Get the Inside Scoop on Chicago Dessert Icon Mindy Segal

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Walk into Mindy’s HotChocolate and you’ll find yourself transported into Chicago’s most famous pastry mecca. Before you even set your eyes on the restaurant’s chic industrial interior, you’ll catch yourself ogling a display case filled with deliciously crumbly cookies. James Beard Award winner and owner Mindy Segal is a Windy City institution, and we’re always excited to witness her fierce, urban creativity here in the wilds of Western Montana. To give you a taste of why we ask her back again and again, we had a short chat with the famous pastry chef.

Mindy Segal at the resort at paws up

PAWS UP: What’s your personal favorite menu item at Mindy’s HotChocolate?

CHEF MINDY SEGAL: Believe it or not, I love the hot chocolate ICED! My favorite is my most popular flavor, which is the “medium.” Hot chocolate served over ice with a shot of whiskey. Trust me, it’s the most adult chocolate milk you’ll ever drink!

PAWS UP: In a competitive food town like Chicago, what makes Mindy’s HotChocolate successful after so many years?

SEGAL: My team and I are always working on our craft and we are always changing and upgrading the menu to make it special for our guests. I also think that because I’m at my restaurant at some point every day, I stay connected with my guests and my staff.

PAWS UP: What inspires you?

SEGAL: For sure, the seasons (obviously), the farmers market and, above all, vintage plate ware (of all types)!

PAWS UP: How many times have you been to Paws Up?

SEGAL: I believe 6? Not sure—I stopped counting because I never want it to end!

PAWS UP: What do you like about it?

SEGAL: First of all, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and a 180-degree shift from Chicago! And the staff is amazing and I always look forward to going back and seeing them.

PAWS UP: How do you keep the Montana spirit alive once you return home to Chicago?

SEGAL: I try to go hiking around the Chicago area to stay one with nature. My husband and I enjoy camping and fly-fishing, which of course is the spirit of the Blackfoot River!

PAWS UP: Can you describe the qualities of the perfect s’more?

SEGAL: A great graham cracker (we make our own), the PERFECT toasted marshmallow (I like a charred crust and a soft interior) and an elevated chocolate creation. We use toffee chocolate brittle; the added crunch and salt adds a nice balance to the sweet marshmallow. Not to mention, texture, texture, texture!!

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And if your sweet tooth likes the idea of that, be sure to join us for Cookbook Live: Cookie Love, August 10–16, when Segal will be at Paws Up serving s’mores just the way YOU like them. Campfires were invented for just such an occasion.

national amores week at the resort at paws up

Come Cook with Brooke Williamson at The Resort at Paws Up

Chef Brooke Williamson

Say hello to Chef Brooke Williamson, a fearless and unstoppable Southern Californian who’s become a bit of a regular at The Resort at Paws Up. We love hosting her, because she brings energy and fresh local ingredients to everything she does.

You might know her from Top Chef. She’s currently reappearing to compete in Season 14: Charleston, South Carolina, airing right now on Bravo. In Season 10, Williamson was the runner-up and a favorite among the show’s fans.

When she’s not on TV, she’s busy running the four smash-hit restaurants she owns with her husband. The newest opened just this past October—a fast- casual Hawaiian concept named Da Kikokiko in Playa Vista, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

What does she do for fun? She comes to The Resort at Paws Up, of course. In 2017, she’ll be a featured chef at no fewer than three culinary events: WinterFest on January 19– 22, WildFlavor on April 20–23 and Bounty on the Blackfoot on August 19. So we asked her to tell us about her experiences here.

What’s the first thing you like to do when you arrive at Paws Up?
 I like to grab a drink at Tank and head straight to my cabin to chill on the porch. The sounds of wilderness that surround those cabins are the perfect way to decompress after a day of travel.

What do you look forward to most when you visit? 
Because of the fact that I get to experience the ranch at different times of year, the things I look forward to in terms of activities vary greatly. Between pristine snow and cattle drives, I could stay entertained forever.

But the one thing that I can always count on, no matter what time of year, is the staff. I do a lot of events, all over the country, but never do I travel to a place and feel so welcomed and at home as I do at Paws Up.

