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:

10 Winter Favorites at The Resort at Paws Up

We are counting down to the holidays and wintertime at The Resort at Paws Up. Read below for our top pics of winter favorites on our 37,000-acre Montana luxury ranch.

10 A WINTER COCKTAIL ENJOYED IN TANK. Special wintery drinks include the Basil Martini with black lava salt and vodka; the Swan Lake with coffee liqueur, vodka and a candy cane rim and the white-rum Whitefish Cocoa with orange, cinnamon and clove.

9 TWO WORDS: HUCKLEBERRY PANCAKES. Our executive chef often turns to locally sourced, fresh ingredients, and there’s not a more tantalizing example than this breakfast favorite, served with real Montana huckleberry syrup.

8 COW CROQUET. It doesn’t get more Montana than Cow Croquet, a brand-new Paws Up activity. You and three teammates mount horses in our indoor arena and guide cows through one of five gates—just as if you were knocking croquet balls through hoops in the back yard.

7 WINTER TRIATHLON. The Paws Up triathlon combines the precision of target shooting and archery with the thrill of cross-country skiing through our glorious winter wonderland. We’ll set you up with everything you need—skis, boots, poles and your own .22-caliber rifle.

6 SLEIGH RIDES. Join our wranglers and their majestic draft horses as they ring in the winter with an enchanting horse-drawn sleigh ride through frosted forests and over powdery hills. Even Kris Kringle would be jealous.

5 DOGSLEDDING. Go ahead, yell “mush!” and off you’ll go into the wild white yonder. Imagine being pulled by Iditarod champion Alaskan huskies through the wilds of Montana—all at the foot of the majestic Garnet Mountains.

4 SNOWMOBILE TRIPS TO GARNET GHOST TOWN. A hundred years ago, Garnet was a thriving town, filled with gold miners. In the winter, Garnet is only accessible by snowmobile, so the only tracks you’re likely to see (other than your own) belong to the resident wildlife.

3 MINDY’S HOTCHOCOLATE. James Beard Award winner Chef Mindy Segal of Chicago’s HotChocolate restaurant will be Paws Up’s resident rock star pastry chef December 26–30. Segal will lead cooking-making classes and serve up her famous velvety hot chocolate.

2. CONOR’S S’MORES. Conor Dannis is Paws Up’s official s’moreologist. His process is a thrill to witness, and Dannis mixes it up by using gourmet ingredients, such as bourbon-flavored marshmallows, dark chocolate and sea salt caramel squares.

1. NEW YEAR’S EVE. Ring in the new year with a dazzling night that begins with an elegant, five-course dinner and ends with live music by American Idol’s Crystal Bowersox, a dance performance by Missoula’s MASC Artisans, “presenting acrobatic air and fire” and (boom) . . . fireworks!

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.

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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.

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

The Best Seat at The Resort at Paws Up

cattle drive at The Resort at Paws Up

Throughout the history of what’s known today as Paws Up Ranch, horses have played as big of a role as humans. Captain Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis & Clark expedition, arrived via horseback in July 1806. Countless miners and loggers and everyone from Paul Greenough to the Lindberghs (yes, those Lindberghs) relied on horses for transportation and all manner of ranch chores in Montana. It’s been no different with the Lipsons. Since opening The Resort at Paws Up, they’ve redefined the experience of horseback riding with one-of-a-kind equestrian adventures.

horses at The Resort at Paws Up

Whether you’re an expert rider or you’ve never been in the saddle before, The Resort’s wrangler will pair you up with a Paws Up four- legged friend that will be your perfect match for exploring more than 100 miles of wilderness trails. You’ll pass towering ponderosa pines, whose size and beauty are surpassed only by the views of the distant mountain ranges of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. You’ll ride over, through and around the remains of a famous Montana mining community.

Horses The Resort at Paws UpYou’ll also enjoy the history, the views and the conversations that are provoked by these inspiring Rocky Mountain trail rides. And this year, there are several additions to our equestrian program. A new evening ride will take you past our quaint line shack (where you’ll enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer) to the top of Scout’s Point to take in a signature Montana sunset. Or if you prefer, you can enjoy a lunch ride to a gorgeous spot in the shade where you’ll indulge in a Paws Up style picnic. Kids can participate in lessons at the Saddle Club arena, complete with games, obstacle courses and more, and adult beginners can join instructional group trail rides. For advanced riders, the all-new, three-hour trail ride allows equine enthusiasts to cover terrain that no Paws Up guests have ever traversed. Explore the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, or travel back in time as you ride along a spur line of the old mining railways. For an authentic taste of Western ranch life, participate in a cattle drive where novice and advanced riders alike will saddle up with seasoned ranch hands and drive a herd of cattle across the majestic rolling pastures of Paws Up.

Wranglers at The Resort at Paws Up

Here’s a look at some of our awesome Paws Up Wranglers. Come visit us soon!

