I Made Elizabeth Taylor’s Favorite Chili! The Legendary “Chasen’s Chili” Is My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge!

Welcome To The Legendary Hollywood Haunt Chasen’s!

Week #44 in my “52 In 22” cooking challenge heads back in time to celebrate an iconic Hollywood restaurant – and one of the town’s most legendary stars!

Yes, Chasen’s was a classic “Hollywood haunt” – and a favorite dining spot for some of entertainment’s biggest stars!

One of the restaurant’s most devoted regulars was Actress Elizabeth Taylor!

That’s Liz with Eddie Fisher in one of the restaurant’s red leather banquettes…while the restaurant is long gone, many legends live on – and the restaurant is now a Bristol Farms grocery store – where they wisely kept a small section of the restaurant preserved with a few of the original booths!

Legend has it that Elizabeth Taylor – while working for a year in Rome making the 1963 film “Cleopatra” – would have the movie studio fly Chasen’s legendary chili to the film set so she could eat it while filming on location!

You can buy food from the store and eat it there – but I say let’s make their classic chili recipe at home to honor the great Liz Taylor!

The Stories of “L.A’s Legendary Restaurants!”

I love this book, which is an affectionate look at some of Hollywood’s most iconic restaurants, including Chasen’s!

Here’s a bit more on why I’m so fascinated by Hollywood restaurants:

While the recipe isn’t in the book, there is a great history of the restaurant inside, and that led me to look up their famous chili recipe online to make at home – let’s go!

Here are the ingredients for “Chasen’s Chili”:

1 can pinto beans

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups chopped red bell pepper

2 cups chopped onion

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1⁄4 pounds ground round 

1⁄2 pound lean ground pork

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Add the chopped parsley and garlic; cook for a minute.

Isn’t that a beautiful rainbow of colors?

Next, add your chopped tomatoes and ground beef along with all remaining ingredients.

Stir it all together and cook 8 minutes or until the meat is browned. Take your time, the smell is heavenly!

Now, add you canned kidney beans…you can make use dry beans as well, but if you don’t want that separate step of cooking them before making the chili, these are delicious and work perfectly.

Bring your chili to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes…you can lift the lid every few minutes, give it a stir, and smell the incredible aroma!

Here’s a look:

While it simmers away, I took some onion, parsley and cheddar cheese and chopped them ll up so they were ready to add at the end:

Now, it’s time to serve!

Chili is not only one of the easiest dishes to plate, but one of the most beautiful as well!

This is a delicious bowl of Chili! Of course there’s the meat-bean-tomato holy trinity, but the bell pepper and spice mix gives it a nice pop in the mouth, and I love to load it up with toppings as well!

I love cooking through Hollywood’s culinary history – I did just that earlier this year when I paid homage to Musso & Frank, Hollywood’s oldest restaurant!

Click here for the recipes for two incredible dishes, and the best Martini in Hollywood as well!

One dish I made was inspired by two Hollywood legends, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford!

This is the original Fettuccine Alfredo, and the story of how it was made is wild!

And if you want to know more about Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks – who got Chef Alfredo to give up his Fettucine recipe, stop by their “Pickfari” estate, which is right down the hill from my house!

Click here for that story:

One place worth hiking to in Beverly Hills was the legendary Romanoff’s restaurant – home to all of the stars in the universe!

Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable were just a few of the stars who made Romanoff’s a second home – see the story of this incredible restaurant and their real menu as well!

If you are still reading, you probably know that I am cooking 52 recipes from one of my 52 cookbooks in 2022: called the “52 In 22” cooking challenge!

That included this “bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin” from Anthony Bourdain – click here to see how I did:

If you go to my main page, you can sign up and every week another recipe will show up on your doorstep!

Also, my food blog has al of them as well, plus so much more!

Click here to see all of the fun food from around the world I share!


Let me know what you think of my “52 In 22” challenge and my classic Hollywood feast!

If you like the story, share it with friends on social media! Thanks!

Categories: Books / Media, cookbooks, Film Fight Club, Food, food blog, Food Review, Hollywood, Memoirs, Movies, Pop Culture, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Wacky Food

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Meat, beans, and tomato are definitely the holy trinity. I love this recipe, yet I add the onions into the cooking, not the topping. Hmmm… The celebrity status is fascinating. The food has to be good to achieve their support. I love the Elizabeth Taylor and chili story. Thanks, John!


  2. It sounds great and I’d like to try it!


  3. You did great with that, John. I would definitely join you for a bowl of it!
    We are having a slightly different version for dinner tomorrow. My wife is cooking ‘Tex-Mex Chili Lasagna’, with a chili beef mix between the pasta layers, white lasagna sauce, and topped off with crushed tortilla chips. It is one of my favourites, fusing Mexican and Italian cuisine together in one dish.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love Elizabeth Taylor and this chilli looks great. Hubby would love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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