It wasn't planned. It was happenstance. It was as simple as this; "Put some of that on that."
The first "that" was a pimento cheese dip chef Nancy Silverton had painstakingly made Sunday afternoon and brought to an Oscar party at the temporary Los Angeles residence of writer Ruth Reichl. The second "that" was a bison chili made by Reichl.
So, as instructed, a spoonful of the dip, which, only an hour earlier, had been proclaimed the McLaren P1 of cheese dips, was upended onto the chili.
One bite and that was it. There have been hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of bowls of chili devoured throughout history, but never has chili that scored more than 600. Never until yesterday when this concoction by Ruth and Nancy - already known in cyberspace as "Rucy Chili" - scored an astounding 675.
Chefs around the country hailed the chili as Homeric. Tuesday morning In New York City, chef Mario Batali - who was shipped a sample - declared it the "world's best".
"There’s chili from Texas and chili from the Southwest and definitely chile verde and chile rojo from Mexico, but I’d say the world's best chili comes from the fertile and untamed minds of 2 Jewish gals in Los Angeles," wrote Bataii in an Email. "Nancy Silverton and Ruth Reichl teamed up to dance with the bison at a cotillion ball and changed chili forever, Peace out babes and hasta el futuro!"
Renowned San Francisco based chef Dominique Crenn simply said "Wow! Iwant some."
Even Nancy Silverton seemed surprised how delicious the "Rucy" was. "Now I know how the folks at Reese's felt when they mixed that peanut butter into the chocolate cup ."
When the numerical rating of the chili started to spread throughout the internet, long-time chili aficionados were flabbergasted.
"Six 7 5? Is that a typo?? May b meant Five 7 5" Tweeted Briana "Breezy"Valdez, owner of East Hollywood's HomeState and a Texas native. ( For the record, it was not immediately known how Valdez managed to Tweet with "Italics".) "If it really got a 675, then clearly I need this stuff."
The recipe of the chili only is available in Reichl's recently published book. "My Kitchen Year" on page 45. It needs to be noted, however, this "Rucy Chili" - a term coined by using the first and last syllables of the two living legends first names- was on the fly and several modifications were made by Ruth, including, reportedly, the addition of "chicken goo" from the leftover of a dinner at Silverton's Chi Spacca and "I forgot the name" beans from the Sunday farmer's market in Hollywood.
As for the recipe for pimento cheese dip - a dish once described by noted foodie Jeanine K Ash as "the bottom of the barrel" - it will be available in the fall when Silverton's "Mozza at Home" cookbook arrives in bookstores. That too was modified to a degree, with a particular Gouda and Cheddar that Silverton could not remember.
Silverton sent her boyfriend, legendary street gang reporter Michael Krikorian, to several markets in pursuit of the right cheese and several text message were sent between the two. Also, several text message between Silverton and Reichl were exchanged, sources said. Efforts are being made to decipher those text messages sent between the two during the cooking process in hopes of finding additional secrets to the pure deliciousness of the chili.
Some objected to the seemingly "secretive" nature of the chili.
"I find it difficult to believe Ruth conveniently forgot the name of the beans she bought at the farmer's market and Nancy can't recall exactly what brand of cheeses were used in a cheese dip," said Duke Feldmeier, a private investigator hired to get the chili's secrets. "I mean, if the chili is really that good, shouldn't everyone get a chance to enjoy it?".
The Rucy, along with La Brea Tar Pits chicken wings and burritos from Burritos La Palma on Peck Road in El Monte ( a Jonathan Gold selection) were savored at the home Ruth and her husband Michael Singer are renting. It is the former home of Wallace Berry who won an Oscar in 1932 at the 5th Academy Awards for "The Champ".
Eighty four years later, there's a new champ and it's called Rucy Chili.