RANGELEY — Food is a family obsession for Mike Kupstas.

Kupstas, 59, co-owner of the Forks in the Air Mountain Bistro in Rangeley, has worked in the industry since he landed his first job at McDonald’s at 16.

His wife and two adult children are foodies, as are their spouses. And every Sunday Mike and his brother Steve, his fellow Forks in the Air co-owner, hop on the phone to discuss the Sunday meals they are preparing for their families, bridging the 1,500-mile divide between Mike’s home in St. Louis, Missouri, and Steve’s in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Forks in the Air Mountain Bistro in Rangeley offers a menu that two brother-co-owners review every week. The bistro will participate in Maine Restaurant Week, which runs March 1-12.

So when Kupstas and his family saw an opportunity to open up a restaurant on Main Street in Rangeley they knew they had to take it. They had fallen for Rangeley decades earlier. Kupstas started coming to the area when he was 6 years old and raised his two children on the region’s lakes and mountains.

“We had this vision that we could have chef-driven, very unique food with everything made from scratch that people would come for and respect even in a small tourist community like Rangeley,” he said.

Since the restaurant’s first year, Forks in the Air has been participating in Maine Restaurant Week presented by Maine Magazine, which runs March 1-12. The Rangeley restaurant is the only one from Franklin County participating in the promotion, which runs March 1-12, with most hailing from southern and coastal Maine.

The Kupstas’ opened Forks in the Air in July 2013 and unlike many local businesses, committed to keeping the restaurant open year-round to provide employment for staff and reliable, fresh fare for residents, second homeowners and visitors.

The restaurant boasts a rotating seasonal menu stocked with rustic comfort food like quail, duck or short ribs.

Head chef Payson Farrar said when it comes time to change the menu, he checks in with local farmers to see what they’re growing. As a rule, Farrar and Kupstas said Forks in the Air tries to source their meats, seafood and produce locally, bringing in eggs, carrots and other vegetables from local farms.

Kate McCormick can be contacted at 861-9218 or at:

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