Today I dragged my ever-tolerant family to the Chilli weekend at RHS Hyde Hall in Essex, my wife is a professional gardener and Royal Horticultural Society member so I have to be honest and admit the idea was hers entirely.
She knew the fact they had a chilli weekend would lure me out of bed on a Saturday morning and so there I was, half-asleep being transported down the A12 with the promise of chilli-related fun. Fun and ‘early morning’ are not two words I usually associate with each other.
When we arrived at what I thought was a ‘chilli festival’ but turned out to be a ‘chilli weekend’ I found a few marquees and a live band punting out passable versions of the kinda songs we all like to tunelessly mumble along to. Because we were on the hallowed horticultural ground, I was expecting the exhibitors to be a mix of plantsmen (and women) and chilli sauce sorcerers, which they were. Sort of.
There was a fine selection of folk to advise those who wish to grow their own chillies, a few curry spice suppliers (who sadly I didn’t have time to visit) but there was just once stall selling hot sauce. It was a little disappointing from the perspective of a chilli sauce fan, but the fantastic surroundings made it almost impossible to be disappointed with anything at all.
When I saw who the sole sauce seller was there was absolutely no way I was anything other than chuffed daft! So who was the only fella there selling chilli sauce? Read on my friend…
I met the master of bhut jolokia death!
In my long and mostly mundane past I’ve met a few mainstream famous folk, interviewed them, worked for them etc etc etc but I’ve never been terribly starstruck.
Today I met the man behind Norfolk Heatwave, creator of the ESSENTIAL ‘ Caribbean Certain Death Ultra Hot Chilli Sauce‘. This is a sauce that I hold in such high-regard it’s almost a little embarrassing. Norfolk Heatwave are all over this blog like a cheerful rash, and today I actually got to meet the man behind one of the best chilli sauces on the planet.
Sadly I didn’t get much of a chance to chat – I’ve run exhibition stalls many times myself in the past so I was very aware that it would be very unfair to take up too much of his time. Instead I just gushed about how brilliant his Caribbean-style bhut jolokia sauce is, told him about how every time I visit Holt in Norfolk I buy up every bottle Budgens has on sale, then shuffled off a little red in the face, apologising for being a bit ‘stalkerish’.
I did get a chance to try a new sauce the man himself had on sale, and no doubt I’ll blog about that at some point in the near future. I did manage to snap a cheesy photo though!
Last Updated on March 18, 2023
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