Chef and Fly Fisherman
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Born in Sri Lanka and educated in 4 different countries, Ranga found himself drawn to the mountains of Montana shortly after graduating from UC Berkeley with a Political Science degree. Here, he fell in love with the magnificent landscape and the edible bounty of the rivers and mountains. Ranga's love for outdoor cooking, worldly flavors, locally foraged foods, and love for the interaction of breaking bread at the table accomplishes an unrequited alchemy. He love nothing more than meditating on a rock next to the river, fishing, foraging, and knocking back a tasty craft cocktail with good company.
What does living the mountain life mean to you?
It means being so in synch with the seasons, the rhythms of a harsh seasonal environment that you have to also be completely present to yourself and your surroundings. Living in the mountains means slowing down, moving at the pace of the body of water you're fishing to know where the fish are or the forrest you walk in so you can smell and see the mushrooms you're searching for.
What's one of the best decisions you've ever made?
Moving to Montana!
Describe what your perfect day in the outdoors looks like.
Waking up in a tent and walking outside to a stunning place far away from anyone, a place where a cell phone doesn't work, a place where you're moved to tears just simply being there. A fishing rod, a flask of tequila, and a person to share the moment with are a big bonus!
What's one reason you love working with Stio?
Stio is the epitome of young, progressive souls that live the mountain lifestyle outdoors, but also CRUSH their day to day tasks as well. This is how I operate, and I feel that kinship with everyone I have connected with at Stio...it's very refreshing to work with a company who actually walks the walk, and not just speak it.
Do you have any goals or objectives for the coming year?
I want to learn to moon walk (no joke), rock an amazing outdoor event with COOMBS, and cook a lamb next to a geyser in Iceland!
How do you create balance in your life?
Getting outside every day is a must, no matter how busy the day is. Looking at the blue sky, the mountains...it offers a grander context to our place in the universe. Trust me, that email is not as important as your mental health! I also am an avid meditator and yoga practitioner, and my minimum meditation goal is 3 minutes...we ALL have at least 3 minutes for ourselves. And that 3 minutes of breathing deeply with my eyes closed makes a massive difference in my daily cadence.
What styles are you most excited about this season, and where will you be taking them?
I love the Rivet Jeans and they have become my go-to for the private dinners I cook for my elite clientele. They are fantastic, hardy jeans made for mountain living but are cut so well that they ALWAYS get compliments in more refined environments. I also love the Pinedale Pants...they are super light weight and waterproof, and worked well for my snow shoe adventures in Iceland! I hope to use them again in Iceland, and in a few spots in the Beartooth Mountains here in Montana.
What does Let The Outside In mean to you?
Nature is the greatest teacher, and has existed far longer than any individual or species ever has. To let that teacher in is a gift...She has so much to share with us, if we only listen. Letting the outside in means allowing that teacher to speak to us, so that we can learn how to be better souls, better humans, better caretakers and to remember a simple truth: we are here for a brief moment in time, so let's just soak it up and enjoy while being mindful of one another.
Any other stories, facts, insights or advice you want to share with people?
Slow Down. Breath Deeply. Smell the forrest and river. Listen to the silence of the snow right before you drop in to your line. Listen to the 1000 voices of the river before you rig up and cast...