February 2013

I normally use extra virgin oil for dressings, stir fries and roasting but after using Grim Reaper Foods Tempest Chilli Oil, I am officially converted. Extra Virgin Rapeseed oil contains more vitamin E and fewer saturated fats than traditional extra virgin olive oil making it the healthier option and as the Tempest Chilli Oil is infused with garlic and chilli it enhances the flavours of food.

The oil has that traditional chilli oil, orange colour and when opening the aroma of garlic is evident. I really like the packaging; it’s very professional looking and would not be out of place in a nationwide supermarket. The chilli scythe and garlic bulb in the Reapers hand make it clear what this product is all about. I love the label design and the word play used on the bottle, which work together to make a quirky product. I really like the graphic of the grim reaper and description of the product;

Extra virgin oil, corrupted by chilli and garlic extracts. Dispel your demons, fear the shadows, enter the tempest”

Amongst other things I have roasted potatoes and Mediterranean vegetables in this oil without any extra chilli to see what heat this brings to a dish and it is really impressive, it has a nice steady heat along with the garlic which complements the food, flavouring it as opposed to overpowering it.

To sum up I think this is well worth the £5.00 price tag, it is a good sized bottle at 250ml and the kind of product I would deem a store cupboard essential. It’s clear to see why this product was the winner of 1 gold star at the great taste awards 2012.

I really think this product is fantastic and it’s clear to see why Grim Reaper Foods are an international award winning company

For more details on this, and other products check out the site Grim Reaper Foods.

Ingredients:

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil, Chilli Extract, Natural Garlic Extract.

Flavour
(8/10)
Heat
(7/10)
Packaging
(8/10)
Value (8/10)
Overall
(8/10)

 

 

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Whilst most of the population of London are tucked up in bed dreaming about sheep, there is a man who goes by the name of “The Ribman” working hard, all night slaving away over barbecues to cook “The Best Ribs in London” ready to serve to his customers the next day, but what sauce would you serve with Ribs?….. Chilli Sauce right? well not just any Chilli sauce but his freshly made range of sauces available in your Rib roll or as a full bottle, more about those in a bit.

The Ribmans real name is Mark Gervaux and he serves up his Ribs every Thursday and Sunday mornings to hungry punters who come from across London and all parts of the UK and beyond to sample his famous ribs.

On Thursdays Mark can be found in Kings Cross as part of the Kerb, an organisation who are helping to promote street food in London, who’s intention  is “to contribute to the life of the city by expanding its street food culture in both depth and flavour” . He also, from time to time sells Ribs at their site by the Famous Gherkin building and City Point.

On Sunday mornings you can catch Mark in the heart of Brick Lane creating amazing flavours and aromas which hold their own against the hundreds of other street food vendors. A couple of weeks ago I was able to visit him here with some friends and finally meet the Ribman!

 

Mark has been selling his Ribs on the streets of London for four years, in fact this summer sees his 5th anniversary doing what he loves. Meat has always been a big part of Marks life as from the age of 12 he was working in a Butchers on a Saturday in Essex, progressing to become the Assistant Manager of Matthews Butchers in Bethnal Green at 15! and fully qualified at 17, in fact he was a speed boner being paid the princely sum of 50p to tunnel bone a leg of pork and prepare it for the ham pot. He could do this in 52 seconds!

Eventually this evolved into what Mark does today, he started selling rubs for Ribs and cooking samples which were very sucessful and the rest is history. Mark is not shy when it comes to hard work, along with all the preparation, he starts cooking the ribs at midnight on the BBQ, packs them carefully so they continue to rest and tenderise even more so the meat falls from the bone ready for the mornings hungry customers who can buy them from 9am. He does not have a closing time, there’s no need as he sells out everytime, they are that popular! There is plenty to sell too as during the winter Mark is cooking an average of 120 kilos a night at Brick lane and Kings Cross, and manages 200 kilos at the Gherkin which he hopes to raise during the summer to 500 kilos a day!

All this hard work is achieved with one leg after Mark lost his left leg 7 years ago after a car accident many years before, so now has a metal prosthetic leg which makes him literally ‘stand out’ from the crowd!

Marks food has drawn media attention, he was featured on Lorraine Pascale’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food Programme, See below for the clip (start at 16 minutes in)

He has also garnered an international fan from the US, Man Vs Food Legend Adam Richman, who took time out of a busy schedule on a rare visit to the UK last year and paid Mark a visit.

The Ribs are babyback ribs from pigs that are outdoor reared on norfolk and suffolk farms and have had a good life.

Mark sells a roll stuffed with meat for £6 and you can buy a half rack for £7 or a whole rack for £12 which is very reasonable given the love and time that has gone into cooking them.

Having sampled these Ribs, they are indeed excellent, I stood at Marks stall hypnotised by the view everytime the lid was lifted to take out another portion of rib meat. The meat is stripped from the bone with ease, only the heat of the meat makes this job harder, the pork is so juicy and melts in the mouth, you don’t even have to chew! There’s no gristle here, just meat, some secret spice mix, a roll, a lot of passion! oh and a sauce if you dare…

Now to the pre mentioned sauces. To compliment the meat, Mark started to make sauces to serve in the rolls, he loves the heat and flavour that Chillies bring, but with any Chilli product it is always important to keep the heat/flavour balance there especially when it is being used to accompany other things.

