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Four Stars: Mighty Chili – US Food Trends

19 February 2009
Four Stars: Mighty Chili – US Food Trends

Chili aficionados debate the merits of different styles, ingredients and presentations, but when it comes to ‘Big Red,' there are a lot of winning ways to tell the story.

This article first appeared in the 1 February 2009 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).

R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.

By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor

X-Treme Spice Vegetable Chili (pictured above)
Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation, multiple locations.
This health-focused recipe from the San Diego-based buffet chain stars zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and tomatoes powered up with black and kidney beans and brown rice. Spicy chiles add extra kick, as does a proprietary energy formula with vitamins B1, B3 and B6.

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chicken Chili
White Bean Chicken Chili

Zolo Southwestern Grill, Boulder, Colo.
Chili isn't always red. In Executive Chef Brett Smith's version, chicken is sautéed with onions, poblanos, garlic and white beans. The mix is then simmered in chicken stock with toasted cumin, oregano and chipotle chile powder. A toasted-tortilla garnish is ideal for scooping the cheese-flecked stew.

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati.
The Ohio city's trademark chili usually is ladled over pasta, but Executive Chef Scott Pobuda's beef-based, beanless recipe stands alone at this Delaware North Cos. account. Semisweet chocolate adds depth that counters the tang of tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce and red-wine vinegar.

Wild Game Chili

Wild Game Chili
Wild Game Chili

Birch River Grill, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Grilled bison strip loin, sliced andouille sausage, peppered bacon, and ground boar and bison mingle with chunky tomatoes in this meaty rendition from Executive Chef John Ayaleanos. Heirloom rattlesnake beans and appaloosa beans replace typical red kidney and black beans to complete the retooling

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