Under All That Glittering Snow, A Culinary Paradise

How does Pomp, buried under winter’s blanket in tiny Greenough, Montana, keep carving out a reputation for dining excellence? Paws Up Executive Chef Sunny Jin takes a collaborative mindset to work each day. “Staying set in our ways would plateau creativity,” he said. “Our guests are often the strongest voices guiding our food, giving us foresight into a more valuable dining experience.”

Innovation is also a necessity when the cooking features local, seasonal ingredients. “Winter is where I find my best moments. Simple preparations open a new world of opportunity,” Jin said. In wintertime, for example, it’s the long, slow braises that are close to Jin’s heart: “When you devote yourself to a one-pot dish and its components, it teaches you to focus on the ingredients and timing for a meal that is both simple and rewarding.”

While Jin’s masterful elk short ribs, dry-aged bison ribeye and Rocky Mountain trout have been among past winters’ culinary wonders, beef is always a centerpiece. At its heart, Paws Up is a cattle ranch. And this season, some of that beef is special indeed.

“We’ve received our very first cuts of Wagyu beef from our Paws Up Ranch,” Jin said. Which means diners can expect exquisite portions that are highly marbled, ultra-tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Out here in the wilderness of fine dining, creativity often snowballs from one area of the kitchen to another. “Every Paws Up family member, and I mean everyone, is encouraged to throw ideas on the chopping block,” Jin noted. Rest assured, once an idea is born, it will be cultivated by a true master.

WINE SPECTATOR POURS ON THE ACCOLADES: POMP EARNS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

It may seem unusual for Wine Spectator to honor a Montana establishment with its prestigious Best of Award of Excellence. But, considering the carefully curated vintages and labels at Pomp, it’s really not surprising. In awarding Paws Up’s fine dining restaurant, Wine Spectator noted the menu’s particular strength in California wines as well as its strong showings from illustrious Burgundy, Piedmont and Champagne vineyards.

Guests visiting during our annual WinterFest culinary weekend (February 12–15, 2021) will get a special viticultural treat: sipping alongside Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash, cofounders of Willamette Valley’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars.

THE HOLIDAYS ARE SWEETER WITH CHEF AMANDA ROCKMAN.

Here’s one creature we love to have stirring: Chef Amanda Rockman will be joining us December 24–26 for her fifth trip to Paws Up. And each time she visits, she brings bubbling energy and a joy for baking.

“Really, what I try and do is give people of all ages skills they can use to get creative in the kitchen. If they’re going to take the time to come and talk with me, I want to feed them useful nuggets to take home,” she said.

And those nuggets she offers are decorated with kudos. A James Beard Award finalist and two-time Jean Banchet Pastry Chef of the Year, her pastry chef skills are admired from Chicago to Austin.

What’s she looking forward to this time? “It’s super fun to watch the kids,” Rockman said. “How they decorate their cookies. Some are so methodical about how they decorate each cookie … and some just dump the sprinkles on top and smile big.”

When she’s not whipping up flour-y goodies for Paws Up guests, you’ll find Rockman cuddled up in a dogsled making a mess of the snow.

To join Rockman over Christmas this year, start by visiting go.pawsup.com/holiday­treats for more info.

In the meantime, enjoy her recipe for sugar cookies.

Amanda Rockman’s Holiday Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

INGREDIENTS

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon oat milk

2 teaspoons vanilla paste

2 eggs

 

ICING

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Food coloring and gel as desired

DIRECTIONS

Cookies:

In a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and sea salt until light and fluffy. Add oat milk and vanilla paste. Add eggs, one at time, and scrape bowl after each addition. Gradually spoon flour mixture in, beating on low speed until dough is smooth and well-blended.

Turn dough out on work surface. Cut dough in half and shape each portion into a compact disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 325F. Unwrap 1 dough disk and roll on lightly floured work surface to 1/4-inch thickness (lightly coat rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking). Cut into chosen shapes and place 2 inches apart on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate cookies on baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes to help them keep their shape when baked.

Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Cool cookies completely on wire racks, about 20 minutes. Repeat process with remaining dough.

Icing:

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and liquid until smooth. Add more sugar or milk as needed for desired consistency For outline icing, you want a consistency that will keep its shape; for the flooding icing, you want looser so that it can fill in the shape. Apply gel food coloring and extract for flavor.

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:

Pro Tips for Packing the Perfect Picnic

Are you dreaming of summer already? We sure are. And this year, we’re going all-out for al fresco, starting with a Chicago-style picnic in a Montana-size park.

Join us on June 16 for our Montana Long Table: Artisanal Picnic, and you’ll have a chance to chat and dine with illustrious Windy City chefs known for their Chicago dogs and gourmet sausages, honey butter fried chicken and hand-crafted pies.

But you don’t have to travel far to enjoy an epic picnic. Let Paws Up Executive Chef Sunny Jin share some inspiring thoughts on dining outside during those dreamy months ahead:

What do you love about eating outside?

The greatest advantage to eating outside is the wholeness of the experience. It allows us to focus on what’s important, and I believe that simply to mean being present and enjoying the moment in front of us.

What are a few of your favorite things to take on a picnic? 

I’m big on variety and small bites. That doesn’t mean extravagance and significant labor. My choices usually consist of cured meats, pickles, olives, cheeses, whole fruits and the best bread I can find. Every region has local favorites of each item, so an assortment is easy to come by.

Other than food, what else might you take? 

My picnic spots are usually at places where cell service and paved roads are absent. That creates a place with less exposure to human contact, so I carry along a book on plant identification. I’m still amazed what I’m able to find now that my eyes have adjusted to the edible surfaces around all of us.

If you were planning a leisurely rafting trip, what would be on the menu? 

Being respectful and observant of fire bans, regulations and conservation should always come first. It would be a bummer to pack for a riverside BBQ, and then come to find that fires are not permissible. I love to grill as much as the next person and would if the opportunity were there. However, to be safe, I try to stick to cold, no-fuss items that travel well. 

Chef Sunny Jin’s Rafting Trip Menu:

Chilled Prime Rib Wraps with Watercress, Pickled Goat Horn Peppers and Cucumber-Horseradish Slaw

Roasted Eggplant Panzanella with Chorizo, Toybox Tomatoes, Chèvre and Banyuls Vinaigrette

Fresh Fruit Bites with Wildflower Honey and Greek Yogurt

Homemade Jerky: My freezer is always stocked with experimental jerky made from earlier hunting and fishing trips.

Dill Pickle Chips: We all have our vices.

Ice Cold IPA: Some have more vices than others.

3 Summer Picnics Worth Traveling For

Paws Up long table

It may come as no surprise, but Montana’s culinary resources are as outsized as the landscape itself. Which means, when you take part in a Montana Long Table at The Resort at Paws Up you’re in for an ever-loving foodie kind of evening. Of course, that only partly explains why these events are so popular. There’s also the single, long table set up in a beautiful spot with sweeping views of the ranch and first-rate live music, often from acclaimed local artists.This summer Paws Up is offering three incredible Long Table Events where guests will come face-to-face with an abundant supply of foods and the artisans behind them as well as get to know them by name, hear their stories and have the opportunity to show appreciation for all their hard work.

Montana long table events paws up

Artisanal Picnic: June 17, 2017

When was the last time you dined outdoors on artistically prepared fried chicken, sausage garnished with foie gras and hand-cut duck fat fries? This year’s first Montana Long Table is a picnic like none you’ve ever seen. We’re bringing together three of the country’s most talented chefs: the masterminds behind Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken and cult food icon Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s. And when it’s time to sit down and dine, you’ll be joined by the very ranchers, farmers and food artisans responsible for the food in front of you.

Note: This event is open to locals.

artisanal picnic the resort at paws up

A Long-Standing Tradition: July 15, 2017

This July, pull up a seat as we celebrate the local food traditions of Montana. It’s a farm-to-white-tablecloth experience, starting with an authentic farmers market featuring local ranchers, farmers and food artisans as well as music from Montana’s own Dan Dubuque. Next, you’ll sit down to an exquisite dinner created by Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones. His close relationships with area purveyors always makes for a truly inspired menu. But don’t take our word for it—instead, take advantage of the unique opportunity to dine alongside the very people who made your meal possible. We hope you’ll join us as we pay tribute to all the incredible culinary resources Montana has to offer.

Note: This event is open to locals.

the resort at paws up

Bounty on the Blackfoot: August 19, 2017

This August, take a tour through Montana’s vast culinary traditions with one of the country’s most celebrated chefs as your guide. Join 2017 Bravo Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson as she creates a true farm-to-table tasting menu before your very eyes. She’ll visit the Missoula farmers market to select peak-season ingredients, then masterfully turn them into a one-of-a-kind dinner. By evening, you’ll sit down to dine on the banks of the legendary Blackfoot River with the local purveyors who helped make your meal possible.

bounty on the blackfoot at the resort at paws upMontana long table events

The Resort at Paws Up Introduces New Cookbook Live Series

Cookbook Live Paws Up

We’re all familiar with a book-signing event. But when it comes to cookbooks (particularly those created by world-renowned chefs), doesn’t it feel like something’s… missing? Here at Paws Up we thought so, and that’s how our Cookbook Live series was born. It’s an incredible opportunity to not only meet the authors, but to go beyond the pages and hear their stories, ask them questions and, of course, taste their incredible recipes.

cookbook live paws up

To kick off this new series, we’re bringing you four events packed with demonstrations and lots of opportunities to taste world-class dishes. For the pizza lovers out there (and who isn’t?), our first event takes place August 4–6, 2017. Chef and James Beard Award- winning author Ken Forkish will be on hand to teach you the secrets to pizza perfection from his book, The Elements of Pizza.

National s'mores day the resort at paws up

To celebrate National S’mores Day, James Beard Award-winning Chef Mindy Segal will be visiting August 10–16. She’ll be making s’mores around the fire and giving you an up-close look at her irresistible cookie creations from her widely hailed book, Cookie Love.

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For Labor Day weekend, James Beard Award-winning Chef Tim Byres is joining James Beard Award-winning chef team Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez-Denton to offer live demonstrations of their respective books, Smoke: New Firewood Cooking and Around the Fire.

100816PawsUpUpperCrust-15On November 3–6, 2017, pie expert Kate McDermott will take you behind the scenes of her James Beard Award-nominated book, Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Crusts, Fillings and Life. She’ll teach you how to make various styles of pies and has even promised to share the secrets behind her famous crust. Here’s your chance to learn how to create incredible, unforgettable cuisine from the masters—ready to roll up your sleeves and join?

cookbook live series the resort 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.

Get Cozy with Red Wine and Hot Chocolate at The Resort at Paws Up

Red Wine and Hot Chocolate

Move over Irish coffee. Have you heard the buzz about the latest trending winter beverage, Red Wine and Hot Chocolate? The bartenders at The Resort at Paws Up have, and they’re already serving it up this season. Red Wine and Hot Chocolate is easy to make. All you need is milk, red wine, your favorite dark chocolate and cinnamon. Our staff tops the beverage off with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

rombauer-merlot-and-paws-up

This warming drink is simply hot chocolate spiked with red wine. It is similar to mulled wine but rich and chocolaty! Use three parts hot chocolate to one part red wine. We used Rombauer Merlot. The Rombauer family members are big fans of this varietal’s rich, silky textures and supple tannins, as well as its versatility with food. It is medium-bodied and ripe and plush, with flavors of plums, cherries and figs. It makes a perfect pairing with melted dark chocolate.

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After a day of cross-country skiing, horseback riding, skijoring or snow tubing at Paws Up, take a sip of Red Wine and Hot Chocolate, and you’ll be feeling warm and cozy in no time. We love drinking it fireside. So if you’re visiting us this season, come by Tank and try one (or two). Otherwise, make one at home, and let us know how you liked it.

From Farm to Table, the Old-Fashioned Way

Hutterites Paws Up

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.

chef-ben-jones-paws-up

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.

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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.

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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.

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!

glamping paws up

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