Sizzlin Sauces’ Creator, Chef Bud Selmi
Some like it hot, and I’m one of them. Hot sauce, hot peppers, “Indian hot” curry and suicidal wings…I will always give it a whirl. Over the years, I’ve decided that Buffalonians in general love hot sauce and they’re passionate about their brands, but typically willing to try whatever tempting hot sauce is placed in front of them. I was recently introduced to Chef Bud Selmi, owner of Sizzlin Sauces and a Certified Sous Chef, and he says one of the only negative things he’s ever heard about his sauces is that they’re “too hot.” Is there such a thing? “Well, the first word in the name is hot sauce,” said Chef Bud, who admits that if folks taste it straight out of the bottle, they will find it very hot. “We don’t use any extracts in our sauces. We pride ourselves on just using habanero peppers.”
Chef Bud apprenticed for several years under several well-known chefs in the New Hampshire food scene. He has worked at Studebaker, which he describes as “kind of a 50s jukebox type restaurant”; The White Mountain Hotel and Resort, which offers upscale, fine dining, as the hotel provides for weddings and special events; and as an executive chef at Eagle Mountain House in Jackson, N.H. – a 96-room country inn on the historic hotels of America list. Chef Bud also is a past recipient of the American Culinary Federation New Hampshire Chapter’s “Chef of the Year” award.
The Sizzlin Sauces lineup, concocted by Chef Bud, consists of dozens of products with fun and funky sounding names. I tasted nearly 10 kinds of sauces from the line, which ranged in flavor profile and complexity. The Creepin’ Quag, a fruity hot sauce, definitely has a spiciness that creeps up on you. It’s a blend of habaneros, cranberries, plums and prickly pear cactus, and it is his best-selling sauce. It was among my favorites from what I sampled, and it happens to be the one with the most national awards. It’s a personal favorite of Chef Bud’s as well. “It’s a very versatile hot sauce,” said Chef Bud. “It’s got a great combination of flavors. It’s really good on pork, chicken, and my favorite is an accompaniment with scrambled eggs.”
So which sauces go best with what? Pappa Jack’s Buffalo Hot Sauce and Chile Sweet Sensation go well with wings. Spittin’ Fire goes well with burgers and anything coming off the grill. All of the hot sauces can be used as a marinade – a base for chicken, pork, beef or whatever you’re craving. Chef Bud recommends marinating overnight, as it mellows the flavor a bit. Certainly, if you want more heat, “add it after the fact and it’ll pack a lot more punch.” Chef Bud said he knows that Buffalo is big on football and tailgating, and said his products are loved by folks looking to tailgate.
I enjoyed a couple of Sizzlin Sauces’ relishes – Razing Cane Garlic Relish and Mojo’s Tapenade. The garlic relish makes a great accompaniment because of its versatility. It’s sweet and spicy and pairs with many foods. It was recommended to mix with cream cheese, but I mixed mine with First Light Farm & Creamery chevre and it was yummy. The tapenade, which features Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, makes excellent bruschetta or pizza topping, and goes with hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled veggies. I mixed mine with coarsely chopped chunks of feta and coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves, then spread it on toasted bread. Mmm. It has a touch too much bell pepper for my taste, but it has a nice flavor.
I noticed that the first ingredient in all the hot sauces I sampled was ketchup. I asked Chef Bud about this because my own favorite hot sauces don’t have any ketchup in them. He said that his original recipe he crafted back in the early 1990s had ketchup as the base. “Everyone who tasted it said ‘you should bottle this,’ so I stuck with the original recipe,” said Chef Bud.
Chef Bud’s sauces have won 55 national awards. The products are available at stores and restaurants in New Hampshire, and several specialty food stores and gourmet food shops around the country. Of course, you can purchase his products online as well. They’re running some deals for the holiday season too.
- On Black Friday, you’ll receive a free bottle of the award winning Spittin Fire XXX Private Reserve by ordering $30.00 or more from SizzlinSauces.com.
- From Small Business Saturday through Cyber Monday, you’ll receive a free bottle of Creepin’ Quag with ordering a three-month Hot Sauce of the Month Club subscription at SizzlinSauces.com.
- Beginning at midnight, Nov. 30, and running through Saturday, Dec. 15, you’ll receive a free bottle of Chile Sweet Sensation and a free bottle of Papa Jack’s Buffalo Hot Sauce for ordering a six-month subscription to Sizzlin’ Sauces’ Hot Sauce of the Month Club.
Speaking of the Hot Sauce of the Month Club, we’re giving away a three-month subscription! Simply leave a comment on this article about your favorite hot sauce or spicy food and you’ll be entered to win. You must leave your name and email in order to be contacted following the drawing. Winners will be drawn via a randomizer.
Good luck! As Chef Bud put it: “It’s a gift that keeps giving month after month.”