MONTyBOCA Trail Meals and the Journey of Chef Corso

Backpackers.com exists because of our community. Our Trailblazer platform elevates community members who are making a lasting, positive impact on the outdoors, and we are excited to share them with you!

Meet our new Trailblazer, Chef Corso founder of MONTyBOCA. Chef Corso will be sharing his favorite recipes for the backcountry once a week with Backpackers.com. The recipes use ingredients you can pick up at a grocery store, are all ready in 30 minutes or less, are mindful of pack weight and volume and are trail-tasted across the United States.

Read below for how MONTyBOCA came about, why it’s valuable, and how you can participate.

Origin Story

I’ve loved food my whole life. My family was into making big dinners and sharing with our friends, and I took this early love and headed to Michigan for hospitality school then eventually to culinary school in Northern Italy and Napa Valley, CA. There, I became a classically trained chef — and Chef Corso!

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Not all classically trained chefs learn to cook on remote canister stoves. In fact, most don’t. Chef Corso cooking up something delicious under cherry blossoms.

I spent most of my culinary career in a test kitchen as a research chef, testing and developing the next best food products as well as teaching and training teams in restaurant kitchens all over the country. Suffice to say: I know how to make a meal in the front or backcountry, and I enjoy teaching people how to make a meal.

While I liked going outside, I never backpacked with any regularity until relocating to the Pacific Northwest. I started to explore the diverse mountains and shores.  There, I grew to love spending days at a time in the wilderness, and while all my time in a kitchen was fun (and tasty), it was all indoors.

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Chef Corso cooking in the wild.

There was one trip to the Enchantments outside of Seattle that was really impactful.  I spent four days and three nights in a stunning area and meal-planned the whole trip for five people, using fresh, real ingredients and zero packaged meals. We ate really well and it fueled our trek way better than the bagged options would have.

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Bring the joy of cooking to your campsite.

After that trip, I realized I wanted to be outside more and that I could eat well while backpacking with real food, instead of the typical dry, salty packaged stuff.  The seed was planted and I started thinking about how to start a company with fast, easy recipes that would enable outdoor enthusiasts to cook all their own meals outdoors.

MONTyBOCA — where mountain meets mouth — was born.

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With just a few key ingredients, like a lime, you can get that flavor kick that’s missing from most pre-prepared backpacking meals.

We now have over 160+ trail-tested recipes in many different categories, plus two pocket-sized cookbooks. Our recipes are categorized by time of day, type of trip, dietary requirements, and group size. And we have an active trail-testing program where I make unique, custom meals so you can add your experience to the larger community.

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MONTyBOCA’s Mission

Through months of trail testing dozens (if not hundreds) of meals, I’ve found that eating well outdoors doesn’t have to be difficult. It can actually be really fun and compliment your trek and location in a fantastic way.

All MONTyBOCA recipes are meant to be cooked on a portable camp stove, are mindful of pack weight and volume, are ready in 30 minutes or less, use 10 ingredients or less, and have no pre-prep or dehydrating.

Recipes are also smartphone formatted.

And there’s a bounty of ingredients that we may think are off-limits in the backcountry, like fresh vegetables or pre-cooked protein, that can easily be packed and last for longer than you think. I’ve also found some great super lightweight ingredients that have a large flavor impact.

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A MONTyBOCA meal, made in the backcountry in under 30 minutes with no pre-prep.

Give the MONTyBOCA recipes a try and I think you’ll find that these meals are not hard to make, they taste delicious, and they’re a fun way to add a missing component to our treks.

The MONTyBOCA Philosophy

Food naturally fuels us. We look to it for calories and satiation, but we also seek out flavorful options, different ethnic styles, texture and freshness. I’m looking to share those elements in fast, easy recipes for your trip so you can eat well, keep your belly happy, fuel your trek, and provide a lasting experience.

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Chef Corso.

Chef Corso Favorites

Check out Chef Corso’s favorite things in the outdoors!

Connect

I’m usually out exploring a new trail and testing a new recipe. Follow along at MONTyBOCA, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest. And be sure to see the unique recipes on Backpackers.com.


All images courtesy MONTyBOCA, All Rights Reserved.

Backpackers.com Affiliate Policy: This guide contains affiliate links, which help fund our website. When you click on the links to purchase the gear we get a commission, and this goes a long way to creating guides, gear reviews, and other excellent content.

Chef Corso

Professional chef and founder of MONTyBOCA, Chef Corso wants to help you make meals in the wilderness. With over 160 trail tested meals, instructional guides and videos, and an upbeat attitude he will teach you to enjoy better, healthier foods on your backpacking trips. Follow him on Instagram.

One response to “MONTyBOCA Trail Meals and the Journey of Chef Corso

  1. Patrick A. TAYLORsays:

    I can’t hike any more, but I’m your recipies will work in a kitchen too.

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