Find a ready-to-take-home chili spice mix at any of our partner cafes and restaurants around town!

Use our Chili Spice Kit to make a batch of this vegan chili, which is also featured at our cafe at Wollman Rink. This recipe is delicious the same day you make it, but tastes even better the next day. Freeze any leftovers in smaller portions for a quick winter warmup. Add meat for a non-vegan option, garden vegetables for an even heartier meal, or top with classics like cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

The Spice Mix is also delicious as a seasoning for roasting vegetables or using as a dry rub.

Vegan Chili Recipe

By Chef Andrew Smith, Culinary Director

Serves 3-4


  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 3 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Brooklyn lager
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Great Performances Chili Spice Mix*

*GP Chili Spice Mix contains garlic and onion, as well as our signature blend of spices.


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed, 6 qt pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sweat till onions have become translucent.
  2. Add seasoning mix and stir till fragrant.
  3. Deglaze with beer, scraping up fond and stirring until reduced to au sec (nearly dry), then add stock, tomatoes, and black beans.
  4. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about one hour or until liquids have reduced to chili-like consistency.
  5. Season to taste and remove from heat. Serve with your favorite chili garnishes.

More Great Performances Recipes


Find a ready-to-take-home kit at any of our partner cafes and restaurants around town!

Our farrotto kit is the start of a delicious homemade dinner, as tasty as it is simple to prepare.

Farro is an ancient grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture that can be prepared like a risotto. We’ve added our own blend of herbs, to get the recipe started. This season, we suggest butternut squash for its natural sweetness and smooth texture. But the Great Performances Farrotto Blend (farro, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated onion, thyme, and sage) would be delicious with any number of winter vegetables, such as carrot and celery, or root vegetables including beets, parsnips, turnips and more, not to mention mushrooms. What’s in your fridge?

Butternut Squash Farrotto Kit Recipe

By Georgette Farkas, Culinary Ambassador

Serves Four


  • 1 cup GP Farrotto Blend*
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (find pre-cubed squash in the produce section of your grocery store)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, warmed to a simmer
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup radicchio, halved and thinly sliced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

*GP Farrotto Blend contains farro, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, sage, and thyme

  • 12 ¼-inch slices butternut squash roasted with olive oil, thyme, and sage
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted



  1. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add cubed squash and cook, stirring until squash is quite soft. Take your time with this step, as cooking the squash thoroughly will bring out its natural sweetness and enable it to melt into the farroto. Add farrotto blend and cook, stirring, until farro is very lightly toasted. Add white wine (optional) and continue to cook, stirring, until wine is mostly evaporated.
  2. Add 1 cup warm vegetable stock and cook, stirring occasionally over low flame. Continue to add vegetable stock, a little at a time, cooking the farro until al dente and the stock is absorbed. Amount of stock needed may vary. Once farro is cooked through, fold in finely sliced radicchio (optional) and cook just until wilted.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to warm serving plates or platter and serve.

OPTIONAL: Garnish with slices of roasted butternut squash and sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds.

More Great Performances Recipes


By Emilia Sochovka MS, RDN, CPT

Now that the New Year is here, many of us want a fresh start for our health habits. We may want to change what we eat, how we move our bodies or other lifestyle behaviors. While the pursuit of self-improvement is overall a positive thing, many go awry during the goal-setting process, eventually leading to a sense of failure. Embrace Wellness is here to help you reach your health goals. Consider these steps for making healthy changes that you will stick to all year.

  1. Silence the noise. The diet industry promotes cleanses, detoxes and programs that call for extreme behavior changes such as eliminating entire food groups. Instead, stick to the basics – eat more nutritious whole foods, hydrate and be physically active.
  2. Be specific. If your goal is to lose weight, think about the specific behaviors that will help you work towards that overall goal. While there is no one weight loss method for everyone, start by eating more whole plant foods and being physically active in ways that are enjoyable. Zero in on practices you want to include, rather than exclude. Instead of a goal to eat less food, consider eating more healthfully prepared veggies, a strategy that supports weight management.
  3. Avoid a 0-to-100 approach. A common downfall of New Year’s resolutions is that they are not realistic. It’s not reasonable to expect that you can flip a switch and consistently practice a demanding new health behavior. Start with small goals and build on them over time. If a goal is not sustainable, change it. Check in with your goals regularly to make sure they are evolving along with you and setting you up for success.
  4. Make the habit enjoyable. Health habits can be tough to practice if we don’t experience the satisfaction of a short-term reward. Find some pleasure in the habit, perhaps by focusing on the feeling you have afterwards. Other ideas include incorporating a reward that is not food- or drink-related. Save your favorite podcast to listen to while cooking, call a friend while on a walk or take a warm bath post-workout.
  5. Consider accountability. There are many ways to stick to health goals, starting with writing them down. To stay accountable to an exercise goal, add workouts to your calendar like any other commitment. Fin a workout buddy by joining in-person or virtual group fitness classes. Try various exercise disciplines so workouts never get boring.

