Toast to the Season with Paws Up Sommelier Kyle Riggs

Ask Kyle Riggs what wine you should bring to a wintertime party, and he’ll tell you it’s hard to beat Bordeaux-inspired reds. Whether you like Napa’s fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignons or the more assertively tannic Cabernets from France, winter and fine red wines belong together. “And I’m in love with some of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. I think that’s a quintessential winter wine choice,” Riggs said.

A few favorites to look for:

CALIFORNIA
2015 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
2013 Kenefick Ranch Founder’s Reserve, Calistoga, Napa Valley
2015 Robert Foley Claret, Napa Valley

OREGON
2015 Antica Terra Botanica Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
2015 Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

FRANCE
2008 Cos d’Estournel Grand Cru, Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux

GERMANY
2016 Dr. Loosen “Blue Slate” Riesling, Mosel

Brooke Williamson Calls Paws Up the Disneyland of Nature

The California coast meets the foothills of Montana in our next WinterFest event on February 15–18, 2019. Come for a romantic Valentine’s Day, then stay for the coolest culinary event on earth. We’ll have you dining on delectable bites through Presidents’ Day. We’re thrilled to welcome an amazing lineup of winemakers and visionary chefs from Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Experience three and a half days of wilderness adventures; intimate cooking classes and demonstrations; wine, beer and spirits tastings; live entertainment and, of course, gourmet, winter-themed feasts—complete with thoughtful wine pairings—created by our award-winning guest chefs.

Chef Brooke Williamson has been one of our featured WinterFest chefs from the very start of the event, and we are honored to sit down with her to chat about her latest endeavors and why she loves returning to Paws Up.

What ingredients are you excited about right now?

I love the transition from summer to fall. Corn and the tomatoes are still in play, but we also start to see squash and sweet root veggies. Seasons are more of a mindset in California, so the shift into fall is more about seasonal cravings. I love a good braised meat, so that might be the biggest bonus to seasonal changes for me. My staple ingredients are always the same though, such as fish sauce, good olive oil and dried mushrooms to name a few.

What’s the most underrated ingredient?

Good olive oil and good salt can make anything taste good.

Which ingredients from Montana are your favorites to work with?

I love cooking with local ingredients whenever I travel, but I’d have to say that some of the best game meat, watermelons and huckleberries (obviously) that I’ve ever eaten have come from Montana.

How many times have you been to Paws Up?

I lost count after about 20 visits, but I’m hoping my visits to Paws Up never end. It’s my happy place.

Why do you keep coming back?

The people, the nature, the activities, the staff, the food. I could go on and on.

What’s your favorite activity on property?

Snowmobiling. If I could snowmobile to work on a daily basis I’d be happy. But, that’s also a California girl talking.

How would you describe Paws Up to someone who has never been?

It’s kind of like the Disneyland of nature. It’s a place where I’m happy relaxing, doing nothing or taking advantage and experiencing everything. But honestly, nothing beats being on the vast open ranch property with everything you could ever need at your disposal. It’s the only place I really feel like I can truly breathe.

You’ve been involved in WinterFest since the first fest. How has it evolved? How would you like to see it continue to grow?

WinterFest has grown a lot since our first year. It’s doubled in numbers of guests and activities but still has the charm of an intimate foodie event. I love the fact that by the end of the weekend I feel like I’ve really gotten to know everyone.

Do you have any new exciting endeavors you’re working on?

My plate is very full right now with travel and the usual day-to-day restaurant stuff, but I am working on a book and a remodeling of my restaurant Hudson House, which we’re super excited about. Hudson House is about to hit 10 years since we opened the doors!

What’s the most important piece of kitchen wisdom you’ve ever received?

That maintaining calm is the key to making it out alive—in any kitchen circumstance.

5 Best Culinary Events Worth Traveling to This Fall

From a mozzarella-topped Labor Day weekend to an extravaganza with California wine royalty, The Resort at Paws Up in Montana has a fall lineup of unique culinary events to please the palates of every food lover. Guests will have the chance to rub elbows with elite chefs, dine on delectable cuisine and enjoy the beautiful outdoors during a wonderful time of year in Montana.

Fish and Feast with Chefs Bianco and Perry Lang, August 31–September 1: Come along for the ride as Chef Chris Bianco and Chef Adam Perry Lang spend a weekend that combines fly-fishing on the trout-filled Blackfoot River with mouthwatering dinners along its shores and in the rustic, elegant Paws Up dining venues.

Cookbook LiveThe Elements of Pizza, August 31–September 2: Master the art of making Italy’s most celebrated dish. Chef Ken Forkish, a James Beard Award-winning author, will share recipes from his cookbook with interactive demos and delicious samples. Guests will learn the secrets and skills behind his famous Portland pizzeria and bakery.

Montana Master Chefs®: The Wonder Women of Food and Wine, September 27–30: This year, not only are the featured talents of Montana Master Chefs at the very top of their respective games, they’re also all women. Participants include Chef Renee EricksonChef Sarah GruenebergChef Jayne Reichert, Chef Mindy Segal and Chef Julia Sullivan, with Alison Sokol BlosserMerry EdwardsViolet Grgich, Lauren OscilowskiKristin Smith and Sarah Sorenson. *This event is currently sold out.

Cookbook LiveKristen Kish Cooking, October 12–14: Guests are invited to join Top Chef winner Chef Kristen Kish as she shares the skills and creativity featured in her first cookbook. Witness her legendary techniques and learn why acclaimed Momofuku Chef David Chang calls her “one of the most talented chefs around.”

Wine Weekend with Chappellet, November 9–11: Guests will get to know one of the most celebrated family-owned wineries in Napa Valley right alongside Amy and Dominic Chappellet. The weekend includes wine tastings, dining on fine cuisine and breathtaking scenery.

For reservations and further details, visit www.pawsup.com or call 877-588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on FacebookInstagram (@theresortatpawsup) and Twitter (@Paws_Up).

Chef Sunny Jin’s S’mores in a Jar Recipe

If you haven’t heard, s’mores are a very big deal at Paws Up. In fact, renowned Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman from the South Congress Hotel in Austin, Texas, will be joining us as our resident S’moreologist for National S’mores Day (Friday, August 10) as part of her Campfire Chefs appearance (August 10–14, 2018). Executive Chef Sunny Jin is also a big s’mores fan. We sat down with Sunny to find out more about his love for s’mores. As a bonus, he also shared his fantastic recipe, S’mores in a Jar with Cardamom Graham Cracker, Ginger Marshmallow Buttercream and Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache.

 1. What’s your favorite way to make s’mores?

I’m very much a traditionalist when it comes to s’mores. The slow rotisserie of the marshmallow off-center from a bed coals, the chocolate pre-melting on the graham cracker on a hot rock near the fire. It all matters. And, it all comes together for a moment that truly makes you forget everything else during that singular experience

2. What is your first s’mores memory?

The cultural shift from moving to the U.S. from South Korea at a young age opened me to so many firsts. So much was new to me, and my first s’mores was no exception. My new neighbor/friend invited me to a campout at their family farm. His dad oversaw the marshmallow roasting while his mom assembled the chocolate and graham crackers. I can still see my friend’s dad hand me the s’mores. It seems obvious what you are about to get, but you’re never prepared for that first bite as all your expectations are met and exceeded. Cheesy, but true.

3. Do you have any tips on making s’mores?

I can offer techniques till I’m blue in the face, but the only important rule is to have fun! S’mores are one of the most food-relatable definitions of friends and family. Enjoy your company and make your s’mores to your liking. Think of it this way—when was the last time you were in a bad mood making s’mores? Probably never.

4. Why are s’mores such an important dessert at Paws Up?

Paws Up is all about sharing moments with those who matter to us. I feel it genuinely on a peer-to-peer level with other team members and that respect for one another naturally filters to the guests we meet. Sharing s’mores is one of our favorite outlets for gathering our guests from around the globe to join us as we do it our own way in Montana.

