Chiporro Sauce Company - Firefly Handmade Artisan Profile
This entrepreneur bravely left the stability of the world of corporate cuisine to strike out on his own. Carlos Ruiz is a classically trained chef with a panache for flavor. His enterprise, Chiporro Sauce Company, is a plethora of mouth-watering hot sauces that delight the palate, but not always in the most expected fashion. Carlos likes to experiment with ingredients, aroma, and heat to come up with flavors that will blow apart any of your preconceived notions on how hot sauce should hit the tongue.
Chiporro Sauce Company joins Firefly Handmade for our Holiday Market. While you might not immediately associate hot sauce with a holiday meal, don’t forget that this condiment makes the ultimate holiday gift. Hot sauce connoisseurs take their sauces seriously and a bottle of this good stuff is likely to leave them singing your praises. Not to mention Carlos is never short of incredible recipe suggestions that might be the perfect way to spice up your next family gathering.
Tell us more about what motivated the birth of your company. Why hot sauces?
Tired of working long hours and overwhelmed with the stress of managing a food and beverage department, I decided to say good-bye to the corporate world. Becoming an entrepreneur has been the best decision I've ever made and I’ve never been happier. Our business is owned and operated by my family. We dedicate ourselves to creating and producing unique hot sauces using only the finest quality ingredients.
During all my years as a chef, I felt my best dishes were successful because of my sauces. Everyone always complimented the flavor. It was a natural choice to choose hot sauces as my medium.
Are you a classically trained chef or are you completely self taught?
After graduating from culinary school at Johnson and Wales, I started working as a line cook in the hotel industry. Soon I was promoted to Chef de Cuisine, Sous Chef and later to Executive Chef. I worked in hotels like Sofitel, J.W. Marriott and the Four Seasons. I was given the opportunity to live in many different places. My wife and I have lived in Venezuela, Peru, Costa Rica, Italy as well as various locations in the U.S. After having our two children, we decided the nomadic lifestyle needed to be placed on pause. In order to offer our family stability, we decided to stay in Boulder. We all fell in love with Colorado and have been happily living here for thirteen years.
How do you come up with your recipes?
Our sauce recipes are created by starting with fresh, quality ingredients (free of preservatives and emulsifiers). Then we get to have fun in our kitchen pairing flavors and experimenting. What’s interesting about our products is that the sauces are not just ‘hot’ they are filled with flavor and the heat is just an accent. All of our sauces are hand-crafted and made in small batches. It was important to us to develop sauces you can incorporate into your favorite recipes or that you can use as simply as marinade or dip.
What is your favorite hot sauce right now? Why?
They all are favorites because each one can be used differently when cooking. The Cilantro Jalapeño seems to be everyone’s favorite and is our best seller. I believe this sauce speaks to our customers because of the fresh flavor plus the mild heat. It goes well with a wide array of dishes.
What is an unexpected hot sauce pairing we might want to try? Any food that goes well with hot sauces that might be unusual?
The most unexpected pairing with our hot sauces is pumpkin! You’ll love our recipe for our spicy pumpkin bread. Just add one or two teaspoons of our Wicked Hot Sauce into the batter before baking. Amazing! The balance of sweetness and heat of this sauce is a great way to spice up any dish you’re creating. You’ll never want regular pumpkin bread again!
Why are you proud to be a Firefly Handmade Artisan?
The quality of products chosen by the organizers of this market is top notch. We are surrounded by amazing, talented artisans and it is an honor to be included. Also, having the opportunity to share our products with a supportive community is always motivating.
You can find Chiporro Sauce Company and their wide variety of hand-made hot sauces at the Firefly Handmade Holiday Market, Saturday December 16 and Sunday, December 17 at the NEW Embassy Suites Hotel in Boulder on 28th and Canyon.