We catch up with a star from our past, the creator and chef behind NW Elixirs incredible lineup of spicy sauces. We gifted you their No. 5 Hott Jolokia in the En Fuego box, which launched many moons ago.
You definitely need more for all your upcoming gatherings, but first, we invite you to get to know the mastermind behind these diabolically hot, but very-balanced hot sauces––Chef Andrew H. Garrett.
What initially inspired and motivated you to make a hot sauce?
Chef Garrett : I fell in love with spicy foods at a very early age. I was raised on a small farm in Northern California where my father grew a variety of hot peppers. Since we cooked mostly with ingredients we foraged, hunted, or grew, we ate a lot of heat. While my career as a chef expanded, I saw a need for a hot sauce that was more than just hot. It needed flavor too, just like my dad’s cooking.
Sometimes what makes a good sauce is hard to define. Why do we love yours so much? What’s the difference between your bottles and the other 2,947,222 options on the market?
Chef Garrett : NW Elixirs Hott Sauces are more than just heat, they are complex elixirs that compliment any kind of food. We have won multiple awards, including two New York City Hot Sauce Screaming MiMi’s, two World Hot Sauce Awards, and we are the only hot sauce company in the country to win two Good Food Awards. Our sauces go beyond the typical. We don’t use any fillers, artificial ingredients, gums, extracts, or preservatives.
What’s your personal favorite and why?
Chef Garrett : Don’t tell the others, but … it’s is our No. 5 Hott Jolokia. Besides the flavor itself, I love the process of creating this sauce. We partner with Bull Run Distillery and use their “Pacific Rum” barrels to create the smokey sweet flavor profile that finishes with the perfect balance of ghost pepper flavor and heat. This sauce is an absolute stunner.
Can you tell us a bit more about the No. 5 Hott Jolokia?
Chef Garrett : The idea was born after tasting Bull Run Distillery’s Pacific Rum. We saw the perfect opportunity to get back to the roots of hot sauce by fermenting the peppers in the finished rum barrels for 45 days. Since both rum and ghost peppers have origins in the Caribbean, I began the process of creating a perfectly balanced hot sauce that compliments any dish. We sourced ghost peppers grown in South Carolina at Puckerbutt Pepper Company, and created an ideal island style almost “jerk” like sauce, using pineapple, agave, rum, smoked ghost peppers, fermented ghost peppers, red wine vinegar, and an ideal blend of clove, all spice, and coriander.
Who else is really crushing it in this hot sauce game?
Chef Garrett : The key to a good hot sauce is finding products that are created for food, by people who love food. Sauces like Lucky Dog Hot Sauce out of California, or Oregon based SauceFather Secret Aardvark, Hot Maple, and the geniuses at High River Sauces and Race City Sauces are all hitting the mark. There are so many great creators out there right now. It is a great time to be a hot sauce fanatic, that’s for damn sure.
For damn sure, ideed!
Pick up bottles of NW Elixirs here and check out his skills on The Food Network’s “Chopped.” It’s Season 22, Episode 11: “Hot Stuff”