5. Why do you think they taste better at Paws Up?

Our S’moreologists take their namesake seriously (well, as serious as you can get when you know you’re about to end up with sticky fingers and a big smile). We firmly believe in teaching alternative techniques along with the traditional methods to allow our S’moreologists in Training (the guests) another outlook to pass to their friends. Even the most burnt (sometimes intentionally) s’mores ever made was probably still enjoyable, or at the very least allowed a family to laugh with one another and share their own critiques.

S’mores in a Jar with Cardamom Graham Cracker, Ginger Marshmallow Buttercream and Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

Makes 12–14 (4-ounce) jars

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup melted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add melted butter and stir until evenly combined.
  3. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto parchment paper. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
  4. Place on a baking sheet and bake 5 to 7 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Set aside to cool. Break into desired shapes and sizes, depending on jar sizes. 

Ingredients

For the Buttercream:

10 large marshmallows

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 teaspoons vanilla paste (vanilla extract is a great substitution)

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Directions

Melt the marshmallows in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and ginger until fully incorporated. Remove from heat; scoop the buttercream into a pastry bag. Set aside at room temperature.

Ingredients

For the Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Pinch of sea salt

Directions

In a medium-size saucepan bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to begin to melt. Whisk until emulsified; add butter and sea salt. Continue stirring until the ganache becomes smooth. Scrape the ganache into a bowl and set aside.

To Assemble:

Scoop 1/2 cup of the graham cracker into each 4-ounce mason jar. Top with 1/4 cup ganache. Follow it with a good piping of marshmallow buttercream. Garnish with your favorite sweets, crumbled candy bars or even fruit. Make it your very own and enjoy!

 

Summer Kids Inspiration at Paws Up

Part sport, part adventure and all fun, the Henry the Sports Bug Camp at Paws Up seamlessly fits into our guest experience. Along with the popular Kids Corps of Discovery, this new kids’ program includes lots of nurture with plenty of nature, compliments of Montana’s great outdoors.

Henry, the hero of a series of books and videos created by former collegiate and professional tennis player Melissa Detwiler. Detwiler uses her background in sports, Henry the adult-size buggy mascot and local athletes to help kids develop a love of sports and good sportsmanship. Henry the Sports Bug Camp teaches everything from soccer and tennis to golf and basketball, as well as how to build self-confidence and make healthy lifestyle choices. We sat down with Detwiler to find out more about her background, passions, amazing charity efforts and more.

How did you come up with Henry the Sports Bug?

Henry the Sports Bug is a creation stemming from my childhood being a tennis prodigy. I started playing at seven years old, and—quite quickly—tennis became my life. With all of that came a ton of pressure and not a lot of fun. I missed out on developing a love and passion for tennis. It became a part of me. It’s what I did and what I was known for. However, I didn’t have balance in my life. As I got older I realized how important balance is and loving what you do. I started teaching tennis when I moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and my main goal was for children to have fun playing the sport. I gained so many positive things from playing a sport growing up that I wanted to be able to pass that along to all kids. Henry the Sports Bug was my creative outlet to do that. No matter what sport you play, you get the same benefits of being healthy, being disciplined, developing confidence, showing good sportsmanship and learning how to win and how to lose. Sports give you the tools to become a leader in life and sets you up for success in the adult world. I am motivated to have Henry the Sports Bug reach kids everywhere, because I know how sports can change your life in a positive way.

How did your tennis career inspire you to work with children?

I did not want anything to do with tennis after my career ended. I was burnt out and had a lot of bitterness toward it. When I moved to Los Angeles, I needed a job, so I went to a local tennis club and they hired me on the spot. I started working with kids, and this inspired me. I absolutely love to see kids happy, laughing and having fun while getting better at tennis. Henry the Sports Bug inspires a positive change in kids’ lives. Henry the Sports Bug has healed me and is the best result of my tennis career.

Tell us more about your charity efforts.

