Complex flavours. Quality ingredients. Small batches. Elegant bottles. The hot sauce renaissance is here!
We all know B.C. is a world leader in craft beer, but what about craft hot sauce? Artisan hot sauce is gaining momentum in Whistler as power duo Amie Comerford and Kirby Emmett turn heads away from name brands and towards their unique creations. Artfully taking hot peppers and turning them into something more than just a burn – Spcy Grls are bottling half a dozen sauces with flavours for every palate, perfecting balance and heat in each bottle.
The girls met working at the Amsterdam Pub and Moe Joe’s nightclub together (who said no great love stories started in Moe Joe’s?). Brought together by a mutual love of spicy food and cooking, the pair originally planned to start a catering company. However, what really set the ball rolling was a gift from Amie’s boyfriend - a hot sauce cookbook and starter kit. They tried their hands at different hot sauce recipes, resulting in some very happy tastebuds. They began giving samples away to friends and family to enjoy and the feedback was fantastic. Moved by this positive response, the girls took the plunge and began to professionally bottle and sell the sauces, and Spcy Grls was born.
Committed to all natural and plant based ingredients, the ingredient lists are short and pronounceable. Phew! 5 of their 6 delicious sauces are vegan and gluten free, the only one that isn't is their Bucking Chillies (which includes Worcester sauce, making it excellent for caesars!). To minimize waste, they also use leftover ingredients from their sauces and turn them into their new selection of dried spices. After much experimentation, they have narrowed down their selection to six hand made hot sauces, ranging from a mild salsa-style to an extra fiery 'deadly hot', as well as three dry rubs for those sizzling BBQ days.
Their number one seller is the Muy Picante. Their spiciest sauce made from fiery thai red chillies, this one is particularly popular for chicken wing marinades. Made for the spice lovers, it hosts a wicked sweet chilli flavour and packs a fiery kick leaving you wanting more. For any Brits wanting their Nando's fix - pick up a bottle of Muy Picante.
Amie’s favourite is the Buckin' Chillies sauce, which she puts on everything. It goes especially well with beef and is the perfect Caesar spice! The dry spice made from the leftover ingredients also makes an amazing Caesar rim.
Professional chef Kirby's sauce of choice is the Little Mama's Chipotle, and we were lucky enough to try it! We slathered this liquid gold onto some roasted sweet potato tacos and boy were we impressed. A little spice with a touch of sweet, this one really satisfied those Tex-Mex cravings. We reckon it is the perfect universal hot sauce that really seems to go with anything (even scrambled eggs!). Next on the favourites list is the Sexy Margarita, a mild salsa-like sauce with heavy notes of citrus and garlic, it is the perfect addition to fresh seafood or flatbread.
Whilst admitting that starting Spcy Grls in the fall of 2018 was a daunting venture, Amie has never once considered quitting. In her own words:
"Seeing people love our product and watching our little company grow just makes us want to work harder and give our company the best chance at success".
What's on the horizon for these new business owners? They want to see their sauces in as many locations as possible. They are revamping their labels so that they can be found on supermarket shelves and some other top secret* locations. For Amie, regularly reading cook books motivates her to keep creating new and exciting recipes. Chef superstar Kirby has taken the business to Victoria and continues to make hand made batches and grow the company on the Island. The local support and enthusiasm for Spcy Grls has been incredible... watch this space!
You can find these delicious hand made sauces in The Corner Deli, Whistler Brewing Co., The Velvet Underground and in Whislife Apparel. They are also at the Squamish Farmers Market every Saturday until October!
For a really simple recipe to try with their Little Mamas Chipotle, we’ve got you covered:
4 Chicken breasts
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup Spcy Grls Little Mamas Chipotle
5 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper - pinch
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, cook on low for 4-6 hours. Chicken should pull apart easily when ready. Enjoy!