Like a roaring campfire, a bubbling pot of chili brews up powerful memories that stir the senses just in time for fall.
“My dad had a restaurant when I was younger where he made an amazing chili,” recalls Aramark Chef Bill Reardon of Fairfield University. “He still makes that chili to this day that everyone raves about. It’s a craft, kind of like a Sunday gravy is to others.”
Using that inspiration, Reardon created his own twist, a mezcal-braised short rib chili.
With a signature chili in place, the time is right to see how your chili plays with other menu items. We found chili on tater tots, in a bread bowls, in bags of Fritos, on top of jalapeno waffles, and a quite a few other inventive spots on the menu. We also came across some incredible white chicken chilis and a few meatless chilis, using both plant-based “meats” and good old beans or sweet potatoes. Check out these spicy numbers for inspiration.