Scheana Shay says the Chili’s collaboration is a full circle moment, interview

Scheana Shay for Chili's Espresso Martini
Scheana Shay for Chili's Espresso Martini / Chili's

While Vanderpump Rules fans have watched Scheana Shay journey through love, marriage, and motherhood on the popular Bravo show, the ‎Scheananigans podcast host and "Good as Gold" singer is always ready to shake up a good time. In a full circle moment, Scheana stepped behind the bar to collaborate with a former employer, Chili’s. Ready to sip on that espresso martini?

Although Bravo reality fans might think that Scheana Shay got her start working at Sur, the "Apples" singer welcomed guests to a different restaurant establishment before joining the Vanderpump world. The former Chili-Head remembers her time working for the restaurant brand fondly. And, this opportunity to partner with the company was something that she could not turn down.

During a recent interview with FoodSided, Scheana recalled the two times that she worked with Chili’s. She said, “it is such a full circle moment in so many ways. First, I used to work at Chili’s and second, I booked a Chili’s commercial a couple of years after working there. Going from being a server on a television show to be able to partner with one of my favorite restaurants on my favorite cocktail is a dream come true.”

Scheana recalled how her serving days at Chili’s influenced her time at Sur. Having worked her way through college at a Chili’s, certain habits were ingrained. She shared, “you always had to yell corner whenever you were turning the corner or when you were leaving or entering the kitchen. You can even hear me say that 'phrase' on previous seasons of Vanderpump Rules. Even when I go to a Chili’s now, I sometimes yell 'corner' just to get a laugh from the staff. I loved working at that Chili’s restaurant.”

Having just moved to The Valley, Scheana is excited because she is closer to a Chili’s restaurant. Since it is a great place for families and friends to enjoy a meal and a beverage, it has become a favorite with her friends.

Scheana said, “honestly, it is the perfect place to take my daughter. Recently, Lala, Brittany, and I took all the kids to dinner and it was a great experience. It is a happy place, I love the food and the ambiance.”

She even mentioned that date night would be great at Chilis. “When I was single, if a guy took me on a date to Chili’s, I would be so excited. I’m one of those girls who appreciates a great casual restaurant.”

While Chili’s might be known for its infamous margaritas, the addition of the espresso martini is not only on trend, but it keeps with the restaurant’s focus on tequila. Since this cocktail uses Reposado tequila instead of vodka, the flavor is smoother, and even a touch sweeter.

Scheana explained, “an espresso martini is the best addition to any drink menu. It is literally my favorite drink anywhere I go. It is my drink that I have before dinner, during dinner, and as a dessert. It goes with everything. The Chili’s version with the Reposado tequila has a different level of sweetness with the spiced rum, agave, and espresso. It is literally the perfect combo.”

Since cocktails can be even more satisfying with a food pairing, Scheana recommends Chili’s Margarita Grilled Chicken. While that food pairing is delicious, the espresso martini is equally delicious with the new Big Smasher or with the iconic Molten Chocolate Cake.

Even though Scheana Shay might have come a long way from that server job and yelling “corner” at Chili’s, she has never lost touch with her Chili-Head roots. From shaking up an espresso martini to singing about a “hot, baby back rib entrée” in her new song “Sweet and Sour,” the successful performer and entrepreneur learned a lot from her time in hospitality focused restaurant. She might be serving a different "dish" now, but she has never forgotten how far she has come.

The Chili’s Espresso Martini is on the menu at the restaurants. Scheana Shay is a cast member of Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules, which airs Tuesday nights on Bravo and can be streamed on Peacock, and is the host of ‎Scheananigans podcast.