We started A&B American Style because we noticed that a lot of people around us were making terrible decisions with their food and we wanted to contribute products that would help people reconnect with their food.
In 2010, Brian left his job at a bank and became a line cook at Buddakan in NYC with the goal of learning more about making great food. At the same time, Ariel was making delicious hot pepper sauces in his home kitchen. Eventually, we created our Original Pepper Sauce and started selling it at markets around New York.
Since then, we’ve added new, exciting flavors (including our brand new 100% USDA Organic Jalapeño Pepper Sauce) and expanded from our local specialty stores to grocery stores around the country. We’ve been featured by Serious Eats and Bon Appétit among others.
A&B American Style Hot Sauces and the operation
We believe chili peppers are delicious. We grew up together competing to see who could eat the spiciest pepper—and we both lost. But, we developed an appreciation for the nuanced flavors they have and wanted to bring those forward.
We use simple ingredients but no one does a better job of capturing the flavors of the chilies than we do.
Each year, we do a very special and limited batch of our NYC Rooftop Pepper Sauce. These are made with chilies that we grow on a rooftop farm just a few blocks from our kitchen. People always love this one. It’s really interesting because the only difference between this one and our Original Pepper Sauce is the source of the chilies. But, the flavors are so different because the ground is different and the growing season is different. When you taste them next to each other it’s striking how unique they are.
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Cottage Lane Kitchen was founded by me in 2010, and it isn't only my business name, but also refers to a secret lane in Chapel Hill, NC where our family homestead was built in the 1950s. Four generations of my family have cooked and preserved spicy peppers out of love and tradition in that kitchen.
The last homemade batch of my family's spicy pepper relish was made by my Grandfather in the early 1990s. He grew chilies around the outside of the house and harvested and pickled them during my summer visits. I remember him watering the empty tin cans he buried beside each pepper plant.
Normally the Craft Hot Sauce Podcast interviews hot sauce makers all over the world. This episode is more of a riff from Brian the host about some of the things his hot sauce company Craic Sauce got up this summer.