Fresh and delicious seasonal dishes don’t happen by accident. So for our rich bounty of vegetables, breads and meats, Paws Up has been turning to local experts with a long history in these parts: the Cool Springs Hutterite Colony, the Hillside Colony and other Hutterite farmers. Over the years, Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones has found that these communities produce some of the best-tasting foodstuffs in the country—by using natural, time-tested techniques, similar to those used by Amish and Mennonite farmers.
Hutterites have been living and working in Montana since first forming colonies in the Dakotas in the 1800s and Canada in the 1900s. The Hutterites also eventually formed colonies in Montana in which they practiced a religious-based communal lifestyle where each individual in a colony was responsible for a specific task. That tradition and culture have not changed much since the early days for Hutterites in Montana, according to current Cool Springs colony resident Jake Waldner.
Waldner says that Paws Up is the colony’s number-one customer as a purchaser of the bacon, chickens, bread and vegetables that the colony produces. The Hutterites are able to directly deliver and sell goods to customers like Paws Up from their farms, as opposed to selling to stores and then having goods sit on shelves for days or even weeks at a time. But most colonies do not produce goods solely to sell to restaurants and resorts. The livestock and other goods are instead grown and produced for a colony’s use first. Then, when a surplus is generated, those excess goods are made available to outside customers.
For a resort like Paws Up that specializes in farm-to-table freshness, the goods are always cherished, and our guests can taste the difference between these foods and those that are shipped in. The relationship between Hutterite farmers and the culinary artists at Paws Up adds a delicious, honest, homegrown flavor to every dish we prepare.