From the very first thought of Henry the Sports Bug, I knew I wanted a nonprofit side to it. I want to be able to reach kids everywhere who have never held a ball or sports equipment. I want to be able to donate sports equipment, sport clothes, books, food and toys to kids around the world. Last year I formed the Henry the Sports Bug Foundation. So far, I have been fortunate to be able to donate tennis rackets and my books to schools in need. In 2013, before I formed the charity side, I went to 40 different elementary schools in 9 different states to put on assemblies where I read to the students, taught them tennis strokes, got them running through Henry’s obstacle course and donated my books. It was an amazing experience and further confirmed that kids, parents and teachers love Henry the Sports Bug and need him. I got so many letters from kids across the country asking me what sports Henry was going to play next and that he inspired them to try a sport. I can’t wait for the day I can travel everywhere donating to schools that have lost their PE programs, communities that have no sports, children that need sponsors to play in their chosen sports and countries where kids have never even seen a tennis ball or soccer ball. That’s when I’ll feel like I have accomplished something.

How many books do you have and what are the differences in each of them?

Currently I have eight books available on Amazon. The first five books set up Henry’s world. He is kind of like a Clark Kent/Superman-type figure. He has his Henry the Bug life, living in the bog dealing with all-too common kid problems, and then he has his superhero life as Henry the Sports Bug, going on missions to help kids in need in the sports world. The first two books incorporate tennis because it’s my background. Henry teaches a little girl tennis and gives her the confidence to make friends with the other kids who play tennis. She was shy and scared at first, but after Henry’s encouragement she could come out of her shell, make friends and play tennis. Books 3 and 4 set up how Henry becomes Henry the Sports Bug. Tito the Magic Turtle gives him a magic mirror to be able to see his next mission. Henry can jump through it to his mode of transportation, Cabo and Lily, the Flying Wonder Dogs! Book 5 is where he goes on his first mission to help a soccer team that is struggling with their confidence and morale. Book 6 is about miniature golf—the Masters of Miniature Golf. Henry the Sports Bug goes to help a boy who wants to play but is lacking focus and confidence. Book 7 is about a football team and community that loves football, but everyone is eating so unhealthy that they have no energy to play or cheer their team on. Henry brings in his nutritionist friend Mo the Morselist to help him change their eating habits and have balance. The eighth book is a little departure from the series. It is for the younger Henry fans who haven’t learned their ABCs yet. Henry hasn’t become Henry the Sports Bug yet; he is just Henry the Bug. He is having a hard time focusing on his schoolwork because all he thinks about is sports. Mrs. Centipede, his teacher, has the great idea of having Henry come up with a sport for every letter of the alphabet. It’s cute and makes learning fun.

What’s your favorite thing about Paws Up so far?

Paws Up is fantastic. I got to experience the Fourth of July festivities at The Resort. Besides the celebration in my hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this beats anything I have ever experienced. I also love the scenery and the animals. My goal by the end of the summer is to get a cow to let me hug it! Louis the Sheep and I already have a special bond though!

What’s been your favorite activity at Paws Up?

So far I have only experienced the ATVs and sporting clays shooting. My goal is to be more proficient at both by the end of summer, and I hope to be able to experience many more of the fun and exciting activities offered here.

What is one thing you would like children to take away from attending your sports camp?

With my camps, I want children to walk away with a big smile on their faces, telling their parents how much fun they had and how much they love playing sports. The life lessons from playing a sport will come naturally and they won’t feel like it’s a “lesson” because they are having fun!

Summer Berry Tart with Fresh Berries, Chamomile Glaze, Grand Marnier and Honey-Whipped Chèvre

Just in time for summer entertaining, our Executive Chef Sunny Jin created a recipe—Summer Berry Tart with Fresh Berries, Chamomile Glaze, Grand Marnier and Honey-Whipped Chèvre—to showcase the essence of summertime in Montana. “I was thrilled to use edible flowers plucked from the fields of The Resort at Paws Up and use them in a dessert big enough to share with friends and family around a fire,” says Jin. We hope you’ll try this recipe for a taste of Paws Up and Montana in your own home. We sat down with Jin to ask him about this recipe.

What was your inspiration when you created this recipe?

I’m consistently inspired by Montana and the flavor profiles of what grows naturally around here. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to incorporate them into dishes to further enhance the Montana experience of our guests.

Is this a new recipe or have you made it before?

This is a new recipe, based around and featuring the available ingredients from local farmers and from foraging the hills of Greenough, Montana.

