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

National S’mores Day at Paws Up

S'mores at Paws Up

Sure, other important things are happening in August, but National S’mores Day is an event we take seriously at The Resort at Paws Up. This year, we’re hosting our first-ever full Resort competition dedicated to the simple, rustic treat we love. The Paws Up S’mores Challenge: We’re taking gooiness to the next level!

Classic ingredients will be provided to all of our guests on property, but unique “secret” ingredients will only be available as part of a special geo-cache adventure earlier in the day.

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Guests won’t have to travel far to compete in the preliminary rounds. Vacation home guests will line up on The Yard at the Cook Shack. Campers will convene at their individual campsites. And the top competitors will be selected to for the Championship round. Fans will be watching as four esteemed s’mores experts rank thier tasty, toasted treat on a scale from 1 to 10. The crowd will go be waiting patiently for samples.

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The grand-prize winner of the Paws Up S’mores Challenge will receive a one-hour photography session from our official on-site photographer. And, naturally, we’ll add their portrait to the Paws Up Hall of Fame.

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Here’s our lineup for Wednesday, August 10, 2016

9:00AM–12:00PM Ingredients-finding Geo-Cache adventure begins from the Wilderness Outpost

4:30PM–8:30PM Campsite competition at individual campsites around The Resort

6:30PM–8:30PM Vacation homes competition on The Yard at the Cook Shack

9:00PM Championship round at The Cook Shack fire pits

9:30PM Awards ceremony at the Cook Shack Stage

Afterwards, guests will enjoy a special musical performance by local favorites . How fun does sound?

smores paws up

Happy National S’mores Day!

On behalf of everyone here at Paws Up, we’d like to wish you a very happy National S’mores Day.  Here’s our special take on this delicious outdoor treat: the S’mores Doughnut.