culinary students preparing at the Smolder pop-up restaurant
Apr 1, 2023
NBC Montana

FVCC Culinary Students To Open Barbecue Pop-up Restaurant

By NBC Montana Staff

The graduating class of culinary students at the Flathead Valley Community College will present an international barbecue pop-up restaurant called Smolder.

The menu includes an entree protein with a side and sauce as well as sandwiches, salads, vegetarian options, desserts and beverages.

The restaurant will be located on campus in the Arts and Technology building.

Customers can enjoy food on-site or order take out between 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this April.

The restaurant opens next Wednesday.

FVCC released the following information:

Join the graduating class of Flathead Valley Community College’s Culinary Institute of Montana for lunch at their very own international barbecue pop-up restaurant,

Smolder. Beginning Wednesday, April 12, the restaurant will open 11am-1:30pm for lunch guests every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the month of April.

Located on the FVCC campus in the Arts & Technology building, hungry patrons can head downstairs to the instructional kitchen to order and enjoy on-site or pick up and take out the group’s entirely homemade menu of meals. Menu items include your choice of an entree protein, side and sauce, as well as sandwiches, salads, vegetarian options, desserts and refreshing beverages.

“Our mission is for people to gather, taste and connect. We hope to bring people together through food and the many flavors of barbecue,” says culinary student and Smolder Marketing Manager Alexa Martinez.

Martinez and her fellow classmates created the idea of Smolder as their Culinary Capstone final project and each play a management role in the pop-up business. Everything from the type of cuisine and restaurant name to business plan and marketing materials are all part of the capstone project that marks the culmination of the group’s FVCC culinary studies.

FVCC Culinary Arts Program Director Chef Manda Hudak says, “The Culinary Capstone class and final project allow students to combine their culinary skills with real-life business skills in managing a restaurant. It’s an important part of their education and really challenges each student to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and find passion in their work.”

The passion behind the capstone project and in working together to create the pop-up restaurant is clear with the tight-knit graduating class. Martinez concludes, “The class of 2023 has always felt like family and we’re excited to welcome the community into our family for lunch.”

Smolder is open 11am-1:30pm for lunch on April 12-14, 19-21, and 26-28. To order ahead for pick up, call 406.309.0259, or come order and dine in at FVCC’s Arts & Technology building on campus.

Visit to learn more about the Culinary Institute of Montana at FVCC.