Thus far on this list, we haven’t come across any chefs who also specialize in cannabis-infused treats, but that streak ends here with Mindy Segal. With appearances on “The Today Show,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” and on Food Network, as well as with write-ups in Food & Wine magazine, Bon Appetit magazine, and The New York Times, Mandy is without question one of the most famous chefs in the country, so her inclusion on this list should be no surprise.
Mindy is the owner and operator of HotChocolate Restaurant in Chicago, one of the Windy City’s most highly-regarded establishments. Prior to opening her own location, Mindy worked as a pastry chef in Chicago mainstays Ambria, Charlie Trotter’s, Marché and MK. In 2005, Mindy opened HotChocolate to rave reviews, and in the years since, she has been nominated 6 times for the James Beard Foundation award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” (including a win in 2012). Mindy is also an author- her cookbook “Cookie Love” was released in 2015 and went on to become a bestseller.
This year, Mindy partnered with Illinois’ largest cannabis cultivator to add her signature spin to cannabis edibles, and her new product line Mindy’s Edibles has been extremely well-received.
Specialties & Resources
Though Mindy is most widely known as a pastry chef, the menu at HotChocolate demonstrates a mastery not just of baking, but of cooking as well. Mindy’s dishes are both simple and timeless, but with a little flair that could only come from someone used to experimenting in the kitchen.
Menu offerings include sourdough focaccia with whole milk ricotta, spring onions & honey; traditional mac & cheese; cucumber & pear salad with pistachio, mint, sunflower sprouts, market greens and red wine vinaigrette; burrata with red kuri squash, pepitas, pickled raisins and saba; grilled half chicken with frascarelli, brown butter, charred Brussels sprouts and tarragon au jus; carnaroli rice risotto with foraged mushrooms, black truffle & mascarpone; and pork chop with smoked apple, heirloom sweet potatoes, serrano pepper and scallions.
On the sweeter side, Mindy’s offerings include milk chocolate-coffee mousse with bruleed figs, dark chocolate ice cream and hazelnut crispy; dark chocolate brownie with whipped opalys, rose noir raspberries, hibiscus syrup, raspberry-rose sorbet and cocoa nib; peach Sunday with Ceylon cinnamon ice cream, warm peach compote, butterscotch & oat crisp’; and a variety of hot chocolates, all served with house-made marshmallows.