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

Swing into Spring at Paws Up

spring at The resort at paws up

Here at Paws Up, we have the secret cure for the winter blues: plan a trip around one of our upcoming spring events. Banish the blahs with Valentine’s Day festivities or with the Eat, Drink and Meet Merry Wine Weekend or plan to attend WildFlavor or the Cowgirl Spring Roundup. Relax with gourmet dinners, wine tastings and spa treatments or amp up your adrenaline with snowmobiling or horseback riding on the Montana terrain. You could even learn to wrangle and shoot at our world-class property. (Psst: We’ve also had a few opportunities to rub cowboy boots with super special celeb guests who’ve recently visited The Resort.) From food to fauna and wine to wilderness, spring at Paws Up is going to be spectacular.

Valentines Day Paws Up

Valentine’s Day at The Resort at Paws Up

It might not be balmy outdoors yet, but we guarantee this event will warm you right up. We’re pulling out all the sweet stops this year for a twosome getaway, available February 11—15. Dream up a list of all things romantic, and we can make all your wishes come true, including:

  • A private wilderness chic rustic cabin
  • Crackling fires
  • Intimate dinners
  • Spa treatments for two
  • Private outdoor adventures

paws up winter

There’s always room for more love, so we’ll include a welcome basket with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries; (more) champagne, oysters and caviar during one dinner; a half-day activity credit per person and accommodations with a hot tub and bottle of wine.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t get any better than this, and it’s all here waiting for you at The Resort at Paws Up.

merry edwards winery

Eat Drink and Meet Merry

We hinted at celeb sightings, and the first of famous folks to visit Paws Up in 2017 will be Vintners Hall of Fame inductee Merry Edwards, one of California’s first woman winemakers. As part of our inaugural Wine Weekend event, you will clink glasses with Edwards and her vintner partner, Ken Coopersmith.

Highlights include a wine seminar and outdoor adventuring with the winemakers. The crown jewel will be enjoying mouthwatering dinners with expert vino pairings from the Merry Edwards Winery, known for its exquisite Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs. Wine Weekend corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the Merry Edwards Winery, founded in 1997.

This first-ever Wine Weekend will also feature live entertainment, tastings and plenty of hands-on learning (read: plenty of wine sipping!) so you can impress friends at home with your sommelier-like expertise. Burn off the extra indulgences with adrenaline-pumping adventures such as snow tubing, horseback riding or sporting clays shooting. We hope to see you March 16—18. Cheers!

 wildflavor chefs at paws up

WildFlavor

Saddle up for the ultimate culinary ride with flora, fauna and flavor at our WildFlavor event, April 20—23. The first of its kind at The Resort, WildFlavor will feature cream-of-the-crop culinary talent with four Top Chef stars including Kristen Kish (winner, Season 10), Sam Talbot (finalist, Season 2) Casey Thompson (finalist, Season 3) and Brooke Williamson (runner-up, Season 10). Guests will have a prime spot to watch these chefs “fork it out” during a live cook-off challenge. A trio of expertly crafted meals will be served during the tasty four-day event.

wildflavor at paws

WildFlavor is the perfect blend of food, fun and live entertainment, plus enough outdoor activities to fill up any spaces in between. Special guest singer-songwriter Austin Jenckes (The Voice, Season 5) will be on hand for a soulful Saturday night performance of his folk-rock guitar-based melodies.

Fun spoiler alert: Be sure to tune in to Top Chef before you come for WildFlavor, as Talbot, Thompson and Williamson are all returning to compete in Season 14.

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Cowgirl Spring Roundup

We bill this April 27—30 event as the ultimate immersion Into Cowgirl Culture, and that’s a description we take seriously. You can swap Wild West Stories and ride alongside Cowgirl Hall of Fame honorees, including champion rider Sandy Collier, famed artist  Deborah Fellows and equestrian trailblazer Patricia E. Kelly. For three days you will participate in cowgirl skills workshops and a special ranch photography clinic with award-winning photographer Barbara Van Cleve. The Roundup will feature trail rides on horseback, hiking on breathtaking paths across The Resort and relaxing in front of a campfire by every night. You’ll also wrangle and herd cattle across the vast Montana landscape and test your aim at our sporting clays course.

cowgirl spring roundup at paws up

Grab the girls and book a getaway for the Cowgirl Spring Roundup. Just like every other top-notch event at The Resort, you’ll enjoy your fill of gourmet food, perfect wine and cocktail pairings, luxe accommodations and spa treatments. It’s the perfect way to finish out a spring break getaway.

sunset 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.