Will this recipe be on the menu at Paws Up this summer?

We are still deciding what local delicacies will be on the summer menu at Paws Up. A favorite right now is our wood-fired huckleberry cobbler. The summer berry pie will be available upon request for our guests who would like to experience it. We like to make the magic happen here at Paws Up, folks.

What’s a cooking tip or two to use when preparing this recipe?

When I created this recipe, I built the pie in a manner that made me happy. There was no rhyme or reason to the placement of the berries or flowers, which grow abundantly in Montana. I would encourage our home cooks to use the same mentality of being inspired by the beauty of the ingredients and celebrating them. It’s not too often in baking that we don’t follow the rules of the measurements—for parts of this recipe you can!

Why did you choose this type of crust for this tart?

This crust was chosen to allow the real story to be about the berries. We could embellish all day, but sometimes using the simplest things is the best approach.

If you could share this tart with anyone in the world who would it be and why?

The one person who comes immediately to mind is Martha Stewart! She’s the epitome of baking and summertime entertaining (and entertaining in general) and aside from the idea that she’d like this recipe, I would love to have a conversation with her. Short answer, she seems cool. To anyone reading this: can you have her people call my people, please?

Summer Berry Tart with Fresh Berries, Chamomile Glaze, Grand Marnier and Honey-Whipped Chèvre

Makes 1 (8-inch) Tart

Ingredients

For the Glaze:

2 tablespoons chamomile, dried

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup glucose (light corn syrup can be substituted)

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Directions

  1. Gently steep chamomile, water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the glaze. Add the Grand Marnier and let cool. (This will be used to glaze the berries once assembled.)

Ingredients
For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cold water

1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine flour, butter and sugar into a food processor. Pulse the mixture lightly until only small clumps remain. Add chilled water and the egg. Gently pulse again until the dough just comes together.
  3. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead until the mixture is smooth; shape into a disc. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Once chilled, roll dough out on a floured surface until about 1/4-inch-thick.
  4. Gently place dough over an 8-inch pie pan and mold to the shape of the pan. Use a butter knife along the ridge of the pan to remove excess dough. Prick bottom of the dough with a fork to avoid warping and rising.
  5. Transfer pie pan to the oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate and bake for 10 minutes more or until golden brown. Bring to room temperature once cooked. Set aside.

Ingredients
For the Whipped Chèvre:

3 cups chèvre

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup wildflower honey

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip chèvre on medium speed until creamy. Continue to whip until it the mixture has doubled in volume. Reduce the speed and slowly drizzle in the heavy cream.
  2. Add powdered sugar, honey, Grand Marnier and lemon juice and continue to mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.

Garnish:

1 pint each of fresh berries—strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Edible garden flowers (optional)

Directions

To Assemble Tart:

  1. Spread an even layer of the whipped chèvre in the base of the tart shell.
  2. Arrange berries over the top until evenly covered. Brush the glaze over the berries. Finish with a light garnish of mint leaves and edible flowers. Enjoy!

The Resort at Paws Up Welcomes Austin Grill Master Evan LeRoy for BBQ-U

Comfortable around a live fire from a young age, Chef Evan LeRoy’s culinary experiences range from fine dining at Hudson’s on the Bend to barbecue at Hill Country Barbecue. LeRoy was named as one of Zagat’s 30 Under 30 rising stars in the Austin culinary scene. LeRoy has appeared on Burgers, Brew & Que and Food Porn and gained the title of Austin Grill Master on the Travel Channel.

In 2017, LeRoy opened the barbecue truck LeRoy and Lewis, with a rotating menu of nontraditional meats and cuts and a working motto of “new school barbecue, old school service.” LeRoy has also traveled to Australia and Russia to train and work with prospective pit masters and is known for his openness to teaching and sharing smoking secrets. We are thrilled to have him this year for BBQ-U on June 22–24, 2018. We had a chance to sit down with LeRoy for a quick interview.

The last time you visited Paws Up was in 2016, correct? Tell us a little about your favorite memory on our ranch.

Correct. I took a hike through the woods one morning and saw a bald eagle for the first time in my life. Also, the last day of archery with my wife was fun and competitive.

