My first and accidental forays begun really at school eating and stealing noodles from Asian classmates. I was addicted to noodles as a teenager and was accused by one teacher as being “the most efficient calorie burner I’ve ever met”. I didn’t necessarily associate the flavours of Korean, Chinese and Japanese noodles with heat or spice it was mostly the meat or fish flavour I was drawn too.
I (Deja) came to love hot sauce while growing up in Southern California, eating house made hot sauce from a little hole in the wall Mexican food restaurant in high school. It was only a drive- thru but it had the best burritos and the hot sauce that I have ever had. This was the inspiration for our Morita sauce. My true love of cooking with chilies began when I became the executive chef at a boutique Thai and Indonesian fusion restaurant in Manhattan Beach California where I worked with two wonderful Thai ladies
Our hot sauce journey was long in the making. The Geverd family had been playing with hot sauce recipes for a few years with the idea of someday producing commercially. The stars aligned when the family bought an old German farmhouse that came with a sizable acreage that had been used for conventional ag. Around the same time Cheyne Geverd made a decision to pivot his career from doing geological work for oil companies overseas to being a farmer. He took seasonal jobs with local produce farms to learn the skills, and at one of these farms met Fiona Palumbo, his eventual partner, whose background also included cooking and (very small scale) hot sauce making.