Stuart McAllister

Huy Fong Sriracha in the UKIt seems hard these day to praise the UK Supermarkets, but with prices coming down, and now thanks to that hero of the UK Hot Sauce scene Stuart McAllister from Hot-Headz UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is now stocking Huy Fong Sriracha in over 500 stores nationwide.

This is quite an achievement and follows many many months of work from getting the product through label compliance, to finally getting the stock listed and into the Sainsbury’s distribution system.

We have described this sauce as iconic and it is true star of the USA chilli market with a reported 20+ million bottles of the USA produced sauce sold per year. The taste is unique and if you ever run out of things to do with it there is always The Sriracha Cookbook we reviewed a while ago.

Now for the really good news.. Sainsbury’s is selling a bottle of this magic hot sauce for only £3.00 a bottle. I know where I am going tomorrow so I will see you in Sainsbury’s.

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Stuart McAllister - Hot-Headz

Stuart McAllister – Hot-Headz

Stuart from Hot-Headz (and he is no fool) has decided that today and today only you can save 25% on any order with Hot-Headz over the value of £20.00 before discount and P&P.

To get the discount you just need to enter the SID code notafool on the My Cart page.

They tell us that there is no limit to the order quantity…

Order valid from 12.00 a.m. 1st April to 11:59p.m. 1st April. 

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Hot-Headz  Ringstinger

Hot-Headz Ringstinger

Stuart from Hot-Headz did some live tasting with the crew from Real Radio XS live on air.

They are tasting 5 sauces from the Hot-Headz range:-

  1. Tapatio Hot Sauce
  2. Brother Bru-Bru’s Mild African Pepper Sauce 
  3. Pyromania! 
  4. Ringstinger
  5. Mad Dog 357 

So if you want to enjoy these at home visit the Hot-Headz web-site

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Chilifest Finland

Chilifest Finland

In 2010 the Finnish city of Tampere, Finland held a show called Naga Fest and although I was invited I couldn’t attend – gutted or what?! It was a great success so they decided to run the show again this year at a new location in the town square in Tampere, under the new name of Chillifest.

Well this year I was invited along again to assist my distributor Poppamies, on the stand selling Hot-Headz! products to the masses of Finnish chilliheads that turned up. Believe me, I didn’t know what I was in for…….

This show was like the Chilli Fiesta at West Dean 15 years ago. Masses of chilliheads and a handful of exhibitors! The event was free for the public to enter and it was estimated that between 20-30,000 people attended over the weekend.

Having arrived late in the evening my hosts managed to make sure I had time for a few beers and a quick catch up before crashing out. The following day was spent in preparation for the show. The warehouse was buzzing with activity and radio and TV crews were calling most of the day for interviews with my great friend Marko Suksi, the show organiser.

The show was set up in a day and a half with an enormous drive on stage that unfolded from a truck to form an impressive stage – like some kind of Transformer toy! The final touches were made to the stands on Saturday morning with Hot-Headz! being allocated an impressive space at the end of the stand to display our products. The first day opening times were mid day to midnight Saturday so I had visions of sampling product for a while, wandering around other stands talking to exhibitors and having a few beers. No chance! There were 8 staff behind the stand and we sold pretty much hand over fist all day long until about 8pm when it slowed from mayhem to manageable as the visitors enjoyed the bands, fire jugglers and other entertainment, none of which I got to see!

ChiliFest Finland 2011 - Copyright Matti Suksi

ChiliFest Finland 2011 - Copyright Matti Suksi

The highlight of the day for many was the Naga eating contest. The winner consumed 181.57g of fresh Naga – the equivalent of 27 fresh pods! A new Finnish record. All these results were reported in real time on-line by the Finnish Chilli Association. These guys were kind enough to bring me a bowl of their home made chilli both days to keep me going!

Other stands included several hot sauce sellers, chilli sausage vendors (very nice habanero sausage!), Mexican foods, Chipotle Beer, fresh chillies from Finnish growers, Chilli plants, growing kits and so on, plus the essential bar!

All day long the “Too Hot To Handle” girls were doing a great job out in amongst the crowds sampling out products. Bands played the main stage in between other events which meant that the atmosphere remained constantly upbeat.

The next day was expected to be slower with opening times from mid day to 7pm but it was just as busy. Exhausted I crashed around 11pm and my thoughts drifted to the past couple of days. The Finnish people are really friendly and polite and it was an absolute pleasure to meet so many of them in my favourite environment – surrounded by hot sauce! What struck me was their sheer enthusiasm for new flavours, their willingness to try new products and of course their excellent English, without which I would have been stranded. Several times a day came announcements on the PA that “Special Guest” Stuart McAllister from Hot-Headz! in the UK was present which was pretty cool once I got over the embarrassment of people coming to the stand to shake hands and say hello.

ChiliFest Finland 2011 - Copyright Matti Suksi

ChiliFest Finland 2011 - Copyright Matti Suksi

Every exhibitor had great sales and many sold out half way through the Sunday.

Monday was spent visiting the supermarkets to see our products on shelf and get a feel for the food trade in Finland. They don’t seem to be monopolised by large chains over there so it is possible and profitable to sell to several small chains of shops.

Monday evening was reserved for a post show party hosted at Marko’s restaurant “Roast” but prior to that I was treated to a tour of Tampere by my friend Jarkko in his brand new Porsche convertible. It was so good to see the city, which has enormous lakes on both sides of it, the parks and lakeside houses and soak up some of the culture. The tour ended with us reaching Roast and I have to say the food was absolutely excellent. I had a smoked fish starter with nettle pesto which was amazing followed by a Habanero Burger. It was hot but manageable and absolutely delicious. My friend Lasse ordered a Naga Burger which he offered me to try – a couple of bites and I was done! Anyway I had to leave space for the beer, Jaloviina the “noble booze”, Black Russians, White Russians, drinks I couldn’t pronounce and more beer that fuelled the Karaoke evening Marko had planned for us!

Last memory was singing (or rather shouting) along to a duet with Marko of Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills!

Having never been to Finland before I didn’t know what to expect but I have to say it was a really wonderful experience from start to finish (no pun intended!). In summary I’d say that I was treated like a king by some of the friendliest, most genuine people one could ever wish to do business with and I’m proud to call them my friends.

Along with all the exhibitors taking part they have made Tampere the Chilli Capital of Finland.

Tampere Rocks!

http://www.chilifest.fi/


Copyright Matti Suksi

Copyright Jukka Vahter

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