What activity are you most excited about trying on property?

I’m most interested in doing some fishing this trip. I was not able to do that last time, and it seems like fun.

How did you become interested in barbecue?

I’ve been interested in barbecue for a long time. Since I was a kid cooking in the backyard with my dad. It’s more than an interest growing up in Texas—it’s an ingrained part of our culture.

Can you tell us about the dual smoker, which we hear you’re bringing to Paws Up? And why it’s called “the twins”?

Between leaving Freedmen’s (my last BBQ job) and opening LeRoy and Lewis, I taught some classes to keep me busy, keep money coming in and to stay relevant in the barbecue scene. I liked the idea of cooking with people and connecting with people over BBQ on a deeper level. One of my students was Sheldon Mason from Montana. He has his own pop-up BBQ business, and he designed the pits for capacity and travel—as two back-to-back smokers that mirror one another.

Can you explain what you mean by “new school barbecue”?

As the next generation of Texans who are carrying this tradition of barbecue into the next decades, it’s our responsibility to put our own stamp on it, improve it and give it to those who come after us. New school BBQ is about taking the method and soul of BBQ and injecting new life into it with updates on classic cuts, global flavor profiles and modern hospitality.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Vegetables, mostly in pasta and stir fries. I like to keep it simple and use herbs from my garden. I also use a lot of eggs.

What is your favorite cooking show on television?

Used to be Good Eats. Now it’s Mind of a Chef.

Is there something you’ve never grilled that you want to attempt?

I’ve never cooked a fish I caught on the beach or on a shore. I would love to do that.

 What travel destination is next on your bucket list?

Germany, Hawaii, Italy.

If you could cook alongside one barbecue chef, who would it be?

I would love to cook with Tootsie Tomanetz from Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, TX.

From the Grammys to Glamping Robbie Fulks Kicks Off Campfire Stars 

From the Grammys to Glamping, Robbie Fulks will be heading to The Resort at Paws Up for Campfire Stars at Paws Up on June 19–23. Robbie is a singer, recording artist, instrumentalist, composer and songwriter. His most recent release, 2017’s Upland Stories, earned year’s-best recognition from National Public Radio and Rolling Stone among many others, as well as two Grammy® nominations for folk album and American roots song. We were lucky to sit down with Robbie for a chat.

Your last record, Upland Stories, was nominated for two Grammys in 2017. Did that bring your career more exposure?

It’s definitely helped. I’ve been playing at more places where people are listening respectfully as opposed to throwing bottles at my head. (laughs)

Did you attend the ceremony?

I was there with the whole family. The bigger ceremony is telecast and that was the part I was expecting not to enjoy, but it was amazing. Beyoncé and Bruno Mars and all these people are great singers. It was like a positive presentation of the state of popular music today and the production was done very well.

You performed at Paws Up during Montana Master Grillers 2015. What were your experiences at Paws Up like?

It was super memorable. As far as gigs go, usually you travel someplace and you’re in and out, but at Paws Up, somebody picks you up and takes you out into the woods and you’re there for three or four days. And the amenities are unbelievable. You can hike. You can rappel. The food is unbelievable and the staff is really kind.

Do you have songs in mind that you will play during Campfire Stars?

No, not at all. The way that it works best for me is to go in and respond to the situation, to keep it in the moment. If you plan too much in advance, the audience can read it and it can seem scripted and gets a little bit robotic sometimes.

What would you tell young people at Campfire Stars who might want to start playing music themselves?

For me, music was a great thing to have early in life because it set up music as a verb, not as something that you just go and witness. It’s something participatory as well. It’s something that can be meaningful about where you live and what your ancestry is. So I try to reflect that now when I play.

Summer Campfire Chefs Debuts with Chef Beau MacMillan

Campfires are a summer tradition observed nightly at Paws Up. After a long day of floating or fishing, there’s nothing quite like unwinding around the fire pit. Which is why two new Resort programs—Campfire Chefs and Campfire Stars—are sure to be hits with camp guests who enjoy a touch of sophistication and glamour in a rustic, relaxed setting. Campfire Stars features musicians from festivals and shows like American Idol and The Voice. These stars have performed for millions of music lovers at a time, but now they’ll be taking a seat right next to you for intimate performances and maybe even to lead a singalong or two.

