What is your real name?
So that we can identify your products, can you describe your logo to us, is there a story behind it – how did it come about?
My logo is a very mean looking chilli with a background of flames. This came about when I started trying out making my own sauces and salts and needed something to put on the packaging, a few hours and a lot of drafts later, we ended up with the Camz Killer Sauces logo you see today.
Tell us, what were the biggest challenges you faced to get your products/brand where they are today?
Products is something that I am working on to this day, just doing small limited edition batches, but they still sell out within a few days.
I’ve had to overcome some negativity from some online trolls, and get my name out there. Going to festivals and making some amazing friends in the chilli community is what has helped me get to where I am now.
When did you become involved in chilli life, were you born into it, or what did you do before? Where did your passion for chilli growing stem from?
Simply put, my passion for chilli growing stemmed from the chilli godfather himself, Neil Smith.
I entered chilli life around 7 years ago, starting off with little commercial brands and reviewing on youtube, my tolerenace grew and so did my audience, my followers sure do get a kick out of watching me burn!
Since that day, what major changes have taken place in the business and were they strategic, commercial or enforced for reasons geological, cultural, ethical, ecological, political for example?
The main changes that have come to Camz Killer Sauces is the amount of sponsors I have gained and had the privilege of working with to the likes of Adrian Zocaro at Firing Line Gourmet Chilli, Rob Dunn from Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments, Toddy Armstrong from FARMSTRONG, Stonka Hobbs from Viking Chilli, Jason Roebig from Bee All Natural, Padraic Kielty from Kielty’s Hotsauce & Marcus Bundy Hicks from Chillis Gold Coast. And a shout out to Paul Noonan for his support.
Is there a species you’ve tried to produce but are yet to master?
The Carolina Reaper. I’ve tried to grow this bugger for the past 4 years and failed every time!
What is the most popular product you have?
My chilli salt – The Salty Ghost.
Do you enjoy chilli yourself? Which is your favourite a) to eat and b) to grow?
I LOVE chilli! My favourite to eat is THSC Chocolate Scorpion, whereas my favourite to grow is the ones that cooperate.
Who are the people behind the company, tell us a bit about your team, who they are and what they do.
I do all the growing, cooking, making and producing where as my partner, Beck, does all the technical sides of things, assisting with posting, labelling and running away when I smoke the house out with fumes making salts.
Have you got any exciting plans for 2020, new campaigns, investment?
Just hoping to get to some more chilli festivals this year and get myself out there.
Have you got any funny chilli stories?
Ah, theres a fair few, but one that’s up there is the time I was eating a reaper on camera, somehow some juice or residue got into my eye and I was in the foetal position in the shower, pouring milk into my eye for half an hour.
What was the last thing you ate that blew your head off?
Red Bhutlah from Toddy Armstrong. Dying with cramps for half an hour.
There’s loads of amazing artisan chilli sauces out there (and some real mass-produced crap), which ones do you like and why?
This is an ever-growing list so let’s go with a top five.
5) Viking Ghost by Viking Chilli
4) You Little Reaper by Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments
3) Sabarac’s Carolina Reaper
2) Chocolate Scorpion Shock by The Hippy Seed Company
1) Raspberry and Smoked Yaki Blue Pepper Infusion by Firing Line Gourmet Chilli
Have you fulfilled your chilli dream or are there more things you want from your products?
There’s so much I want to do, my long term goal is to hit up some chilli festivals in the US.
Do you have other flavours or ideas in the pipeline?
There is definitely a lot of ideas, but I’m a reviewer first and a producer second. But I’d love to perfect one product before moving onto the next.
Briefly, where can we find your product?
I only make small batches so when it’s in stock you can find it on my facebook page.
Do you visit any chilli festivals? Which chilli event is your favourite?
I try to visit as many as I can, Briz Chilli Fest has been my favourite so far, bagged myself a couple of trophies at that event.
What advice could you offer someone wanting to make their own sauces?
Trial and error. Keep trying until you’ve got it down.
Has anyone famous ever tried your products, where did it happen and what did they think?
Not yet, hoping to get some out there.
Drink of choice? Pepsi Max
Fav Meal? My mum’s veal schnitty.
BBQ sauce or Ketchup? Neither.
Fav music/bands? KISS
Habanero or Scotch Bonnet? Habanero even though they give me the hiccups.
Bottle or Jar? Bottle.
Peri-Peri or Piri-piri? Peri-Peri
korma or vindaloo? Vindaloo
Romantic meal for 2 or big family feast? Big Family Feast
Food festival or music festival? Both
Finally, if you could cook for anyone who would it be and what would you make for them?
I’d cook for Paul Stanley, lead singer of KISS, I’d cook up my concoction of salami pasta.