Photo: Courtesy of Nina Kokotas Hahn
Chicago connections have always run deep at The Resort at Paws Up, a sprawling luxury ranch in the wilds of western Montana: Owner Dave Lipson was born and raised in Forest Glen, and his son, Larry, grew up in Kenilworth. (Throughout his childhood, Dave divided his time between Chicago and the Rockies; his family owned a ranch in Edwards, Colorado, before buying the property in Greenough, Montana, in 1997 that would become Paws Up in 2005.)
This summer, Dale Levitski, the Top Chef runner-up and executive chef at Sprout and Frog n Snail, is serving as the ranch’s guest chef for the season. Levitski got to know Paws Up during Montana Master Chefs, the resort’s annual food and wine event, in which he has participated as a featured chef for the past three years. He says he jumped at the chance to return for an entire season, not just to cook with produce from the town’s farmer’s market but also to enjoy himself in the pristine setting. “I like to call it a sabbatical,” says Levitski, who arrived in earlier this month for his stint. “My shoulders are down and I’m not stressed out. Being here is literally like taking a weird earthly Xanax. It totally calms you.”
(You can also catch Chicago musicians Scott Besaw, of the Old Town School of Folk Music, and Scott Schaefer, a local indie rocker, from July 8 to 20, when they’ll be on hand to lead family drum circles and sing-a-long activities.)
Levitski will return to Chicago and his restaurants here in October.
If you go, read up on what to do and where to stay at Paws Up in Chicago’s June 2013 travel feature “Five Summer Trips for Adventure Seekers.”
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