Get the Inside Scoop on Chicago Dessert Icon Mindy Segal


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!!


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.

Join The Resort at Paws Up to Help Montana Pets in Need

canine classic at The Resort at Paws Up

The Resort at Paws Up is opening up its ranch for the eighth time to benefit homeless animals and help the Humane Society of Western Montana maintain its 98% adoption rate. The annual Canine Classic at The Resort at Paws Up, a trail run/hike/walk for you and your dog, will take place on Sunday, September 25, 2016. Participants will zip through a course on the trail system of the beautiful private grounds of The Resort in Greenough, Montana. Hikers and runners can choose from a 2-, 5- or 13-mile hike or run.


All proceeds raised from the Canine Classic will go straight to the shelter to help with the care of animals. This year’s fundraising goal is $50,000. The funds will help with operational costs, including dog and cat food, vaccinations and daily care for each pet until adoption. Since its inception, the Canine Classic has raised more than $200,000 for the society.


Participants who choose to fundraise will earn one raffle ticket for each $270 they raise ($270 covers intake costs for one animal at the Humane Society). The winner of the race raffle will win a one-night stay for two at Paws Up, including dinner at The Resort’s award-winning restaurant, Pomp®. This year, the person who raises the most pledges for the shelter will win a two-night glamping getaway at Paws Up.

glamping paws up

“The Canine Classic is truly the quintessential event for pets and their people in Western Montana,” said Emily Adamson, Director of Organizational Advancement for the Humane Society. “From the breathtaking scenery at Paws Up, to the pet-friendly environment and great Montana hospitality, participants get to experience the best of Montana with woman’s best friend.”

the resort at Paws Up

To register and/or sign up to collect pledges, visit or call 406-549-3934 (ext. 206). You’ll enjoy a hike or run followed by a complimentary gourmet BBQ lunch and beverages. Participants can also register an hour before the event at the race site. Several shelter dogs will be available to accompany you on your run or walk if you don’t have a dog. Those interested in running or walking with a shelter dog should call the Humane Society prior to the event.

The Resort at Paws Up in Montana

Wine & Bitch Dinner

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, Paws Up will host its annual Wine & Bitch Dinner for Canine Classic participants and their pets. Hosted by The Resort’s Nadine Lipson and her trusty sidekick, Fenway, this unique event offers you and your pooch the chance to bond, relax and enjoy the finer things in life—together. Guests will be able to stroll through a pet expo featuring dog massage therapists, a photo booth and agility demonstrations. Later, a gourmet feast created by Paws Up Executive Chef Ben Jones will be served, complete with fine wine pairings, decadent desserts and scrumptious treats to slide under the table. After the dinner and after the Canine Classic, guests can enjoy music and art by Walter Salas-Humara of the legendary New York band the Silos.

For more information, visit

Wine and Bitch Dinner 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!

Learn How to be a Skywalker at Paws Up

Aerial Adventure Park Spring at Paws Up

Skydiving? Yawn. Base jumping? Psychotic. Bungee jumping? Old school. Aerial adventure needed a refresh and Paws Up has delivered. Introducing our newest activity: The Sky Line Aerial Adventure Course. It’s not a ropes course. It’s not a zipline. It’s not a cheesy climbing wall. It’s a spine-tingling 10-platform tour with 22-foot drops and a heart-pounding 40- foot free fall.

Sound like something you’d enjoy? We know so. As is par for the course at our 37,000 acre ranch, we integrated the natural elements available (in this case, towering pines and a very Big Sky) to construct this unique mental and physical challenge. Expert instruction from our qualified guides coupled with state-of- the-art safety mechanisms will ensure a good time for kids ages 8 and up and adults alike. Afraid of heights? We have a course for you. Consider yourself a thrill seeker? We definitely have a course for you. There’s even a course for tweeners! The entire experience lasts two hours and includes a team-building game, orientation, ground school and a full time around the course. The best part? As our guest, we’ll let you try it for the first time free. Find out more about this amazingly fun experience here.

aerial adventure course Paws Up

Where You Can Learn to Paint with Water and Wine

We love summer workshops, and last month our brand new Wilderness Workshop, Brushes with Greatness, offered participants a chance to paint alongside a true American master in a breathtaking Montana landscape. Artist George Van Hook is renowned for his impressionistic paintings. His five-day “plein air” watercolor workshop was hosted in a variety of inspiring outdoor settings throughout The Resort. Van Hook has exhibited his award-winning works on three continents and has been teaching art and presenting workshops for more than 30 years. Beginning painting at an early age, Van Hook also spent his formative years traveling overseas to study art and copy other artists’ master works at Europe’s legendary museums, including the Louvre.

Mark your calendars for Bottle & Bottega with Stephanie King-Myers and Nick Myers from June 21—26, 2016. One day in March 2009, Bottle & Bottega founder Stephanie King-Myers and her artist husband, Nick Myers successfully convinced a friend with no artistic skills that she could in fact paint, with the right inspiration. So with a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other, the friend successfully created her first masterpiece, and the Bottle & Bottega concept was born! In their workshops, King-Myers and Myers offer a variety of art and media experiences, including canvas painting, mosaics, glass painting, live models and more. Now with three young children of their own, they love introducing families to painting so that together they can create lasting memories! Whether you’re the family Rembrandt or struggle drawing stick figures, Bottle & Bottega will bring out your inner artist. No matter what your skill level is, you’ll produce a painting to be proud of. Also, there’s plenty of wine to help get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy painting at inspiring locations on the ranch, some sunset sessions and some alfresco evening sessions at individual luxury camps. There will also be some vino-free sessions at the Kids Corps of Discovery, so family members of all ages will have a chance to express themselves.

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.)