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First Time First Taste - Mindy Segal

Mindy Segal specializes in contemporary American cuisine, placing a modern twist on traditional classics. What makes her one of the best pastry chefs in America is her mastery of temperature, texture and taste. In a word, balance. Chef Segal refined her craft as pastry chef in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the country, with early professional positions stationing her at Spago, Gordon, Charlie Trotter’s, Ambria and MK.

Mindy’s restaurant, HotChocolate, is the culmination of 25+ years of dedication to her craft and the passion she has for the entire culinary experience. The urban café is a marriage of contemporary sweet and savory food, inspired by seasonal, local ingredients. It features an innovative, ever-evolving menu presented with gracious, polished first-class service in a friendly, inviting atmosphere.

Chef Segal has appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and First Look. Her work has been featured in O Magazine, GQ, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure,, Bon Appétit, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.


produced by Dan Epstein and Brian Heath

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Topics: chef, chicago, first time, gerald dowd, hot chocolate, james beard award, liam davis, live lit, pastries, scott stevenson, steve frisbie, storytelling, sturgill simpsons