« Joss reviewed | Main | I'm passing the baton ... »

September 27, 2010

Ravens chili tale

Bell's Famous ChiliAnyone who enjoyed a nice, warm bowl of chili at the Ravens game Sunday can thank Sean Bell, who went looking for the same thing a few years ago and stumbled instead on a new career..

Bell was a stay-at-home dad and season ticket holder back in 2006 when he tried, and failed, to find chili at the stadium during a cold Ravens game. That gave him an idea: why not sell his own chili, which always went over well at family potlucks?

“We pitched the chili; they liked it,” the 39-year-old Bowie resident told me. The next season, he had a booth in the stadium. He made the chili himself, mixing it up in big crab pots in a rented kitchen.

It would take him six to eight hours to make enough for one game, and he worked the booth himself.

In the years since, the chili has outgrown the stand-alone booth and moved into larger concession stands. As of this season, the chili is available throughout the stadium, expanding into the club level and suites.

Giant supermarket has picked up the soup, too. Bell’s Famous Chili is in the hot bars in 180 stores, from Delaware to Northern Virginia.

Needless to say, Bell is no longer making the soup himself in crab pots. A contract manufacturer mixes it up now in 2,000-pound batches. Which means Bell is back in his seat in the stadium, watching the game and enjoying his chili, which he described as a healthful blend of turkey, black beans, onions, red and green peppers, tomatoes and spices.

“As stadium fare goes it’s pretty healthy,” he said. “It’s a great comfort food.”

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 2:40 PM | | Comments (1)


I am going to have to try this stuff when I come up for a game.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected