Back to Our Company
in the Media
February 11, 2001:
"Calgary family hotshots at making
The Simmons family from
Lethbridge has just finished turning heads and
blistering lips in Fort Worth and New York. And
in the process, Basil, Hilda, and Margaret
Simmons may have laid claim to producing the best
hot sauce on the (slightly burned) face of the
In unprecedented form, Basil's
Fire & Brimstone
hot sauce won three major American taste-offs and
the Simmons came home with armloads of trophies.
They started their winning ways by entering Chile
Pepper Magazine's 2001 Fiery Food Challenge
in Fort Worth. (Chile Pepper is the bible of hot
heads everywhere). In a taste-off with 350 food
professionals in early January, Fire
won the Best International Hot Sauce category.
The Simmons were stunned by the response -- they
weren't even at the show themselves.
But they were invited -- along with the other 47
Fiery Food category winners -- to pick up their
Golden Chile trophy in New York at another
competition called Sizzlin' on the Street with
Pepcid Complete. At this competition, their hot
sauce was the instant favourite of the hundreds
of New Yorkers who attended the public tasting,
winning the Complete Heat Award.
They also impressed the professional judges in a
blind taste test and came away with the
best-of-show award, a metre-tall Heat on the
Street trophy. This trophy was presented to the
Simmons by Grady Spears, a Texas chef who has
cooked for U.S. President George W. Bush.
It's no surprise to Albertans that Fire
walked away with the honours. In a market flooded
with stupid-hot, flavourless sauces with raunchy
names and tasteless labels, Fire
& Brimstone stands
apart as a classy effort. Its blend of mangoes,
cucumbers, and mustard creates a fruity backdrop
to Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers. The sauce is
full-bodied and rich, and be warned, it is very,
very hot. (It might not be a bad idea to start
with the mild version.)
Next the Simmons hope to head off to the
granddaddy of all hot sauce competitions -- the Fiery
Foods Show in Albuquerque this March.
They hope to round up an American distributor by
the end of that show. The best sauce on both
sides of the border is currently only available
in Canada. Pity.
Look for Basil's Fire &
Brimstone at Debaji's, IGA,
the Cookbook Co., Sunterra and Keller Foods
(Banff). A little of this stuff goes a long way.