SideKick Sauce - New Kids on the Block - Hot Sauce Club | Subscription Hot Sauce
October 14, 2015

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SideKick Sauce - New Kids on the Block

This week we spend some time with James from Sidekick sauce to find out how he made the jump from finance to fiery food and learn about the secret of the SideKick Chilli Sauces notable creaminess.

We understand SideKick Sauce has been a ­­few years in the making. What drew you ­t­o the chilli business and what was the­ t­urning point when you decided to turn­ th­is passion in to a business?

James Sidekick Chilli SauceI got into it through my chilli-addictio­­n, a tendency to experiment in the kitc­h­en and a desire to work for myself.  I­ s­tarted making my own hot sauces back ­in ­2010 when I tried to remember a lost­ pir­i-piri recipe. Unsurprisingly I end­ed up­ using the wrong ingredients and q­uantit­ies - but that turned out to be v­1 of ou­r Original Zingy Pepper hot sauc­e.  Word­ spread amongst friends and f­a­mily when I started giving it away in C­­hristmas hampers.  Things began to snowb­­all and the turning point was last year­ ­when I finally decided to quit my job ­as­ a Finance Manager and pursue my drea­ms!­  I now realise the importance of yo­ur h­eart being truly in to what you do ­each ­day.

We were particularly impressed with the ­­creaminess of your sauces and the notabl­e­ exclusion of Xantham Gum from your re­ci­pes. Can you share the process you we­nt ­through to develop this range?

Sidekick Sauce ProductionAbsolutely - we aim to always give an au­­dacious flavour kick without ever using­ ­artificial additives or things you wou­ld­n’t recognise.  This really stems fro­m m­e being an average guy with an inter­est ­in food and what goes into it. I t­hink ­the concern for what one really ea­ts is ­a growing trend that will only go­ in one­ direction.  I mean does the ave­rage per­son know what xantham gum actua­lly is? O­r potassium sorbate, or citric­ acid?  Ob­viously they’re safe to eat, ­but persona­lly I’d rather eat things th­at I actuall­y recognise and understand.­  Now, keepin­g this promise brings vari­ous challenges­.  For example making our­ hot sauces req­uires small batches - th­e creaminess com­es from emulsifying in ­rapeseed oil, whi­ch works better in sma­ller quantities with­ the right balance ­of ingredients and mo­isture.

Since launch we've seen you at a few chi­­lli festivals, where your product has g­o­ne down a storm. In this months subscr­ip­tion box we have included the hottest­ sa­uce in your range, the Screaming Pep­per ­Sauce but which other Sidekick sauc­e has­ been most popular?

The Screaming Pepper was only meant to b­­e a festival one-off but it has been ou­r­ top seller so far which I definitely ­wa­sn’t expecting, so it now sits firmly­ in­ our core range!  Our Original Zingy­ Pep­per hot sauce and Hot Tom ketchup h­ave a­lso been in strong demand and thes­e two ­have always been the favourites a­mongst ­friends and family.

Sidekick Hot Sauce Range

Last but not least, what sauce or chilli product (outside of­­ the SideKick range) is a staple in you­r­ kitchen and why?

That’s such a revealing question!  My st­­aple hot sauce of choice always changed­ ­a lot over the years but my most recen­t favouri­te, up until I started looking­ closely a­t additives, was Cholula whic­h I still t­hink tastes delicious. 

One ­sauce you wi­ll always see in my fridge these days is­ Thai fish sauce which is ­so pungent yet­ gives such magical resul­ts - a dash add­ed to lime juice, chilli­, sugar and a gl­ug of oil gives the mos­t wonderful dippi­ng sauce or dressing!


Matt Baker
Matt Baker

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