The Chilli Alchemist: October ’15

The Chilli Alchemist banner

It’s sometimes said that Communism started with four people in a room. The word ‘Communism’ is actually derived from the French word ‘communisme’ which developed out of the Latin words ‘communis’ and ‘isme’, and was in use as a word designating various social situations before it came to be associated with more modern conceptions of an economic and political organization. ‘Communis’ can be translated to “of or for the community” while ‘isme’ is a suffix that indicates the abstraction into a state, condition or action, so ‘communism’ may be interpreted as “the state of being of or for the community”. Now, I’d never describe the UK’s largest free chilli club as a Communist organization in modern terms, far from it, but it did start with four people in a room (by ‘room’, I mean ‘bar’) & it’s definitely “for the community”.
Around 6 years ago, four guys were drinking together in their local bar & looking for something to do on the weekend. After a little discussion & online browsing, they decided to attend an open day at a local nursery that specialized in chilli plants. Within minutes of their arrival, they were smitten with the sheer variety on offer. Up until this point, they had only known of the more common chilli varieties so their trip became an eye-opener & inspiration. The journey back was full of ideas and conversation. It was during this time that the idea for the Clifton Chilli Club was born.

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The Chilli Alchemist

by Jay Webley

The Chilli Alchemist banner

When asked to describe the UK chilli scene, the word that keeps coming to mind is ‘exploded’! During the past few years we Brits have seen a surge of chilli festivals, hot sauce companies, restaurants boasting ‘hot’ or ‘challenge’ dishes, chilli clubs & chilli farms. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down either!
I’ve always been a lover of chilli. Fresh, dried, hot sauce, it’s all good to me! However, until around 7 years ago, I struggled to find a range of any of these products. The ubiquitous Tabasco wasn’t cutting it for me but it was either that or Encona (Caribbean style sauces). Both carry a lot of vinegar & didn’t exactly showcase the flavour of the chillies within. I’d often make my own sauce with a blend of cayenne & naga, but I was convinced there must be more out there somewhere…but where?

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NYC Hot Sauce Expo Preview

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Just in case you did not notice the Ticklemaster part of the above ticket, it is fake. There is no ticket for $499.99, so please do not panic! The time to panic is when you enter one of the many scheduled events at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo. Such as the Puckerbutt Guinness Book of World Records Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper pepper eating record for 1 minute. A slight change from last year’s 3 pepper eating and done display. That will end the show on Sunday.

Then there is our 3rd Annual Fiery Pizza Eating Contest co-sponsored with our friends at Volcanic Peppers and the infamous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. Each contestant will get a Volcanically Enhanced Grimaldi’s pizza that they have to eat in a pre-determined amount of time. The first one finished or eats the most will be declared the winner and get this beautiful trophy…

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NYC Hot Sauce Expo LIVE on YouTube!


High River Sauces and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo are beyond excited to be teaming up with our friends The Chili Alchemist from the UK. The Chile Alchemist will sit side stage to bring you the birds eye view of their live stream from the Expos Main Stage. This 2 day live stream from Youtube will give the viewer exclusive footage of one of America’s biggest hot sauce shows in the world. They will be taking you behind the scenes as they interview hot sauce creators, the unsuspecting public, chilli eating competitors, the show’s creators & some of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame inductees.

“Having attended the NYC Hot Sauce Expo last year, we just had to come back! We had so much fun & discovered some amazing products & people. Being asked by Steve Seabury to attend in a more official capacity & run a live stream is such an incredible honour & opportunity. The Clifton Chilli Club love spreading the chilli love & this is such a great platform to do this.”

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