 As the New Year begins, remind yourself that healthy changes come from within. Decide what works best for you and make your journey your own.

Learn more at


We regularly invite guests to contribute to Great Performances’ blog. For this post, we invited Emilia Sochovka, MS, RDN, CPT, the resident dietitian and nutritionist for Embrace, to share her thoughts on maintaining overall wellness throughout Covid-19. Embrace extends Great Performances’ philosophy that life happens around food to the spaces where people work, collaborate, celebrate, and live. The first pillar, Embrace: Wellness, focuses on overall wellness, including mental, emotional and physical, specifically the relationship between food and health and how what we eat impacts how we feel.

Quarantine Wellness

By Emilia Sochovka, MS, RDN, CPT

Quarantine isn’t a productivity contest. Not all of us are doing fitness challenges, reorganizing our drawers and cabinets, reading a book every week and perfecting loaves of banana bread. For some people, those tasks might be their way of taking care of themselves. But there are many other ways to prioritize wellness. Above all, be kind to yourself.

Embrace extends our philosophy that “Life happens around food®” to the spaces where people work, collaborate, celebrate and live. For many people right now, our home is the space where we need to support our health and well-being. Here are some at-home tips from Embrace Wellness:

Quarantine Wellness Tips

Reaching for snacks more often than you’d like? Enjoy all your favorite snacks by making a large snack plate for a meal. A lunch or dinner snack plate could include apple slices, chai spiced almond butter, baby carrots, dill pickle hummus, crackers, cheese and chocolate.

Looking to move your body? Celebrate traditional dance from Senegal and Rwanda with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Do a guided meditation and stretch or take a virtual walk with Wave Hill. Listen to jazz from Jazz at Lincoln Center while moving around your home.

Missing the opportunity to travel? Spices not only have health benefits, but they also bring global cuisines to our kitchen. Bring more flavor to simple proteins, vegetables and grains by making your own spice blend.

In whatever way you’re taking care of yourself and your family, we’re here for you. If these activities don’t interest you, that’s ok. What’s most important is that we are practicing self-compassion and doing what feels good to us.



By Great Performances

Over our 40 years, we’ve been privileged to create and cater events celebrating life’s milestones, engaging clients, launching products, raising funds and awareness, and building positive work environments. And with our scope and volume of work—and in 2018 alone we served more than half a million meals—we knew we had the opportunity to do more.

About a year ago, we launched Embrace at select venues. Embrace extends our philosophy that “Life happens around food®” to the spaces where people work, collaborate, celebrate and live, providing education, conversation, and engagement around food. Our first pillar, Embrace Wellness, focuses on health and well-being. Through collaborations with a registered dietitian nutritionist, our chefs have crafted balanced, health-supportive meals, supplementing the traditional favorites with what’s quickly becoming new favorites. Through blog posts, webinars, and live demonstrations, we engage our customers, sharing recipes, perspective shifts, and tips for navigating often complicated food choices to select foods that nourish their bodies and minds.

We invite you to Embrace Wellness with us and to stay tuned for our next pillar which embraces a different aspect of our daily lives.

And now, a note from Emilia Sochovka, our Embrace Wellness registered dietitian nutritionist.

Embrace Wellness celebrates nutrient-dense, seasonal and delicious food, while also sharing expert guidance on balanced living and wellness trends. On, find featured blogs, recipes, and webinars on health topics delivered by our registered dietitian nutritionist. In our cafes and at events, Embrace Wellness empowers guests to adopt a fresh way of looking at their food choices.

The purpose of Embrace Wellness is to empower our community to make daily choices that sustain health. This year, give thought to simple habits that enhance the holiday season by helping us feel healthy, energized, and happy.

  • Have a snack with protein and fiber before a holiday party to ensure you do not arrive hungry. Examples include carrot sticks and hummus, berries and almonds, or a hard-boiled egg and whole wheat crackers.

  • Eat foods with vitamin C to boost your immunity. Think only citrus foods have vitamin C? Think again. Try antioxidant-rich vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, parsnips and potatoes.

  • Stay active by trying winter activities like indoor rollerblading, rock climbing, ice skating, skiing, hiking and walking.

With the holidays in full swing, balance indulgences with practices that nourish and strengthen your body. Each day is an opportunity to support well-being.

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