AMA: Boston, Chili, and the James Beard Nominees
It's Ask Me Anything, but Make it Extra
Welcome back to Ask Me Anything. We’re changing things up this week.
I will always answer your questions every week. But going forward, I’ve decided to also comment on the news of the day. Think of it as Ask Me Anything Plus.
This week I’m sharing my must-try restaurants in Boston. I’ll also answer whether chili is a soup or a stew and whether or not you should put meat in it. Oh, and here’s my award-winning black bean chili recipe, in case you need something for game day this weekend.
Yesterday the James Beard Award Foundation (JBF) semifinalists were announced, and I couldn’t be happier about some of the names on the list. In 2021 the JBF went through a self-audit and Clare Reichenbach is owed a great deal of credit for making some overdue changes. These awards are finally shifting the narrative and I’m thrilled to be witness.
People ask how I do it all. The truth is, I don’t. For a few dollars a month, you can support Spilled Milk and the team that makes it.
I would love to hear your recommendations for dining in Boston. We will be there in May for my daughters graduation and would love a celebratory meal along with some other must eat places. Thanks for all you do!
Any of Jamie Bisonnette and Ken Oringer’s Restaurants
Santarpio’s for Pizza
I am reaching out to request the input of Mr. Zimmern to put what should be a commonsense question to bed. A friend and colleague of mine have been in a sometimes-heated debate over the course of the last few years of what category Chili should be put in. My colleague who is used to being wrong puts Chili into the soup category, while myself and most other logical intellects know and appreciate that Chili is a Chili and cannot be considered a soup. My regularly incorrect colleague believes that because Chili is often found in the soup section of a menu it is by default a soup. I have pointed out that there are many other items such as Gumbos in the soup section, but logic does not apply to my special friend.
Although we cannot agree on the correct category for Chili we both do agree that Mr. Zimmern is a foremost expert and his opinion will be held as the gold standard and we will both accept the outcome.
Remember, when you become a paid subscriber you can send me your AMA questions! Keep ‘em coming! This is my favorite ten minutes of every week.
HELLO ANDREW, AND HAPPY CHILI DAY IN JANUARY 2023. I did not know the category of Chili because where I grew up, everyone had their Own, and besides tweaking your mother"s, other recipes came from friend's Superbowl Chilis, etc.
I like both the Brothy/Clean version, which I think becomes a dip when mixed with rotel and extra peppers - and the Thick/Dirty kind which is usually the Chili
-Dog version - because it Clings better ?
And you tell me which becomes the best MAC. One I would put in Soup category, One in Stew, according to consistency.
I thought Everyone's Chili was in their HEAD! I added mushrooms after tasting one of the BEST BOWLS EVER, at Kennedy"s Second Street, which sadly, is No Longer There. Viva la Fresh Mushrooms Chili!
I'm eating at Fox & Knife tonight again and I'll let you know. From that list, I'd say a foundational Boston dining experience can be had either Oleana or Myers & Chang. You have had great meals around the world, so sure, Giulia is as good and simple as you would find in Italy. Somehow Oleana and Myers & Chang exude a perceivable originality--and both are engrained into the fabric of Boston. For something more refined (but maybe not so original) maybe No. 9 Park. There are two on the list I haven't been to, so take this with a grain of salt.