A novice chutney maker has proved he really is hot stuff.
Jon Myers’ Fiendfyre hot sauce sent judges’ taste buds into a frenzy at the World Hot Sauce Championships in Louisiana, where it gained third place in the ultra hot category.
Jon, who owns The Unusual Chutney Company in Grange Moor, decided to pit his product against others made by top professional producers from the USA, New Zealand and dozens of other countries in the contest held in New Iberia, which is judged by around 30 hot sauce experts from the USA.
And the bronze place was a happy shock to Jon, who only started creating his range of sauces, pickles and chutneys from his home grown vegetables and British ones specially bought in in January after being made redundant due to ill health.
The American-based World Hot Sauce Awards are considered the most prestigious and coveted chilli awards in the world. This year over 1.000 products were entered by 213 companies representing 13 countries.
He said: “I couldn’t believes it– I was hoping to come in the top 10 but to get third place is incredible.
“A total of 700 products from 97 countries were judged at the event so learning I’d won came really out of the blue.”
He described his secret winning mix.
“It’s blistering hot.
“I use British chillies which I buy online and steep them for eight to nine hours beforehand.
“My son accidentally had a taste of a batch of the Fiendfyre before I had cooked it– I could practically see steam coming out of his ears.
“Then they get cooked and bottled and I send them out to customers.
“Strangely though, despite it getting an ultra hot category award I’ve had people ask me to make on that’s even hotter.”
He was one of only seven sauce and chutney makers from the UK to win a prize in the competition, which was founded last year as part of the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo.
Jon’s hot sauce and chutneys are causing a stir back home, where he has been selling them online and at market stalls.
Following an earlier interview with the Examiner in July, Jon has become the in-house chutney and pickle provider for the new Magic Rock tap room in Birkby.
He said: “Everything’s been going really well and I was really pleased to be contacted by Magic Rock.
“I’m still making the products part time and my wife goes off at the weekend to sell them for me.