What’s a dish you’ve made just for Paws Up guests that was especially wonderful? 
Seafood salad, cucumber and tomato water, compressed melons. I made this dish for an event last summer, and although I would normally gravitate toward mentioning a dish that feels more “Montana,” I actually loved this dish not only because of the setting and weather that it was served in, but mostly because I got to use some of the best local watermelon I’ve ever tasted.

How does cooking in Montana differ from cooking in LA? Cooking in Montana makes you realize how important and special cooking “local” can be. I come from California, where we have beautiful seasons for produce, and an enormous variety of pretty much anything you want.

But Montana helps me realize how specific seasons can actually be based on climate and accessibility. From elk to buffalo to huckleberries and specific mushrooms, it’s especially fun to find new ways to highlight ingredients that I don’t come across every day in Los Angeles.

Bison Tenderloin with Cherry Demi-Glace

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The Resort at Paws Up is hosting its first-ever Thanksgiving celebration with plenty of options to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Bison Tenderloin with Cherry Demi-Glace is just one of our main course options. Of course, there will be plenty of turkey and an amazing crab-stuffed rainbow trout option, plus an array of sides, desserts and, of course, wine and spirits. Enjoy the recipe for our bison tenderloin, and feel free to pass it along to your family and friends.

Bison Tenderloin with Cherry Demi-Glace

If you can’t find fresh cherries, purchase cherries in the freezer section of your grocery store. Thaw before using.

Ingredients

1 pound bison tenderloin, sliced into 4-ounce portions

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces ruby red port

4 ounces fresh cherries, pitted (*see note above)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, sear tenderloin in hot oil over medium-high heat. Season bison with salt and pepper; cook until medium-rare, turning bison on its sides to keep the cooking even, about 7 to 8 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
  1. Simmer the port and cherries 45 minutes to 1 hour over medium-low heat, until the port and cherry sauce takes on a syrupy consistency. (Don’t overcook as the sauce can scorch very quickly.) Serve bison and demi-glace over roasted asparagus and potatoes, if desired. This recipe serves four.

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From a petting zoo with pony rides and family game nights to owl watching, hayrides and concerts, plus football and parade watching, there are plenty of options to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Take a hike, horseback ride, ATV ride or enjoy a spa treatment.

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Here’s our schedule for November 23—27th:

Wednesday November 23, 2016

  • Cookie decorating in homes
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Game night in the Bull Barn
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Thursday, November 24, 2016

  • Extended breakfast hours
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade watching in the Village
  • NFL game watching with snacks in Tank
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Owl Prowl bird watching excursion to Jones’ Pond
  • Hayrides through the Wilderness Estates
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Thanksgiving Day Festival with apple bobbing, sack races, archery and more on The Yard at the Cook Shack
  • A grand and glittering Thanksgiving Dinner at Pomp or a private feast delivered to your home and whisked away afterwards
  • Cookie decorating awards ceremony
  • Family movie night and wildlife presentation in the Bull Barn
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Friday, November 25, 2016

  • Resort tour, with visits to the Morris Ranch House, Blackfoot River Lodge, Elk Creek and Cliffside Camp
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Hayrides through the Wilderness Estates
  • Tie-dying T-shirts on the Bull Barn patio
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Black Friday sale at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Happy hour and whiskey tasting and demonstration with the Rattlesnake Creek Distillery
  • A special dessert menu including pumpkin pie flambé, an ice cream station with toppings such as flambéed cherries, Bananas Foster and house-made goat cheese pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pajama party and movie night in the Great Angus Hall
  • Live musical performance from the Beargrass Bluegrass Band in Tank
  • Fireside s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Saturday, November 26, 2016

  • Resort tour, with visits to the Morris Ranch House, Blackfoot River Lodge, Elk Creek and Cliffside Camp
  • Petting zoo visits and pony rides
  • Owl Prowl bird watching excursion to Jones’ Pond
  • Kids crafts and photo center family fun projects
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Sale at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Happy hour and hard cider tasting and demonstration with Brewmaster Lee McAlpine at the Wilderness Outpost
  • Mini Rodeo at the Equestrian Center
  • Appetizers and cocktails in the Saddle Club
  • Show in the Arena
  • Campfire music jamboree and s’mores on The Yard at the Cook Shack

Sunday, November 27, 2016

  • NFL game watching with snacks in Tank
  • Lighter, leaner lunch options available
  • Family movie night in the Bull Barn

To make reservations for Thanksgiving, please call 877-758-8644 or chat with us.

