Being a person that enjoys spicy food, particularly Indian cuisine I always look forward to attending the Bath Chilli Festival. In fact this year for the first time, it is the Bath Chilli and Chocolate Festival. This year it has taken place on Saturday, July 15th and Sunday, July 16th at the usual venue, Bath University Claverton Down, Bath.
It’s great to chat to those that actually produce the products they sell and to be able to taste before you buy a wide variety of sauces, chutneys, chocolate, cheese, cakes, wines, mead, chilli plants and more! It’s amazing what foods in which chilli can be used as an ingredient. There are sauces ranging from the very mild to the frighteningly hot.
There is a good selection of street food traders so there is no need to go hungry and in one area you can buy a spoon and try out the lovely food made by enthusiastic cooks from around the region and probably beyond.
In the main marquee, there is live music along with cooking demonstrations, scientific talks about chillies, eating competitions, live music and more besides. In the marquee, there are also other suppliers so never miss going inside to have a look.
I enjoyed chatting to Mr Chimp (yes you read it right) of Screaming Chimp Chilli Sauce, who came all the way from Durham to be at the festival. It was good to talk to someone with such a passion for his products and how to use them in the best way. Now having tasted the samples I need to turn my hand to cooking using Screaming Chimp Chilli Sauce!
Mr Chimp says (taken from his website), “we think it is important to supply the best product possible, so we only use the best produce for the job. Mrs Chimp and I make small batches from our kitchen at home, which brings us immense joy.
I have always had a passion for cooking, so when an old friend kindly gave me some of his chilli seedlings, which grew big and produced lots of chillies, I knew what I had to do. Using home grown chillies and as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, I set about developing my sauces into the mouth tingling range we have today.”
It’s also important that I give a mention to Chef Bernie and his wonderful range of West Indian inspired sauces. I am looking forward to using Chef Bernie’s Jerk Sauce on chicken, it will knock a few people out of the park! Call the fire brigade! Seriously it’s not just hot, it’s full of flavour and I am going to try this in several dishes. All of Chef Bernie’s sauces are vegan, wheat and dairy free.
Chef Bernie introduces himself with these words taken from his website, “I love to bring you funky delicious sauces that all of the family can enjoy, that’s why my sauces are vegan, wheat and dairy free ranging from mild through to blow your head off hot! I love feeding people! I make all my products with passion and the love of clean simple ingredients, just like you would make it at home, my greatest wish is that you enjoy cooking with me, using my sauces to bring you inspiration and joy to the meals you make, I hope to tickle your taste buds and give you products that will fill you with foodie pleasure.”
There were many other good producers of chilli sauces and other products that are worth talking to and trying out their produce so when you get the opportunity to visit do take a look at all the stalls.