Hobos Restaurant wins Polar Plunge Judges Choice Chili

Hobos Restaurant and Bar in Rehoboth Beach won the Polar Plunge Annual Chili Cook Off for Best Vegetarian Chili and Judges Choice Chili. Above is Executive Chef Gretchen Hanson. SOURCE SUBMITTED
February 10, 2014

Hobos Restaurant and Bar in Rehoboth Beach has again won the Polar Plunge Annual Chili Cook Off for Best Vegetarian Chili and Judges Choice Chili. Executive Chef Gretchen Hanson utilized her signature style which allows patrons to prepare their toppings themselves to suit their own heat level.

Strikingly different this year was the addition of Beyond Meat Chicken to a White Bean Chili with Pasilla chiles and tomatillos. Beyond Meat Chicken is a vegan protein made entirely of pea protein and non-GMO soy. The chili was entirely vegan and gluten free. More than 400 chili tasters sampled the vegan chili Feb.1. The chili is a seasonal specialty and has won a chili cook off award every year it has been entered. (Hanson did not compete in 2013 due to a scheduling conflict.)

Hobos Restaurant and Bar is a global eco fusion bistro that caters to patrons with food allergies and food choices. For more information visit

Award-Winning Vegan Chili

4 C cannellini beans or Great Northern beans

3 C sweet yellow onions diced in one-inch dice

2 heads celery, sliced

15 tomatillos, husks peeled and washed

8 parsnips, peeled and diced in one-inch pieces

10 whole Pasilla chilis (or Poblano or Anaheim)

1 cup peeled garlic cloves

2-4 T green chile powder (to taste)

Vegetable stock

2 T cumin (add more if needed - fresh toasted and ground preferable)

1 T ground coriander (fresh toasted and ground preferable)

3 T fresh oregano leave

1 T fresh thyme leaves

1 T lime salt (more as needed) or sea salt flakes

1/4 cup liquid smoke (optional)

2 C Beyond Chicken unflavored

Organic safflower or organic canola oil, as much as needed

Cover beans and soak overnight. Drain. Rinse and cover with vegetable stock, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for one hour. Place Pasilla chilis on a gas flame and char the outside till completely blackened. Put in a paper bag, closing top to steam. Toast cumin and coriander seeds and grind. Roast all vegetables in a very high heat oven (450) by tossing with a little bit of organic oil until coated. Move frequently till browned all over and add to the bean mix. Peel, seed and chop Pasillas and add with seasonings to mix. Dice Beyond Chicken into half-inch pieces and sautee on stovetop in oil until browned, adding liquid smoke if desired. Add to bean mixture. Cook for a minimum of six hours.

Serve with toppings of avocado, cilantro, onion and tortilla chips.