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Where to Achieve Amazing Baking and Horseback Riding Skills in One Weekend

Upper Crust Culinary Event at The Resort at Paws Up

What do horseback riding, fly-fishing, ATV rides, pizza, cookies and pies have in common? We have the simple answer: Upper Crust at the Resort at Paws Up. Spend October 7th-10th getting your hands doughy during this one-of-a-kind kitchen adventure in Montana, which offers more than flour and sugar—glamping, spa treatments, cattle drives and live music are also on the menu.The Resort at Paws Up

Join us this year to learn new skills in the kitchen as well as participate in outdoor activities on our 37,000-acre ranch, including fly-fishing, ATV tours, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian lessons, sporting clays, repelling, archery, go-karts and more.

Horseback Riding at Paws Up

The Resort also welcomes back the “pie whisperer” herself, Kate McDermott, along with Portland’s Ken Forkish and Chicago’s Mindy Segal for Upper Crust, a culinary weekend of sophisticated cookie, pie and pizza baking. During both events, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with world-class chefs, bakers and winemakers as well as work up an appetite on adventures and excursions in the breathtaking Montana wilderness.

Upper Crust Event at Paws Up

By day, you’ll be creating works of edible art from fresh local ingredients. And by night, you’ll be dining on the cuisine of Paws Up’s Executive Chef, Ben Jones, masterfully executed and paired with exquisite wines.

Ken Forkish Upper Crust Paws Up

Afterwards, you’ll retire to the unparalleled comforts of your very own luxury vacation home.

glamping at The Resort at Paws Up

Upper Crust Event Highlights

Upper Crust Culinary Event at The Resort at Paws Up

Friday, October 7, 2016

Welcome reception

Dinner featuring Executive Chef Ben Jones

Fire and Fondue in Tank

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Culinary workshops including kolachke and rugelach cookies,

American apple pie and pizza making a variety of wilderness adventures

Live entertainment in Tank

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Culinary workshops including thumbprint cookies, sweet cherry pie and pizza making

A variety of wilderness adventures

Live entertainment in Tank

outdoor adventure at the resort at Paws up

Upper Crust is the perfect treat for anyone who’s passionate about homemade, just-out-of-the-oven desserts and pizzas and outdoor bucket-list adventure. Find out more here.

glamping at the Resort at Paws Up

The Oscars of the Food World Come to The Resort at Paws Up

Montana Masters Chef Weekend at Paws Up

For foodies and wine lovers, Montana Master Chefs is the event of a lifetime-and world-class cuisine and exquisite vino are just the beginning. Get up close and personal with a group of James Beard Award winners, finalists and nominees.

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This bucket-list weekend at The Resort at Paws Up is served with an extra helping of breathtaking scenery, exhilarating outdoor adventure and pure relaxation. It’s all happening on September 29th—October 2, 2016.

The Resort at Paws Up Culinary Events

We’re not sure what is the most fun part of this weekend. Watching the chefs face off in a fun cook-off challenge, sipping fine wine from renowned vintners, burning calories on a variety of wilderness adventures, or relaxing in luxurious accommodations.

Fly Fishing on the Blackfoot River

It’s also a beautiful time of year for glamping!

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All these ingredients combine to make Montana Master Chefs a winning weekend full of new, unique adventures.

ATV at The Resort at Paws Up

Like a rock-and-roll supergroup, the chefs are coming in from all over the country. There’s Chef Ashley Christensen, winner for Best Chef: Southeast; Chef Matt Jennings, nominated four times for Best Chef: Northeast; Chef Jamie Malone, semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best Chef: Midwest; Chef Steven Satterfield, semifinalist for Best New Restaurant and finalist for Best Chef: Southeast three years in a row and Chef Mindy Segal, nominated five times and winner of Outstanding Pastry Chef. These illustrious chefs will be working alongside Paws Up’s own culinary artist, Executive Chef Ben Jones, whose talent and inexhaustible knowledge of local culinary resources were on display when he headlined at the James Beard House in New York earlier this year. And just imagine what they’ll do for the Top Chef-style challenge.