Campfire Chefs features rock stars too. Rock star chefs, that is—from the country’s hottest restaurants and culinary TV shows. The chefs will also be up close and personal with our guests—to prepare exquisite cuisine and even have our glampers pitch in and help cook. Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort Executive Chef Beau MacMillan kicks off this summer series on June 6–9th.

We had a chance to sit down and chat with Beau about his upcoming visit.

 What interested you in Paws Up’s new series, Campfire Chefs?

My first experience at Paws Up was at Master Montana Grillers. I was so impressed not only with The Resort itself, but more importantly with the staff and how easy it was for them to be in front of the guests and create emotional contacts in a great setting. With Campfire Chefs, I’ll be able to connect with a small group and cook over open fires—very primal and very fun.

How will cooking at Camp re Chefs be different from Montana Master Grillers?

With Master Montana Grillers, I ran an action station, featuring one to two items. What I’m most excited about with Campfire Chefs is the ability to create the whole menu and the fact that it’s served family-style. I think passing and sharing is one of the best ways to eat and connect with others around you.

Will guests at Paws Up actually get involved in the preparation of meals?

I’m one of those guys that loves to get guests involved. I also love cooking outside and cooking on wood. I think you’re going to see some large cuts of meat that can cook slow. When you can cook large cuts of meat, organic vegetables and fresh seafood on an open flame, life is good.

You’ve made many appearances on culinary shows. Do you have any upcoming appearances?

Right now, I’m filming Best Thing I Ever Ate and Guy’s Grocery Games on the Food Network.

The Wonder Women of Food and Wine Coming This Fall

They say girls are made of sugar and spice and, oh, nevermind. These titans of the kitchen are made of pure steel, and each one of them has used every ingredient imaginable. That’s why we’re SUPER excited about this year’s Montana Master Chefs: The Wonder Women of Food and Wine on September 27-30 2018. It’s the first-ever culinary event at The Resort at Paws Up to feature an all-female lineup.

And what a lineup it is. During this three-day weekend event, guests will get to know five award-winning chefs, three notable vintners, a dynamo distiller and two incredible brewers.

“We always do something to top the previous year,” says Scott Schaefer, special events manager at Paws Up. “In 2016, we featured James Beard All-Stars, then we did Rising All-Stars in 2017. But Wonder Women of Food and Wine is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.”

Schaefer was inspired in large part by another Paws Up tradition: the Cowgirl Spring Roundup. During that event, “I got to observe how empowering it was to have all these women together,” he says. He wanted to replicate that feeling, and with help from Chef Mindy Segal, he’s assembled a crackerjack team of chefs and vintners from across the country, as well as the women behind the first female-owned brewery and distillery in Montana.

Julia Sullivan, chef/owner of Nashville’s Henrietta Red, was drawn to the event because, she says, “I get the chance to cook with some of my idols.” Though her restaurant was named Best New Restaurant by Bon Appétit in 2017 and is a contender for the 2018 Best New Restaurant James Beard Award, Sullivan is starstruck by the other participating chefs. She refers to Renee Erickson as “a hero of mine. Renee is the queen of the oyster bar.” Sullivan also cites camaraderie as a reason for her commitment: “You definitely get a different sensibility with a group of female chefs.”

Plus, it’s not just about good food and good fun; it’s about doing good, too. The event culminates in a Master Chef cook-off challenge, complete with mystery ingredients. Once they’ve been vetted by the judges, the plates are then auctioned off to hungry guests, with the proceeds benefitting the Missoula Food Bank. Since 2014, guests and the Paws Up Foundation have donated more than $55,000. Now that sounds like a sweet finish.

There are all kinds of reasons to come to Paws Up for our signature foodie event. But this year, at Montana Master Chefs: The Wonder Women of Food and Wine, you’ll get to find out firsthand how some girls grow up to become as invincible as their dishes are delectable. Look who’s coming below: