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

10 Reasons to Visit The Resort at Paws Up in August

sunset at the resort at paws up

If you’re looking to make last-minute vacation plans before the chaos of back-to-school and fall schedules ramps up, then check out these August activities at The Resort at Paws Up. We have an extensive list of Wilderness Workshops and special events to keep guests the fun kind of busy almost every day of the month. Brush up on your photography skills in our 37,000-acre Montana paradise, participate in a thunderous drum circle, make mouthwatering creations with pizza expert Ken Forkish, create unique s’mores concoctions and up your horsemanship game. Foodies can devour dishes made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients by Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson, relax at the longest dinner table they’ve ever seen and enjoy many more palate-pleasing options. Here are 10 reasons to visit Paws Up this August—good luck deciding which one is best for you!

sunset photography workshops at the resort at Paws up

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sunset Photography with Stuart Thurlkill

Join Stuart Thurlkill for a brief tutorial on how best to capture subjects and landscapes in the setting sunlight, and then venture out into the field together to actually take photos during the golden hour. Bring your camera, or feel free to use the one on your phone. (Lesson is complimentary.)

Cookbook Live pizza with Ken Forkish

August 4-6, 2017

Cookbook Live® Presents The Elements of Pizza Featuring Chef and Author Ken Forkish

Spend a weekend getting your hands doughy with pizza expert Ken Forkish. This flaky and fun-filled baking weekend brings to life Forkish’s The Elements of Pizza. By day, you’ll create works of edible art from fresh local ingredients. And by night, you’ll dine on the masterfully executed cuisine of Paws Up’s Executive Chef Ben Jones. It’s the perfect treat for anyone who’s passionate about just-out-of-the-oven pizza.

getting primitive wilderness workshop

August 3-9, 2017 Gettin’ Primitive: Put the Whole Family in a Timeout

Learn about the old ways from an honest-to-goodness mountain man—Paws Up’s resident outdoorsman Gary Steele. For four days at his self-built camp, you and your kids will get hands-on instruction in primitive skills like edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship.

Cookbook Live with Mindy Segal

August 10-16, 2017  

Cookbook Live® Presents Cookie Love Featuring Chef and Author Mindy Segal

Thursday, August 10, is National S’mores Day and, as the pioneers of glamping, we’re giving this holiday the celebration it richly deserves. In fact, we’re pulling out all the chocolate, graham crackers, marshmallows and more—for an entire week.

To help us honor the ooey-gooey deliciousness of this famous campfire treat, we’ve invited James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Mindy Segal. She’ll be roasting marshmallows right along with you. She’ll prepare and serve her own unique s’mores creations. And she’ll serve as the guest judge for our resort-wide S’mores-Off Competition. What a sweet job!

As part of our new Cookbook Live series, Segal will “stick” around in our kitchens and at a different camp each night. You’ll get an up-close, behind-the-scenes look at favorite recipes in her widely hailed book, Cookie Love. And you can count on getting a few samples to munch on.

photography workshops at the resort at paws up

August 11-14, 2017

Starry Night Photography with Barbara Van Cleve

Get to know acclaimed ranch-life photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbara Van Cleve while taking part in a unique and captivating photography workshop. Known for her spectacular nighttime imagery, Van Cleve will instruct workshop participants on how to capture vivid, dreamy photographs under a starry, moonlit sky. With more than 50 solo photography exhibits to her name and a lifetime of experience in the West and on ranches, she’ll show you new ways of visualizing, conceptualizing and capturing the images you want to share with the world. You might also run into her on a trail ride or around a campfire.

BarbaraSchulte

August 11-14, 2017

Champion Horsemanship with Barbara Schultz

Take your horsemanship skills up a notch with instruction from the real deal, National Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Barbra Schulte. With an emphasis on mental toughness, she’s helped elite riders all over the country reach their full potential. Here, with her guidance, you’ll focus on control as you wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails, and you’ll practice your aim on horseback with water-gun mounted shooting. Class sizes are small, and you’ll have ample opportunity to get to know this horse-riding legend. It’s a fun and exciting way to learn just what it takes to be an authentic champion cowboy or cowgirl.

Drum Circle Madness at The Resort at paws Up

August 15-21, 2017

Drum Circle Madness with Scott Besaw

If a drum circle happens in our forest, you should make sure you’re around to hear it. We’re pleased to welcome Scott Besaw back to Paws Up for his annual event that turns even the most rhythmically challenged into stellar little drummer boys (or girls, or adults). Besaw hails from Chicago’s world-famous Old Town School of Folk Music and brings with him an infectious passion for all things music. It’s a hands-on (literally, no sticks required) course that teaches basic music principles as well as team building.

photography workshops at the resort at Paws UpAugust 18, 2017

Nature Walk Photography with Stuart Thurlkill

After a quick tutorial of camera (or smartphone) fundamentals, you’ll be transported to a scenic drop-off point, where you’ll hike with Join Stuart Thurlkill to enjoy and document Montana’s unique flora and fauna firsthand. (Lesson is $75 per person.)

Brooke Wiliamson at Montana The Resort at Paws Up

August 19, 2017

Montana Long Table:® Bounty on the Blackfoot A Montana Long Table Event featuring Chef Brooke Williamson

Many chefs try but few can deliver a true farm-to-table dining experience. During Bounty on the Blackfoot, you’ll learn just what it takes. We’ve invited 2017 Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson to demonstrate her signature talent—taking locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and turning them into mouthwatering masterpieces. Along with Chef Ben Jones, she’ll stock up at the Missoula farmers market in the morning to grab the freshest of the fresh and then return to create an unforgettable, one-night-only dinner tasting menu before your very eyes.

smoke and around the fire

September 1-5, 2017 

Cookbook Live® Presents Smoke and Around the Fire

Featuring chefs and authors Tim Byres, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez-Denton

Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering celebration of live fire cooking. Texan barbecuing expert and world-famous smokeologist Tim Byres joins with 2017 James Beard Award winners (Best Chef: Northwest) Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez-Denton to help Paws Up present a Labor Day grilling extravaganza. These three kindred-spirit chefs will demonstrate their techniques and offer firsthand lessons on imbuing all kinds of food with irresistible flame-influenced flavors. Come and watch as these renowned chefs bring to life their latest books.

Greg Denton And Gabrielle

Tim Byres at The Resort at Paws Up