.

“I have been at the Colonial House for 10 wonderful years now.” Janice tells me. How did you get your start? “Richard, my oldest son, came home one day and said, ‘I’m a stripper on 8th street!’ Better you than me. He was stripping beds at Knights Inn. From there he moved down 8th to the Colonial House. He started as a busser and moved his way up to serving. Bob Beshara told him, ‘You’re the son I never had.’ A couple of times Richard overslept and Bob came over banging on his bedroom window yelling, ‘You’re late for work! Time to get up!’ That kid could sleep through a hurricane. Anyway, I started working at the restaurant some short time after that as a summer job away from my school job.” That developed into J.Ho’s 10 year tenure.

J.Ho remembers the start to her employment, “Bob was a bunch of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed working for him. I really miss hearing Bob and Kevin go back and forth with each other. They were always so funny.” How do you feel about working here 10 years later? “This place is awesome. It’s easy to serve here. We always have good food, we are always consistent, and we take a lot of pride in our work. Guests have even asked me, ‘Are you part of the Beshara Family?’ – Yes I’m Bill’s illegitimate daughter, as long as Sandy is OK with it.” I believe people ask because of the fondness she speaks with of the Colonial House. She really is part of the family. J.ho is such a bright and warm person. The pure pleasure she evokes is intoxicating. Happiness pours out of her in buckets and it doesn’t stop and it doesn’t run out. If you asked 100 of her co-workers, what is the first word you think of when you think of Janice Horton? You would get 100 different answers that all lead to 1 thing: Janice Horton is the best.

“Work is fun. It’s LOTS of fun.” Janice adds. “I just love hearing people’s stories. I’ve received postcards and even flowers from guests that I’ve waited on. I love taking the time to talk with people over the course of dinner.” J.Ho has always had an incredibly contagious positive attitude. She always wears a smile and is in a better mood than you are. Which in turn puts you in a better mood. Having a bad day? Feeling a tad bit cranky? That is easily fixed by simply being in Janice’s bubble. She can always turn a bad attitude around. It’s known simply as the J.Ho effect. You can always count on a good time with J.Ho. Her philosophy is that, “Attitude is everything. Health, happiness, and hope, Max, that’s all you need. And I hate being crabby.” Janice tells me her great attitude can be attributed to her parents. They are and always have been extremely happy people. Janice has instilled this feel good type philosophy into her boys. “I just really wanted to be the best mom I could be for my kids.” J.Ho, you have raised some fine young men. I may even be a little peanut butter jealous.

I once heard you tell a guest, “I wouldn’t live anywhere else.” You were of course referring to the Black Hills. What about an island in the sun, is that not a better habitat? “The Hills are just awesome. They are great for a quick getaway and for rejuvenation. I feel very fortunate to have grown up here. I love Camping, hiking, enjoying these Black Hills. I just love the outdoors” What else do you do outside of work? “I have 30 or so plants at home. And I watch my boy’s dogs. Deuce is a yellow lab and Debo is a black lab. Richard lived in Denver a few years back with Debo. People down there would get very excited about his name mistaking it for Tebow.” Speaking of football, obsessed much? “That and a turkey or two. You know, the wild kind.”

Janice, remember the time you accidently ordered 9 chicken linguinis? “No! That was 6 Chicken linguinis! I meant to order 1 and then I hear Mike, who was traying up food yell, ‘Janice, come pick up these pastas!’ and I’m thinking, pastas? Pastas? Like more than 1?”

Troy, your son has been here for what 7-8 years now right? “Yes, Troy started when he was 14 years old. He moved up the ranks from busser to server like his brother. Troy is the easiest kid. He’s such a good boy.” Ya, I agree. I love Troy the Boy. And what a list of accomplishments he’s had in the last year. He bought a brand new truck, moved into an apartment and moved back out of it in the matter of a couple of months (not his undoing), bought a house, got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Bergen, took my and the rest of the Colonial House League’s money in Fantasy Football, and his Cowboys are better than 8-8 and doing work in the playoffs. Troy works hard and he earned every bit of his good fortune. But it’s also like J.Ho’s positivity rubs off on those she’s closest to, and you know what they say about positivity, good things happen to good people. The Horton’s are the cream of the crop. Which brings me back to my previous announcement. Hey, Hortons, I’m in the fam now. Janice is my new mom. Because Janice, you are an outstanding mom. Now, where is that shower…?


Love 2.0

Max and Hannah

max-and-hannahIt’s a tale as old as time, boy meets girl; boy does everything he can to win her heart.

We are so lucky Hanna Goebel is joining the Beshara Family! Max and Hannah met at the greatest place on Earth, the Colonial House. Hannah was in Rapid City visiting friends, and as it turns out Max shared a mutual friend.

For Hannah it was love at first sight, she said “I immediately asked my friend who the boy at the counter was, we even joked about me marrying him one day.”

That night Hannah said Max talked her into ordering some tiramisu and even talked her into a date.

Even though the two lived hundreds of miles away, Hannah soon moved to Rapid City. Now the two are planning a wedding and planning for their first baby.

Max keeps busy at Colonial House as the Front of the House Manager. He loves creating cheerful and colorful chalk drawings in the front lobby and welcoming each of you as you come in to join us for dinner and drinks or just dessert!

Hannah is an event coordinator/manager for the Historic Alex Johnson Hotel.

Prost to the next generation, Cheers to continuing the dynasty. Baby Beshara is coming, December 2014.


Lucy and Lee

20141001_110801-(2)Our family keeps growing and we are loving it! Lucy Beshara (soon-to-be-Gerry) and her fiancé Lee Gerry added another branch to our family tree on September 14, 2014 with the birth of Buckley White Gerry! Our newest bundle of joy joins big sister, Opal Marie Gerry.

