A Spicy Soiree: Hot Sauce Book Launch at Honest Burgers - Heriot Hott

A Spicy Soiree: Hot Sauce Book Launch at Honest Burgers - Heriot Hott

A book launch can be quite nerve-racking, especially if your business is featured in the book. Even more so if it's your first one. I remember it like it was yesterday. Professor Hott rang me on a Sunday afternoon to tell me our very own hot sauce was to be put in a book - Hot Sauce: A Fiery Guide to 101 of the World's Best Sauces. A double page spread with an illustrated image of our Roasted Pineapple & Yellow Fatalii Hot Sauce and an interview. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was sitting in my two bed flat in Manchester, illustrating a quick sketch at my office desk, wondering how this business had got the Professor and I this far. He was simply a drawing me a Liam has imagined up out of thin air. An idea we thought might be a cool project for the both of us. And here he was, the crazy hot sauce scientist and all his experiments making an imprint on his fellow subjects.

Above: An image of when we first received the book with the double page spread featuring the Roasted Pineapple & Yellow Fatalii Hot Sauce by Heriot Hott.

The story goes that two men, an author/tv presenter (Neil Ridley) and a music producer (Dean Honer) had become fascinated by hot sauces all around the world and were embarking on a publication that would put us on the map in book stores such as Waterstones, WHSmith, Hop Burns & Black and Urban Outfitters. Featured alongside the biggest names in the food industry, such as Encona and Cholula. To us, it was a miracle.

Fast forward to 6 months later and the date is 25th October 2023 and I'm putting on a presentable grey dress and working out how to record videos for reels on my newest iPhone at my parents house in Hertfordshire. I have been invited to the book launch for Hot Sauce: A Fiery Guide to 101 of the World's Best Sauces which was to be hosted at Honest Burgers in Liverpool Street, London. 

Above: a photo of Geraldine Illustration heading to the Hott Sauce Book launch with her book in hand.

London, a city I hadn't been in and around for quite some time had developed in its 21st century cuisine, once again became the epicenter of gastronomic excitement as Honest Burgers, a beloved spot for burger enthusiasts, transformed into a hub of spicy fervour for the launch of "Hot Sauce: The Essential Guide to 101 of the World's Best."


I met up with Professor Hott just outside of Liverpool Street tube station before going into the restaurant where I was greeted by an array of hot sauce companies and friends of the food industry who were making a big impact on business in the UK. Names such as Yoyo Lao, Thiccc Sauce and Crazy Bastard Sauce were at the event, along with the Quadrille Publishing Ltd editors and managers. The venue situated downstairs, adorned with posters of the illustrated pages from the book and hot sauce bottles on the tables, exuded an infectious energy. Guests mingled, exchanging stories of their favorite sauces and how they discovered them and eagerly awaiting Neil going in between the tables to offer out a tasting of hiss take on an Old Fashioned or a spicy Margarita. As I navigated through the spicy sauces laid out on the tables, I was struck by the diversity of flavours and heat levels represented in the book. From the mild and tangy to the downright volcanic, "Hot Sauce: The Essential Guide" catered to aficionados and novices alike, ensuring there was something for everyone to savor.


Above: A photo of Liam Kerr (Heriot Hott's creator) and Yoyo Lao at the book launch event.
Above: A photo of the Honest Burger menu that was served at the book launch event.

To say I was excited was an understatement. Being amongst people who were wanting to come together to celebrate the one thing we all love and share in common is truly a blessing. It's also an achievement to be amongst foodies who wanted to tuck into all the sauces that were displayed on the tables. there was speech from Neil, thanking everyone for coming and being apart of such an incredible community. Their passion for hot sauce was palpable as they shared anecdotes about their adventures to finding the perfect chilli extinguisher. From ice cream to ice cubes and more. They surprised us with a vinyl CD that goes along with the book to play whilst consuming hot sauce. Electronic, synth eery sounds to make you your tongue and your ears explode from a sensory overload. We got our books signed by Neil and Dean and met some incredible people wanting to stock Heriot Hott in their shop.

Above: A image of Neil Ridley and Dean Honer making a speech at the book launch event.

Overall it inspired us to aim higher. With other creators having a larger selection of sauces and a stock list of clients that returned after ordering their first batch, we want to be up there with the big leagues. Creating new inventions in our laboratory and shocking fans with our unlikely parings of flavour profiles. There is plenty more to come for Heriot Hott and a whole world of hot sauce to explore.



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