The Clifton Chilli Club are a group of chilli loving fiends, who having tried unsuccessfully to hold their meetings in the local library, were forced – reluctantly – to make a pub their headquarters. Trading their cups of tea for pints of cider was not easy for the three founder members, but the two Dave’s and Jim can now be found on a regular basis in the Coach and Horses pub in Clifton.
Clifton Chilli Club
I first met the founder members early last year when they sneaked up my farm on a secret squirrel raid to gather information. Luckily I caught them, with a serious dose of punishment being dished out as soon as I got them down the pub! Since this time, The Clifton Chilli Club and the Upton Cheyney Chilli Company have worked together on a number of projects with their second Chilli Night being no exception.
With the local paper picking up the story and running a full page spread on the club, there was some concern that the pub may have been swamped. In the end though about 50 chilli enthusiasts came through the doors, all of them hungry to try the huge spread of sauces, chocolates and nuts that had been supplied by many of the chilli companies from across the UK.
JB with some Oak Smoked Chipotle Hot Pig Sausages
The chilli companies who were generous enough to donate their wares were:
Joy and Michael Michaud
Joy and Michael Michaud of Sea-Spring Seeds were also in attendance, with plug plants and seeds for sale. Michael and Joy are a wealth of chilli information with a number of the visitors picking their brains. The main topic of the night however seemed to circulate around the ever changing world’s hottest chilli, with most people agreeing that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors and that a worldwide standard test needs to be set.
The sauces had been carefully laid out on a large table at the back of the pub and were arranged in order of heat. Being a bit of a chicken when it comes to heat I was found lurking around the mild to medium end of the table, but reports of Naga Nicks Viper Sauce could not be ignored and I believe that it was the sauce awarded hottest of the night.
Naga Nick is a bit warped, and took great pleasure in feeding a 7 pot infused pickled onion to a rather attractive chilli-virgin female. Her reaction was classic and I only wish we had filmed it as it would have made fantastic ‘You Tube’ viewing.
Unfortunately Matt Simpson was not in attendance but he did manage to sneak in his own new 7 Pot based sauce – The Megalodon! Possibly not as hot as Naga Nicks Viper sauce but worth a mention at least and certainly one to look out for at West Dean this year.
Besides the sauces, the pub supplied some lovely food, including chicken wings, Hot Pig Chipotle Chilli Sausages and spicy wedges. The Chilli Con Carne was heated to a super hot level by some Oak smoked Chipotle and Naga spice from Upton Cheyney. I displayed my rather low tolerance to heat as I melted on the floor whilst everyone else seemed to eat it without issue. Top marks to the pub for the spread.
Some of the madness that has been witnessed on previous CCC nights such as naga spice snorting and extreme chilli eating was not apparent and I do wonder if lessons have been learnt?
The evening was nicely rounded off with the raffle winner being announced, who took away a basket of delicious chilli products.
As the pub rang its bell for last orders, we managed a team photo with the new CCC banner, discussed our disappointment that the evening could not have been held in a library and made our way out in to the night.
A great evening was had by all and without doubt we all look forward to the next one which is planned for sometime in the summer. Thanks to everyone at The Clifton Chilli Club.