Lucy has worked at Colonial House for years! And, now she’s taking on a new role, one she loves more than anything – staying home with her two sweet little babies.

So, look out world! Opal is walking and talking and Buckley is ready to take on the world, just after he takes a nap!

Taste of Elegance

Our very own Jeff Slather joined the 3rd Annual Taste of Elegance, welcomed by the South Dakota Pork Producers. The competition included several of South Dakota’s finest chefs and ask them to create their favorite pork entrees. Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn hosted the event and John Morrell & Company furnished the meat for the banquet.

Each chef had their own prep kitchen but was encourage to have as many steps completed before arrival to the banquet. The kitchen had conventional ovens, warmers, coolers, 6 burners, and steamers. The chefs then had to create four plates with their entrees, one for each of the judges.

The judges requested a recipe for each item on the plate with a list of garnishes, side dishes, etc. After the judges had a chance to critique and score the dishes they left the rest up to “People’s Choice.” Guest who bought tickets were able to enjoy a sample of each chef’s dish, a cheese and vegetable table, wine and coffee.

Overall, it was a great experience and a fun way to get out in the community and enjoy cooking with all the excellent chefs Rapid City has to offer.

The Beloved “Comfort Food Series” is Back!

You know that meal mom used to make that made everything feel better? Well, now it’s just a drive over to the Colonial House to get your favorite comfort food made fresh from scratch, just like mom’s.

We’ve worked for over twenty years to perfect all the comfort food favorites from meatloaf to chicken potpie. Starting in October, we will feature a delicious comfort food item nightly.

Paulas-Famous-MeatloafMonday Nights: The feature is Paula’s Famous Meatloaf.  Our meatloaf is prepared with quality ingredients and topped off with oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. We top things off with a side of chocolate pudding made from scratch. This dish will be sure to amaze your taste buds.




Yankee-PotpieTuesday Nights: The feature is a local favorite, Yankee Chicken Potpie. The Chicken Potpie is known for its delicate and flaky crust that holds roasted chicken and winter vegetables. This pie will be sure to have your mouth watering.





Beef-StroganoffWednesday Nights: Top your hump day off with Beef Stroganoff. We start by slow roasting beef tenderloin tips and add it to rich red wine sauce. It’s then served with the perfect mixture of buttery egg noodles, mushrooms, onions, meat and sour cream. Don’t miss coming in on Wednesday’s for a bowl full.




Pot-RoastThursday Nights:  The famous Colonial House Pot Roast is featured on Thursday nights. Cooking the Pot Roast is an extensive slow cooked process where it is tenderized overnight. Onions and carrots are added to deepen the flavor base. We then use that base to make an amazing gravy! Its perfect tenderness will have you asking for a second plate, just like you did at grandmas.


Don’t forget to join us on the last Friday of every month and experience tableside Flambé, prepared by Slathar himself!

Love is in the HOUSE

RavidIt seems as if cupid enjoys the caramel rolls at Colonial House as much as the rest of us. He has clearly been spending plenty of time hanging around Colonial House shooting his arrows.

After a pseudo-geocaching experience at Wilson Park resulting in an engagement ring Rachel Piersall is now engaged to Mister David Gausman. We refer to the coupling as Ravid. Congrats Ravid! Can’t wait for the wedding which I will be referring to as Ray Day. Rachel has been with the company for 8.5 years and has just recently come on as a Front of House Manager. David works at Dunn Bros. Coffee as a Master Roaster. Things are looking up up up.

Josh and Stephanie Reed were to get married Saturday October 5th 2013 at the K Bar S Lodge in Keystone but the storm known as theStephanie_Josh Atlas Blizzard had other plans for them. Rehearsal dinner, travel plans for all those attending, and the wedding itself all got canceled due to the blizzard. Instead, after the weather cleared up some, our two love birds said their vows in a very crowded living room at their home on Sunday October 6th 2013. A “re-do” of the originally planned ceremony took place on Saturday July 12th at the K Bar S Lodge. Josh is our top chef in the kitchen and he will absolutely hate that I didn’t call him a cook. He’s also a Back of House Manager. He’s been with the company for 12 years. Stephanie has worked at the CHR&B before as a server. She currently manages her parent’s company The Brass Rail. Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no blizzard snowy enough, ain’t no “re-do” wedding night full moony enough to keep these two apart.

Our very own Stephany Beshara has gotten engaged to Ryan Chalberg. Stephany is of course a part of the CHR&B family. She’s worked inStephany_Ryan every position at the restaurant since she was a kid but is now working for Rushmore Media Company. Ryan is a teacher at Stevens High School. How did they get engaged? Well, this is how Ryan put it: “This weekend was one I will definitely never forget. So many memories from two great Avett Brothers concerts at Red Rocks to meeting the band at our hotel and getting called out for stalking them! And getting engaged to the most amazing, beautiful girl in the world at the greatest place in the world was so special. I could not be any happier. I love this girl so much and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her!” Congrats Cousin Stephany and Cousin-In-Law Ryan!

We are excited to see our staff finding true love and taking the next step into a long future together. So if you are single and looking for cupid, you know where to find him, we’ll have the caramel rolls waiting.

Moving On - Peanut

IMAGE - Colonial House Employee

Alex Peanut NorlinAlex ‘Peanut’ Norlin – Busser

Alex Peanut NorlinAlex ‘Peanut’ Norlin

Position: Busser

Time Worked: 2+ years

Favorite Part of Work: Seeing all the people and I like working at a family owned busines.

What I will miss the most: The food! And the staff, they have been great and helped me a lot. I really want to thank Kevin and Vicky for giving me this opportunity.

Moving on to: I want to try new things and really take time off and enjoy my senior year of high school.

Lesson Learned Working at CH: Always be humble and treat everyone with respect.