Sunday, February 28, 2021

Home Eat & Drink Hot Stuff: Chili Beak

Hot Stuff: Chili Beak


Chili Beak is a tiny company with big, spicy dreams.

In their small North Salt Lake commercial kitchen, owners Jason and Giselle McClure roast, mix and bottle chili oil daily, but at press time they were working toward a bigger operation, with employees, a distributor and a warehouse.

“We’re going to be hiring people, hopefully soon,” Jason says. Luckily, the product’s not too complicated, and the couple can turn out about 500 bottles per week. “It’s chile de árbol (a pepper resembling a bird’s beak, hence the name), sunflower oil, toasted sesame seed oil, and we put in Redmond Real Salt and garlic powder,” Giselle says. “And two other chilies we keep secret,” Jason adds.

The hard part for the couple, who discovered chili oil in Mexico and noticed a dearth of the Mexican-style oil in the states, was perfecting the recipe—a seven-month quest. “There was a lot of crying, coughing and sneezing along the way,” Jason says.

They must have got it right. The recipe was finalized last January and sales only started in September, but already over a dozen local stores have Chili Beak on their shelves including Liberty Heights Fresh, Caputo’s and Pirate O’s.

Like hot sauce, the chili oil is used to give food a kick, particularly Mexican food, and the McClures have been surprised by ways Utahns have used it: mixing with Bloody Mary’s, clam chowder and even vanilla ice cream. “My favorite is with popcorn,” Giselle says. To find more ways it’s being used, the McClures hold Facebook contests, where chili eaters submit recipes and photos of themselves enjoying their creations with friends for a chance to win gift baskets of local foods. Available at Liberty Heights Fresh and


In our Jan/Feb 2015, we promised a Chili Beak recipe.

Pick up the product at Liberty Heights Fresh, and get cooking.

Chili Beak Ceviche


1 lb. cooked chopped shrimp (use cauliflower for vegetarian)
5 juiced limes
1 diced tomato
1/4 cup diced onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 peel cucumber diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Chili Beak (or more to suite on your taste)


Combine everything in a bowl. Can be dated immediately or served chilled. Enjoy with corn chips or crackers.

-Jaime Winston

Even in the exploration boom of the 1800s, nobody dared to explore the terrain flowing through the Green and the Colorado Rivers.⁠

That is, nobody until Major John W. Powell said the 19th Century equivalent of “Hey man, hold my beer while I try this.”⁠

Read more about his dangerous expedition at the link in our bio!⁠

Photo of Powell’s expedition courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division⁠

A brand new issue of Salt Lake magazine is coming your way! ⁠

We can't wait to share these stories with you. This issue includes our annual Blue Plate Awards celebrating those surviving and thriving in the restaurant biz. Plus, we take a road trip to Wyoming and ask why the only Utah passenger on the Titanic didn’t survive her journey.⁠

A note from our editor Jeremy Pugh, including beautiful tributes to Mary Brown Malouf from our friends in the community, is online now. Read more at the link in our bio ❤️⁠

Subscribers: Look for this issue in your mailbox soon. The magazine will be on newsstands March 1! 📬

Today, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Blue Plate Awards! ⁠🎉⁠

These prizes honor the growers, food evangelists, grocers, servers, bakers, chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs who do more than put good food on the table—they make our community a better place to live. This year, just surviving as a local business deserves an award, but each of our Blue Plate winners did more than that. They made us grateful for every person involved in the essential act of feeding us.⁠ 🍽⁠

At the link in our bio, we have the full list of winners, a celebration of feats of COVID creativity and a tribute to restaurants we lost this year. If you’re hungry for more, pick up a copy on newsstands March 1! Plus, check out our Instagram for spotlights on some of the Blue Plate winners. ⁠

This year’s Blue Plate Awards are the first without our beloved Executive Editor Mary Brown Malouf. We dedicate them to her, our town’s biggest food fan, critic and champion. xoxomm⁠ 💙

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @ricobrandut for Staying in Beansness⁠

Last summer, it seemed that Rico would be another victim of rapid gentrification in Salt Lake. Luckily, Rico was able to find a new home in Poplar Grove and now plans to add even more employees. It’s a last-minute happy ending for a community leader who literally wears his mission on his sleeve, courtesy a tattoo in bright red block letters: “pay it forward.” 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award Winner: @spicekitchenincubator for Keeping the Spice Flowing⁠

This year Spice Kitchen Incubator, already an essential resource for refugees, became, well, even more essential. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @thestore_utah for Special Deliveries ⁠

As grocery delivery becomes the new norm, The Store offers a personal touch that only an independent grocer can provide. Last March, high-risk and elderly customers began calling in their grocery lists over the phone, and The Store’s general managers personally delivered food to their homes. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @cucinaslc for Preserving Neighborhood Connection⁠

Cucina’s outdoor spaces became a place where the neighborhood could gather safely. Owner Dean Pierose offered free coffee in the mornings and encouraged his regulars to linger and commiserate together, preserving a semblance of society during a socially distanced time. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @oquirrhslc for Betting the Bottom Dollar⁠

When COVID-19 hit Salt Lake City, Oquirrh co-owners Andrew and Angelena Fullers' dream was seriously damaged. But the Fullers keep trying to follow the rules. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @hearth_and_hill for Opening Doors⁠

As the pandemic ravages independent restaurants, Hearth and Hill has reaffirmed its commitment to small businesses in Park City and used its large dining room as an informal gathering space for the city. 💙⁠

2021 Blue Plate Award winner: @fisherbrewing for Creative Canning⁠

This year, Fisher found ways to utilize their beer, taproom space and canning capabilities for good. They created special lines of limited edition beers in custom cans to help raise funds for local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic. 💙⁠

A wind storm #tbt for your feed today. 🌬️🛹⁠

2020 was a long, long, loooong year, so we asked local photographers to share what the new normal looked like through their eyes. The link is in our bio!

Just hours after being sworn in, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for a review of the boundaries for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The monuments—designated by Barack Obama in 2016 and Bill Clinton in 1996—were reduced by roughly 2 million acres by former president Donald Trump, and the executive order is seen as move towards restoring the original boundaries.⁠

Read the full story through the link in bio.⁠

📸Bears Ears National Monument: Courtesy of Utah Office of Tourism

What’s your favorite park in Utah? ...