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Calgary Herald
Back to Our Company in the Media

February 11, 2001:
John Gilchrist
"Calgary family hotshots at making sauce"

The Simmons family from Hilda, Basil and Margaret Simmons holding some of their many trophies
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 earth.

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 & Brimstone 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 & Brimstone 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.

Last Update 08/02/2005
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Simmons Hot Gourmet Products Corp. 1999

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