Bio | Interview
Mindy Segal is a chef, author, and owner of Chicago's Hot Chocolate restaurant. From a very young age she loved everything food and eventually turned her passion into her career. She has worked for some of Chicago's finest restaurants including: Ambria, Charlie Trotter's, Marché and MK. Shortly thereafter, after 25+ years of devotion to her craft Mindy opened her own restaurant in Chicago, HotChocolate. Since opening in 2005, HotChocolate has stood its ground too become one of Chicago’s most popular destinations.
In 2012, after several nominations, Mindy was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country. In 2015, she published her best-selling cookbook "Cookie Love" where she shares some of her secret recipes. Her hope is to inspire others to relax and enjoy the sweeter things in life. With appearances on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network as well as print features in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times Mindy has grown a large fan following. Mindy has also recently collaborated with Cresco Labs, a leading medical cannabis cultivator in Illinois, to launch her own line of homemade edibles. This partnership has provided Mindy a unique style to change the cannabis infused sweets industry while giving back to those who suffer from chronic diseases.
In her career Mindy is most grateful for the opportunities she has to nurture and mentor those who want to become successful chefs themselves. Mindy is a firm believer in finding what you are passionate about and making it your lifestyle. She truly believes to work on your craft every day is a gift and reminds everyone to keep it simple.
Q. What do you love most about your job?
A. Working on my craft everyday
Q. What is your favorite Chefwear item and why?
A. Chef ankle leggings for women because I wear pants like that in the real world!
Q. If you could choose any chef (dead or alive) to spend the day with, who would it be? Why?
A. Julia Child because I think she would make me laugh and vice versa and we would have a fun time exchanging ideas!
Q. What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A. Changes from day to day. Right now I'm obsessed with vintage rolling pins.
Q. What do you do to stay educated about new trends in the restaurant industry?
A. Nothing! I do me all the time and that’s good enough for me!
Q. What is your favorite meal?
A. Ribs & BBQ Chicken with coleslaw & an ice cold beer.
Q. Please list awards and accolades.
A. James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012
Q. Which accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
A. That I've nurtured and mentored multiple people and they have gone on to become successful chefs themselves.
Q. What was the best advice you ever received in your career?
A. "Keep it simple"