Hot Sauce Maker Interview #1 – Hatari Bros.
You may not know Sam Shivji by name. You are probably more aware of his products though. Sauces like Acid Rain and Alberta Crude need no introduction. Sam has been at the forefront of the Canadian Hot Scene for years and has won numerous prizes for his fiery concoctions. I was lucky enough to catch up with the man responsible for the great white North meltdown and ask him a few questions.
The most obvious questions is why hot sauce – where did the idea come from for you to get involved doing this?
Since the age of five I have been a hot sauce fanatic. I grew up in Africa where chili peppers grew wild. I remember our cook grinding green peppers, mixing it with fresh cilantro and lime juice and a bit of sea salt. He made up a paste and put it in a bowl. Every meal was accompanied by fresh hot sauce on the table. We just didn’t eat our food without it. Now it’s my passion to experiment with hot sauce and try new and exciting things.
If you had to pick a favourite sauce of yours which would it be?
There are many sauces that go with different dishes. I would have to choose Grandma Shivji’s Red Habanero as my favorite because it is versatile and goes with everything.
Any new products we should be ready for from your line?
We will soon be introducing a Mango Hot Sauce, a Honey Cayenne hot sauce and a Cilantro Jalapeno Hot Sauce.
Where do you see the future of hot sauce in Canada 5 years from now?
I see Canada catching up with the rest of the world. I have also noticed many people eating hot sauces for the health benefits and enjoying it. Hotter sauces will grow in popularity but people also want hot with flavour and variety. I think in 5 years a trip to the grocery store you will have to choose from 30 different hot sauces all different from different parts of the world.
What is your favorite sauce that you don’t make?
This is also another difficult question. I would have to choose Marie Sharp Fiery Hot. But I also like Blair’s Smokin Hot Pot.
Do you eat the sauce you make?
What’s a typical day for you?
Start with breakfast (Hot Sauce on my eggs). Come to work and start experimenting on different sauces. Check up on production. Talk to different manufacturers and listen to feedback from our customers.
What sets you aside from the other hot sauce producers out there today?
I have a unique mix of African, Indian, and North American influences in my products. Many of my products have a unique flavour that have won awards at different hot sauce competitions throughout the world.
What is your inspiration before you embark on a new concoction?
Since I have the travel bug I enjoy visiting different parts of the world. When I return I just have to recreate some of my favorite dishes that I had tried there. Often this means creating a hot sauce and doing it my special way.
Outside of creating hot products what, what else keeps you occupied or out of trouble?
Like I said before I like to travel. I also enjoy working out and getting into trouble.
Any weird stories or uses for your hot sauce that you would like to share?
We once had a review of our Uncle Big’s on our answering machine. To make a long story short I have never heard such foul language from a lady before. We also like to have tasting demo’s. Watching the reaction of tough guys when they try Uncle Bigs or The Mother of All Hot Sauces is always funny. We also have a regular customer who buys hot sauce for the farm to keep away the rabbits
Are you a hot sauce manufacturer? Would you like to do an interview here on the HSB? Then simply drop us a line using our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you. We’re more then happy to feature manufacturers from all over the world – so don’t miss out on this chance to put yourself in front of the greatest group of chileheads on the net.