Judy Izard from Traverse City’s Peppercorn—a smart shop full of eclectic kitchen gear and ingredients—spills the beans on her favorite Cherry Chili recipe.  The following recipe was first featured in the 2014 March issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.


A trip into the tiny, stuffed Peppercorn shop on Traverse City’s Front Street is just the elixir for a long winter. Brightly colored cookware, kitchen gadgets and bags and jars of specialty foods line the shelves—all fairly calling out to be used in a warm, yummy-scented kitchen. Judy Izard, who, for 30 years worked at Northwestern Michigan College by day and as a passionate home cook nights and weekends, often heeded the Peppercorn’s pull. And then one day in 2008 her husband, Doug, heard the store was for sale—and not long after the couple stopped by to chat with the then owner. The upshot? “My husband thought it was time for me to do something fun and new, and three weeks later we owned it,” she says. As owner, Judy quickly became a cheerleader for Northern Michigan products and for Traverse City events. Which is why this fabulous chili that she serves up in the green room at the Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival makes use of so many local goodies. PeppercornTC.com.

Peppercorn’s Cherry Chili


  • 2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces (3⁄4 cup) Benjamin Twiggs dried cherries, chopped*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey (Judy uses Duerksen ground turkey, raised in Mancelona)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Old Beck Classic Sharp Mustard*
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups fire roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • 11⁄2 cups cooked black beans (or 16-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1⁄4 cup (+ more for garnish) cilantro, chopped
  • 2–4 tablespoons Volcano Sauce*
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream (or Greek yogurt), for garnish
  • Grated sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish


Heat 1 cup of broth. Place Benjamin Twiggs cherries in small mixing bowl; add hot broth, and set aside. Heat olive oil in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, and cook 1 min- ute longer, without browning garlic. Add turkey and cook until it is no longer pink. Add roasted red bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, Old Beck Classic Sharp Mustard, and oregano. Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, Volcano Sauce, cherries and cilantro. Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes or until mixture is just heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with garnishes.

*Find these Northern Michigan products at Peppercorn, 226 E. Front Street, Traverse City, 231.941.4146.


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