3 Super Cool Things to do This Summer in Montana

At The Resort at Paws Up, you can experience so much more than a typical Montana dude-ranch vacation. Besides glamping in luxury, safari-style tents, you can partake in a multitude of outdoor adventures, once in a lifetime experiences and unique activities, which are more than plentiful at The Resort. Check out these three super cool activities ideal for a summer Montana vacation—there are exciting discoveries at every single turn.

1. Garnet Ghost Town

Have you ever visited a real ghost town? Garnet is an historic, 120-year-old mining ghost town located in west central Montana; it sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet at the head of First Chance Creek. The Resort at Paws Up offers two different ways to visit Garnet from the ranch:

Five-Hour Garnet Ghost Town Tour and ATV:

A ghost town via ATV? Yes! For those looking for a gorgeous, scenic route and adventure, this five-hour trip is a rush. You will leave the property and head to Elevation Peak for lunch. Then, take a tour of the ghost town with your guide before continuing this exciting journey.

Downhill Mountain Bike and Garnet Ghost Town Tour:

Looking for a challenge by bike? Approximately four hours, this tour takes guests, by van, to Garnet Ghost Town, where you will have the opportunity to explore this historic site before hopping on mountain bikes to make a 12-mile downhill trek. Get your workout in and explore an historic ghost town all at once.

2. Chuck Wagon Dinner

Looking for the most fun and unique dining experience in Montana? Step aboard Paws Up’s version of an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon for an evening ride to the Blackfoot River. Sit back, relax and take in Montana’s fresh air and beautiful Big Sky—there’s lots of both!—the backdrop of The Resort at Paws Up.

The Chuck Wagon Dinner begins at the banks of the Blackfoot River, where you will enjoy an authentic dinner prepared before your eyes. From all-natural chicken, Angus prime rib, fresh corn and asparagus grilled over a campfire to summer classic dishes such as baked beans and fresh fruit cobbler cooked over the coals in a Dutch oven, we promise you won’t walk away hungry.

Further enjoy this cowboy-style experience by pitching horseshoes with the kids, listening to a local banjo player or contemplating a few words from a cowboy poet. This is one family dining experience that you will remember for years to come.

3. 3D Archery

At Paws Up, 3D Archery will change your archery experience forever. We call it 3D archery because the targets are actually three-dimensional. There are buffalo, deer, mountain goats and even bears that all are very lifelike. It’s so enjoyable you’ll want to do it more than once. Guests learn the most important techniques of archery shooting, as well as gain an introduction to the sport of big game archery hunting through a walkabout course in the woods with realistic foam animal targets. Learn the fundamentals and see improvement in your skill level on the target range. The best part comes next: Progress to the 10-station, one-mile walk-through course, which features a variety of shots with different scenarios and difficulties. (Guests are provided with compound bows and a quiver full of arrows.)

National Trail Day: The Best Trails at Paws Up

“Going to the woods is going home.”—John Muir

June 4, 2016, is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, the country’s largest celebration of trails. The Resort at Paws Up offers more than 30 miles of marked trails for hiking on your own or with a naturalist guide. Choose from a variety of excursions through our 37,000 acres that will allow you to seek quiet, peace, solitude and inspiration. Our guides can offer information about native plants, wildlife and the history of the Blackfoot Valley.

“The top two favorite trails on our property would be the Sunset Trail and Jones Pond Trail through Lubrecht Experimental Forest,” says Justyne Palermo, Resort Reservations Manager at The Resort at Paws Up. “The Sunset Trail follows the Blackfoot River, and then you hike up to Lookout Rock, which provides grand views of the Blackfoot River and Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. The Jones Pond Trail is the perfect hike for wildlife viewing with many visible tracks of elk, deer and bears near the pond. The hike through Lubrecht Experimental Forest is also interesting as it’s a track of land owned by the university, which provides a location for forestry research, resource management and ecosystem science,” says Palermo.

All trails are accessible to all ranch guests and free-of-charge to visit, so don’t miss a chance to explore our rolling hills and expansive meadows.

Six Paws Up Trails Not to Miss

For a quick, easy hike, choose Sacagawea Trail, an easy one-mile hike that is nearest to the Paws Up Village. Another option is the Grizzlyman Fitness Trail—a one-mile course near Spa Town that includes 12 fitness stations. Each station features equipment made from surrounding timber as well as unique challenges, including climbing, balancing, swinging and more. It’s a great way to relish in nature and burn calories at the same time.

Ponderosa Trail is The Resort’s 2.5-mile hike with a slight elevation through Lowland Forest (considered a moderate hike).

Anaconda Trail is four miles long with elevation changes, forest areas and a historic mining area.

Sunset Trail is filled with beauty for three miles as it follows Elk Creek and spans from the Camp to Village.

Jones Pond Trail is 2.5 miles uphill into Lubrecht, and it is considered a moderate to difficult path, more suitable for the avid hiker.