Gaby’s Hot Stuff

With 10 categories open to any business making chilli related products, this years National Chilli Awards was bigger and better than ever before, this was also the first year when the winners get a trophy….

National Chilli Awards 2011 - Professional Products Awards

National Chilli Awards 2011 - Professional Products Awards

Due to my late arrival, I only got to input on a few of the awards this year (I had an excuse, I had only just got back from Brazil the night before, and then got held up in the Goodwood Revival traffic), but talking to my fellow judges, this year was full of potential winners, with some very close run contests for first place.

I have to say I do agree with the eventual winners, there are some amazing products in this years competition, some of which are completely new to me. like Chinthe Burmese Prawn Balachaung which Darth Naga could not have been more impressed with, While James Wreck our US judge from found to be very unusual for his US tastes.

Fallen Angle Alcoholic Ginger Beer, was amazing, and it is was not for the Purgatory White Chocolate from Grim Reaper Foods it would have been my number one find of the event (it is great to see former amateur winners back and winning in the Professional awards).

The National Chilli Awards 2011 Winners are:-

One company Sinful Sauces managed to collect two trophy’s this year for best Newcomer and Best Label, what they have achieved in just 8 months is outstanding.

Finally the award for Best Chilli Company had to go to ChilliPepperPete, this was not fix, and yes it was their event and awards, but the judges are completely independent, and I put forward others for this trophy, but really when you look at what they have achieved this year and over the past few years they have to be number one. Successfully launched a new Chilli Event. Started the National Chilli Awards. Opened one of the UK’s first Chilli shops and they worked hard to promote the UK chilli market.

Our congratulations go to all the competitors and winners and our thanks go especially to Peter, Miranda, Rose and the rest of the team at ChilliPepperPete.

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Scott Roberts Top 10 Hot Sauces

Scott Roberts Top 10 Hot Sauces

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by fellow hot sauce aficionado Scott Roberts to create a list of my top 10 favourite sauces, this was not an easy task, over the past few years I have tasted 100’s of sauces, many of which did not last long, lucky I reviewed most of them, so I could look at my tasting notes and see what was exceptional.

Scott asked that I did not try to rate them as a 1-10 listing, if he had it would have taken me weeks to decide, as it was I spent many hours adding product to the list and then changing my mind soon I had about 25 sauces in the list, then I had to select the 10…. well I am sorry if I left out some excellent sauces, but reducing 100’s to just 10 is nearly impossible, but here is my list.

If you would like to see what others said was their top 10, you can read the full article on Scotts web site

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Well its been a busy weekend down in Brighton, I thought I would give you all a quick recap on what went on and what to expect next year!!

Fiery Foods UK Chilli Festival at Victoria Gardens

Fiery Foods UK Chilli Festival at Victoria Gardens

Myself and Mrs Naga arrived on site at around 7:30am on the saturday, I left Mrs Naga to setup the pitch for her company ( “3G” along with the Dunk tank ( and set off to talk to some stallholders!

Of course, seeing as I got there so blooming early I was stood around watching the stallholders setup whilst chatting to a few people including Karl from scorchio (, Neil and Lawrence from Exchange coffee (, Gaby (, Tim and Lee from the cambridge chilli farm (, Mr singhs ( and of course the lovely folks at Chillipepperpete(

After a while of chatting I soon realised that things were lifting up and the whole event was about to start so I grabbed a Naga Mocha from Exchange coffee and got my arse into gear helping 3G sort their stuff out and get things ready for the punters!

Amateur Sauce Competition

Amateur Sauce Competition

As the punters flooded in and settled down I went on another wander to see the lovely people from Type 40 toys and had a little chat to them before speaking to Miranda about the days events, as it turns out we were quite close to the “Amateur sauce” competition so I sat down with ChilliPepperPete himself and Ari Hirvonen who just happens to be the Finnish Naga Eating Champion! Well, after an hour or so of tasting and trying to decide who won what category it finally came down to these results:

  • Best Presentation: Rack Of Pain – Russel Williams
  • Best Heat: The Evil One – Russel Williams
  • Best Name: The Sauce of life – Kathy Green
  • Best Taste: Devilish relish – Karen Dishington
  • Best in show: Burning Desire – Jason Stevens

Of Course on day 2 there were the Professional sauce awards, also known as the “National Chilli Awards”, I was joined on this day by Frank who is one of the organisers ( and a cool guy named Tony who runs a chilli related blog ( and the results were as follows:

Now those of you that go to the FFUK every year know full well that the main event has and always will be the chilli eating competition, videos from both the competitions on the weekend can be found here.

Usually there would only be 2 winners, one from both days but this year there were three, mainly due to the fact that on day 2 the two finalists would NOT give up, so the prize was split between them and they both walked away happy men ( well happy in the prize sense as I doubt their stomachs felt the same way!! The winners from both days were as follows:

  • Day 1: Ari Hirvonen
  • Day 2: Andy & Nakai

As always the FFUK 2010 festival was a resounding success and was indeed a very well organised event with plenty of people turning up (over 9,000) to view the shows and enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of all the wonderful chilli products on sale! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Miranda and Frank for organising such a momentous event and inviting me to be a judge! And a very special thankyou to Lisa and Arron for putting us up for the weekend, supplying myself and Mrs Naga with food, drink and Halo!!

I look forward to meeting you all next year and hopefully will see you all before then also, may the sauce be with you chillifanz!!!

Our great thanks to Photographer Lloyd Miller for the use of his pictures (Far better that the usual ones I take!!)

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Fiery Foods FestivalThe Firey Foods UK Chilli Festival Event opens at 10am till 6pm  on April the 3rd/4th/5th in the Hove Gardens in Brighton.

At the festival you will find some the best of British chilli product:-

Chilli Plants:

  • Greenworld – organically-grown chilli plants
  • Herbal Haven – Live culinary, medicinal, aromatic & decorative herbs in pots.
  • Hot n Chilli – wide variety of chilli plants

Plus non-chilli stalls that have specialist chilli products:

  • BarLogic – local beers and lagers and award-winning chilli cocktails
  • Exchange Coffee – award-winning coffee now with chilli
  • Paul’s Plaice – oysters and fresh, locally-caught fish and fish dishes with chilli tel:01323 894714
  • Waffle Man – chilli ice cream, cokey floaties, chilli vodkas
  • West Country Cheeses – chilli cheese

    And some stalls that have nothing to do with chillis but are very tasty all the same:

    Hot Food Stalls:

    PROGRAMME OF EVENTS:  Opens 10am-6pm daily

    Saturday 3rd April

    12pm – Live cookery demo tba

    1pm The Bobby McGees

    2pm – Live cookery demo tba

    3pm – stand-up comedy

    3.45pm – Judging of the Amateur Chill Sauce category of the National Chilli Awards 2010

    4pm The Stuntmen

    5pm – Chilli-eating contest

    Sunday 4th April:

    12pm – Live chilli cookery demo tba

    1pm Pollito Boogaloo

    2pm – Live chilli cookery demo tba

    3pm – Stand-up comedy

    3.45pm – Judging of amateur chill sauce category of National Chilli Awards 2010

    4pm The Don Bradmans

    5pm – Chilli-eating contest

    Monday 5th April:

    12pm – Live chilli cookery demo tba

    1pm Jarmean

    2pm – Live chilli cookery demo tba

    3pm – stand-up comedy

    3.45pm – final judging of amateur chilli sauce category of National Chilli Awards 2010

    4pm Django Spears

    5pm – Chilli-eating contest

    For the latest information visit
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