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Wait. There’s More:

Featured Wineries are:

Grgich Hills Estate, founded in Napa by Mike Grgich, was a winning vintner of the historic Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The impressive wines of Grgich have been featured at White House State Dinners from Reagan to Obama. Violet Grgrich, Mike’s daughter, will be a featured guest of MMC.

Merry Edwards Winery was founded by Merry Edwards, winner of the James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States. Merry’s husband and partner Ken Coopersmith will be joining us to share his wine expertise and passion.

Rombauer Vineyards was founded by a great nephew of Irma Rombauer, author of the Joy of Cooking. Wine Spectator magazine said, “Rombauer defines the California Chardonnay style that so many adore.” Paws Up is pleased to welcome Koerner “KR” Rombauer III as a featured MMC guest.

Our featured Distillery is Montgomery Distillery, and guests will enjoy music by Musician, Joshua Davis, Ali Solomon and Jon Floridis. Find out more here.

Cliffside Camp at The Resort at Paws Up

What’s Cooking This Fall at The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up

Summertime has been amazing in Montana, but it’s going by way too fast. Soon we will have beautiful fall foliage and cooler temperatures. If you’re looking for an autumn getaway, fall is an amazing time to visit The Resort at Paws Up with our sunny days, crisp nights and a variety of five-star culinary weekends. Paws Up has invited acclaimed chefs recognized by the James Beard Foundation to work their magic at Montana Master Chefs: James Beard All-Stars. From haute cuisine to iconic classics, guests will enjoy all the world-class dining and libations that these acclaimed chefs and guest vintners have to offer in a setting like no other on September 29–October 2, 2016.

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The Resort also welcomes back the “pie whisperer” herself, Kate McDermott, along with Portland’s Ken Forkish and Chicago’s Mindy Segal for Upper Crust, a culinary weekend of sophisticated cookie, pie and pizza baking (see below for more details). During both events, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close and personal with world-class chefs, bakers and winemakers as well as work up an appetite on adventures and excursions in the breathtaking Montana wilderness.

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Here’s the Scoop:

Montana Master Chefs weekend will be held September 29–October 2, 2016.

As part of the weekend event, guests can partake in a myriad of wilderness adventures like horseback riding or fly-fishing and will enjoy one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, distillers and winemakers in the United States. Montana Master Chefs 2016 will feature cooking demonstrations and multicourse dinners prepared by world-class chefs, including Chef Ashley Christensen of Poole’s and AC Restaurants, Chef Matt Jennings of Townsman, Chef Jamie Malone of Brut, Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union, Chef Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate and Paws Up’s own Chef Ben Jones. The chefs will also compete in a lighthearted Master Chef Cook-Off Challenge.

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We’ll be offering parings with Montgomery Distillery as the featured distiller and the incredible vintners Grgich Hills Estate, Merry Edwards Winery and Rombauer Vineyards to provide tastings and pairings throughout the weekend.

Guests will also enjoy live nightly private concerts by Joshua Davis, a folk/roots artist who finished third on Season 8 of NBC’s The Voice; John Floridis, a talented guitarist, singer-songwriter and composer and Ali Solomon, a captivating singer and cover artist.

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Upper Crust is an all-inclusive weekend that will be held October 7–10, 2016.

This three-day event on the ranch will be held over Columbus Day weekend for baking enthusiasts for a weekend of luxury, adventure, gourmet food and wine and, most importantly, expert insight into all things dough. The weekend will feature hands-on instruction in a series of cooking and baking workshops. Don’t miss out!

When guests are not baking or enjoying their creations, they can choose from a variety of wilderness adventures: float down the Blackfoot River, spend half a day fly-fishing or explore the Paws Up land by horseback, on an ATV tour or on a guided naturalist hike. Each night, Paws Up’s Executive Chef Ben Jones will serve locally inspired dinner menus for a weekend of unforgettable meals.