In 2008 Robert Seegmiller, fresh produce sales director for Harmons, took his own love for chiles to the next level when he was instrumental in launching Harmons Chile Roast. It started in one location, our West store, and each year the popularity grew until it reached all our locations.
On the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast, Robert joins our hosts Chef Lesli Sommerdorf and Brandon Young to explore that journey and talk about all the mouth-watering aromas and recipes that Harmons has developed as a result. Executive Chef Aaron Ballard is also back to share his insights into the many dishes our store chefs make that incorporate chiles, along with a few that didn’t quite work as hoped.
The chile roasters that will be stationed outside our stores are similar to a 50-gallon drum with a grate system, and when they are running, they sound like a jet engine.
As Robert says, if the noise doesn’t get your attention, the smell will because the aroma of chile roasting is just amazing.
The annual Chile Roast event has regular attendees who drive in from around the Intermountain West, all waiting in a line to buy bushels of roasted chiles. And that’s not all they can buy. In our stores we have concocted a plethora of incredible recipes that incorporate the chiles into them, including chile verde, carne asada, carne asada marinade, sweet pork tacos, street tacos, chimichangas, twice baked potatoes, chile verde pot pie, and more.
You’ll definitely want to listen to the podcast as they delve into the development of these recipes, talk about an interesting feud between chile growers in Hatch, New Mexico, and Pueblo, Colorado, and weigh in on the different levels of hot.
Robert Seegmiller is currently “working on” his fortieth year with Harmons. He spent many years working in different store locations in the produce department, and currently serves as the fresh produce sales director. Robert loves the outdoors, gardening, biking, hiking, and fishing, and he also likes to cook and eat.
He loves roasted chiles, and is very excited about the upcoming Chile Roast.
Experimenting with new tastes and flavors is second nature to Chef Aaron Ballard. He started playing in the kitchen at a young age and immediately began cultivating his love of cooking and fine food. Chef Aaron worked in the food manufacturing and beverage industry for a decade before following a lifelong dream that eventually led him to attend culinary school at the Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University. Chef Aaron has worked as a delicatessen chef, cooking school chef, and now serves as Harmons Executive Chef.