He started off making a standard BBQ sauce and then dabbled with a sauce containing the humble Naga which was named by his customers as Holy Fuck. This contains 1% Naga. (the rest of the ingredients unknown apart from Scotch Bonnets) This sauce went down well, but there was a demand for something hotter so Christ on a Bike was born, same content except around 3% Naga. Yet again there was demand for an increase in heat and Holy Mother of God was created, same as before but with 9% Naga. This was still not enough for some, and at the end of the summer last year Mark created Judasisscaryhot with 20% Naga, and he has just released a new sauce called Mother Inferior for those who want a little heat and just contains a few Scotch Bonnets and no Naga.

These sauces are available to have on your roll or to buy by the bottle at the stall. Alternatively you can visit Marks Hot Sauce Shop and buy direct. All the sauces are handmade in small batches, and are generally made fresh on a Rib day or when orders come into his web shop. Mark does not follow a strict recipe so the taste can vary slightly but you can be sure that the heat will be the same! During the UK Chilli season he buys his Nagas in from Shawn and Jo at Edible Ornamentals due to the sheer volume he needs.

In July last year our very own Darth Naga took on Marks Holy Fuck and Christ on a Bike sauces, here is the video review

So there you have it, if you find yourself in London on a Thursday or Sunday morning be sure to check out TheRibman, but be warned, get there early or you might end up leaving disappointed, he will sell out!

You can keep up to date with where Mark will be and enter his regular competitions to win his Chilli sauces by following him on twitter @theribman

the ribman brick lane market morning.jpg.opt514x342o0,0s514x342

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Scooby back to pen (Laptop) with another review for you guys. This time I have a bottle of Mic’s Chilli inferno sauce. Quite a funky little label on this 165g bottle. A skeleton wearing a suit? interesting concept, but it works.

I think that it works though more than anything due to its use of blue, black and red which complement the sauce, and of course that is what you really want to know about, the sauce.

I would like to call it pale brown but that does not sound too appealing and not do the sauce any justice, maybe a lighter HP sauce would work better? it is quite a thin sauce so its all good for pouring. Looking closely at it you can make out some tiny black and orange specs so its looking like a very fine sauce.

Ingredients:

8 Habanero chillies (24%) Water, Distilled vinegar, Onions, Carrots, Lemon juice, Garlic, Salt, Spices, Xanthan gum.

Bottle kindly supplied by Mic’s Chilli

8 Habs??? 8????????????? Mental. And when I opened the bottle I can tell you this, the only thing I can smell is the Habs, and it smells good. With a lot of sauces, you can smell the other ingredients which usually helps make it a better product, but with this,  the aroma of  Habs makes this smell the mutts nuts. In a good way, not actually mutts nuts cos that would be wrong!

Out comes the spoon and Boom!! , slight sweetness there initially from the lemon juice and this is quickly over taken by a lovely sharp stabbing heat on the tongue, pretty intense heat and in all fairness it should be with 8 Habs sitting in it waiting to pounce.

Luckily there is not much on the vinegar front as I am not a lover of over powered vinegar based sauces, so I guess that in this sauce it is just used to aid fluidity. Xanthan gum at times can be slimy but Mics Chilli have cracked this and the texture is nice and smooth without this slime texture.

I earlier mentioned its colour being that of a pale HP sauce? Well I can definitely see this being used for my fish and chips this Friday night.

Thumbs up from me on taste, texture and appearance and being a personal trainer this also gets the thumbs up for having only 33 calories per 100g, not to mention all the goodies from the garlic and spices etc, but you probably don’t care about that side of it.

So put simply, a lovely pale brown sauce with a slight initial sweetness that finishes with a kick up ya backside for heat. Love it.

Check these guys out on Mics Chilli Website for more info. I cannot give you a price at present but I am sure it will not cost the earth.

Remember chilli nuts, if it burns going in, it will burn coming out!

Flavour
(7.5/10)
Heat
(8.5/10)
Packaging
(8.5/10)
Value [Rating:N/A]
Overall
(8.5/10)

 

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As the majority of readers here are from the UK and Europe, you may not have heard of Motor City Barbecue, based in Detroit in the USA, they are a fairly new sauce company and are keen to spread their wings into Europe and the UK.

484837_493204710741618_2112026167_nThey currently have 3 handmade sauces in their range,  Holy Smoke Barbecue Sauce which uses Bhut Jolokia. Original Recipe which has no chilli in it, and Scorpion which contains Trinidad Scorpion Butch T Chillies. Now Steve Kinkela who runs Motor City Barbecue has created a 4th Barbecue sauce, which is the hottest of all using Bhut Jolokia. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T’s and Habaneros!.

This is currently going by the name “Name the Flame”.

This is because he is running a planetwide competition to come up with a name for this sauce and is encouraging UK/European readers to enter the contest. Here at Chilefoundry we have not tasted these sauces yet, I believe review bottles of the sauces are winging their way to us as we speak, but we know a man who has tried them and specifically the “Name the Flame” sauce, so below is Ted Barrus to explain a little more about the competition and the prize you could win if your name is chosen by Steve.

So there you have it, the entry form and rules are on the website which can be found here

Entries must be in by the end of February so get thinking and as Ted mentioned in the video and the text, please do not submit any names relating to the Devil or offensive titles, as this is a Christian company and any entries submitted falling into these categories will be disqualified.

So be creative and you could win a package from Motor City Barbecue and some other goodies from Ted “the fire breathing idiot” Barrus himself.

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