All in Foodservice

The Passion of Chili

This is not a story about a passion for Chili, it’s about the passion of the chili. A fervor that encompasses more than a desire for just a hearty bowl of meat stewed in spices. And it doesn’t matter whether there are beans involved or if there’s a specific condiment to dress the potion. Because in the world of chili created by Brian Walusis and his partner Mason Downey in the small river town of Miamisburg, Ohio chili is elevated and celebrated as a locally inspired craft no less involved or honored than any other culinary artisan craft.

There are several meccas of chili in the United States. The few that come easily to mind are Albuquerque, New Mexico for its green chile and pork version. Then there’s the red chile and beef potion sold on the plazas of San Antonio for nearly 200 years by the Chili Queens. Why there’s still a reverent following of the hand chopped beef and pork version simmered with spices, tomatoes and beans once found only at the Hollywood restaurant of Dave Chasen. These are all examples of how great food can and will pop up in the most unimaginable places. So, to find a restaurant in the small hamlet of Miamisburg, Ohio dedicating itself to chili is not a stretch at all.

Spiros Zakas, designer

Spiros was a very large influence in restaurant designs starting in the mid 70’s not only in Chicago with the work he did lettuce entertain you and others, but around the country as well. He had a sense of place and purpose in his restaurant designs that not only created a great experience for the guest, but also provided a practical approach to operations as well. Elements that all too often in a lot of restaurants I’ve seen and worked with don’t co-exist as well as they should. Too many designers today are more focused on form than function which may create a beautiful environment for the guest but presents inherent operating difficulties that get in the way of good service.

A Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name

The prospect of being your own boss and owning your own business is a dream many people from all sort of backgrounds have. It’s one that can frighten you and those close to you, or it can empower you to succeed and those around you to pitch in where they can to first show their love and second to do what they can to help that dream become a reality. When the latter exists, nothing is impossible, or so it seems.