Written by HoTtt Ass Chillies Owner Paul
I got started in hot sauce by accident you could say. I have always like spicy food. But it wasn’t until 2012 I considered growing my own chillies. After a friend got me into growing super hots and experimenting in hydroponics, I was addicted! I wanted to grow every type, and try ever chilli I could. But then overrun with pods I dabbled in some sauce recipes. I have no formal chef training, however I have always been known as the type of person who can whip together a great meal with little fuss.
Using my imagination and whatever ingredients were around. So one sauce recipe from the internet turned into 6 original recipes I adapted along the way. I gave many away to my friends and family to test. Soon I had run out of sauce and had people pleading for more. Which is when I started “HOTtt Ass Chillies” initially as a facebook page. And I started selling a few sauces to fund my “growing” addition to grow more chillies. (Sorry about the pun) It is the growing chillies that is my passion.
The brand name gets plenty of attention, but this is fun for me. As it should be. And I feel the world is way to PC these days. So wake up and have some fun everyone! I now have 8 permanent sauces for sale online. (Plus many more recipes as yet unreleased) I grow over 200 varieties of chillies from all over the world. And my sauces have won multiple awards throughout the world. As well as rave reviews from the likes of Bishop Brad and Ted Barrus. (Youtube hot sauce reviewers)
My business is still very much a hobby. I work full time and keep my operation niche and high end. My full time job pays well, so making sauce full time is a big step. And I would prefer to keep it fun. I produce batches of around 25- 50 bottles at a time. All hand made by myself, with love.
Our most popular sauce has to be “Pacific Burn” It’s a Mango & Coconut chilli sauce with a fair kick. But it is as mild as I will go. This has won the New Zealand/Australia “Mr Chilli awards” in both 2013 & 2014. As well as 3rd place in New York at the Screaming MiMi awards 2015. And 3rd in the World Hot Sauce awards 2015. Funnily enough it is not my favourite sauce. I made this for my wife and she is the reason it was even released for sale. Saying “You need an entry level sauce, for the everyday sauces lovers. Not just the crazy chilli heads like yourself!”
An interesting fact about chillies or sauce? That is a tough one I feel. Although I have learned a lot in the last few years. I feel the knowledge is easily accessible these days. So I am not sure I can enlighten everyone. One thing I will say is the Chilli Pepper community and the people are awesome! It is so easy to meet great people. If you are not a part of it, you should be. Follow groups on facebook, join online forums etc. Get involved! You will discover all you need to know!
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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.