Inspired Brands brought big flavors to Variety Power of Comedy at SXSW

As many chefs have said, food can be a connector. At Variety Power of Comedy at SXSW, Inspired Brands put a bevy of bold flavors on display. While each offering had a nod to the company’s popular offerings, it showed that those fast casual restaurant ingredients can be more than just another grab and go bite. The big flavors on the plate were no laughing matter.

The special event roasted several comedic performers including Eric Andre, Phoebe Robinson, Jake Johnson, Tim Robinson, Zach Kanin, Rachel Sennott, Patton Oswalt, Chelsea Handler, and Anna Kendrick. Harry Jowse. With many celebrities in attendance, all the laughter had people excited to enjoy another plate full of food.

The special Inspired Brands menu had a taste of the familiar with a twist. It was an opportunity for some crossover foods, too. For example, the Baskin-Robbins Chick’n and Waffles Ice cream was topped with the new Honey Garlic Buffalo Wild Wings boneless wings. That combination of sweet and tangy might inspire a whole new way of enjoying chicken wings. It might be time to ditch the ranch for something cooler.

Inspired Brands SXSW event

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 10: A view of food provided by Inspire Brands at “Variety Power of Comedy” during the 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals at The Creek and the Cave on March 10, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)

Another highlight of the night was the pickles and fries combination of Jimmy John’s Pickle Juice and Arby’s Curly Fry Vodka. Instead of the Bloody Mary angle, this pickle forward cocktail had some brightness from mint and lemon. Balanced with a touch of cucumber and simple syrup, it could be a cocktail that might appear on the next beverage trend list.

Other offerings included Spit Roasted Gyro Tots, Roasted “Elote” Style Corndog, Warm Sweet Glazed Pretzel Twist, Double Roast Beef and Horseradish Club, Hatch Green Chile Margarita, Jamocha Expresso Martini, and Cold Brew Old Fashioned.

While all the food offerings showed the creativity of bringing together the Inspired Brands offerings, it was the cocktails that pushed the envelope. In some ways, it could make some people wish that there was a bar behind that drive-thru window.

More importantly, it could give some creative food types the spark to do something different with that tradition to-go order. Why couldn’t those Sonic Tater Tots get a twist. Who says that you can’t order a couple extra Jimmy John’s pickles with that sandwich. Sometimes flavor inspiration can and should come from unexpected avenues.

Although this special event was just for SXSW attendees, some people can hold out hope that something from this menu might appear in the future. For now, just place an order from that favorite restaurant and whip up one of these ideas at home.