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launch issue |

issue 01 {vol. 01} | autumn 2013




New CEO Tony Simmons on taking on the family business

The 19th-century opera in praise of pepper sauce

Our annual competiton to find the finest Bloody Marys

issue 01 {vol. 01} | autumn 2013

Welcome to the first edition of The Tabasco Picante, brought to you by the world’s most celebrated pepper sauce. We’re here to share recipes, cooking tips and cocktails, and to keep you up to date with the latest Tabasco -related news. ®


Beyond that, with the invaluable assistance of Shane K. Bernard, the Avery Island-based historian and curator for McIlhenny Company, we’ll be sharing the history and heritage of the pepper sauce that was born in Louisiana way back in 1868. Email : Twitter: @tabascopicante Online: A Galley Slave production. Design & Art Direction: Give Up Art.

ASK GARY Our resident Development Chef is here to share his library of Tabasco® tinged recipes and cooking tips

Illustration: Ben Hasler

CUSTOMER NEWS PAPA JOHN’S Following the success of its Louisiana Chicken Pizza and Louisiana Hot wings, both of which were spiced with Tabasco® Original Red, Papa John’s has teamed up with Tabasco® again to create its latest pizza – the Caribbean Hot. This time it’s Tabasco® Habanero Sauce that’s providing the kick to a combination of pepperoni, pork sausage, pineapple, green peppers and red onions.

Bananas Foster was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan’s in New Orleans and named for Richard Foster, a friend of the restaurant’s owner, Owen Brennan. Here is my version of this classic dessert, which was recently served at the Coronation Festival held at Buckingham Palace. Ingredients Serves 4 - 50g butter - 200g dark brown sugar - 50ml dark rum - 50ml banana liqueur - 2 tsp vanilla extract - 1 tsp ground cinnamon - 1 tbsp Tabasco® - 4 bananas, peeled

“Original Tabasco® Sauce when combined with the sticky chicken wing sauce and the chargrilled chicken held those vinegar notes,” explains Adam Wilcock, European Research and Development Manager at Papa John’s. “This time we’re adding Habanero to the pizza’s tomato sauce, which helps to bring out the spice and fruitiness of the toppings.”

and sliced lengthwise - 30g coarsely chopped walnuts - 265g vanilla ice cream Method In a large deep frying pan over medium heat melt the butter. Stir in sugar, banana liquor, vanilla, cinnamon and Tabasco®. When mixture begins to bubble, add the rum and flame. Place bananas and walnuts in pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until bananas are hot. Serve at once topped with vanilla ice cream. Gary Evans is European Development Chef Tabasco®. You can contact him at


Tex Mex Tartar Add some jalapeno zing to your traditional tartar with a few drops of Tabasco® Green Pepper Sauce

TONY S I M MON S McIlhenny Company’s new CEO on being ready to take over the family business, representing the brand and the new sauces on the horizon Photography: Jason Turner

Tony Simmons might not have mcilhenny in his name but the family’s blood courses through his veins and the family business has always been a part of who he is. The great-greatgrandson of Edmund McIlhenny, creator of Tabasco® sauce, he was steeped in the tradition of the family business long before he took over as CEO of the company, following the death of his cousin Paul C.P McIlhenny in February this year. “I grew up around the business. I went to school in New Orleans and lived there from September until early June. Then when school was out I spent every summer on Avery Island from the time I was old enough to remember,” he recalls. “I’m the Fifth generation of my family to do this but these days we have very few family members that still carry the McIlhenny name. My ancestors seem to have been much better at making girls than boys. Of the 130 family members that are currently shareholders, there are only two members of this generation – my generation – who still carry the McIlhenny name.”

transition of generations. Paul and I had agreed on that for a very long time and I’m just doing what we agreed.” His cousin was both a charismatic figurehead for Tabasco® and someone that took it in new directions. “Paul was very much a larger-than-life character. He was very good at representing the Tabasco® brand. I had 13 years watching him do that and hopefully I’ve learnt from him,” he says. “But he also did an amazing job of introducing new products. When he started at the company in 1967, there was only the original red pepper sauce. When he took over at the company in 1998, there were only two, the red and the green. He’s left behind seven flavours of pepper sauce, an array of other products such as mustard and soy sauce and countless co-branded products.”


He was already prepared to take over the running of the company before his cousin’s passing. He moved ‘home’ to Avery Island after 25 years at the start of 2000, responding to an invitation from his cousin to get more directly involved in the family business (he was already a board member) following the sale of his own crane distribution business. “Paul and I worked very closely together for 13 years,” he explains, “so there are very few things that happened without my involvement in that time. The timetable was moved forward following his untimely death but what we’re doing now is a

In terms of the future for Tabasco ®, that family of seven flavours may soon become nine. “There are two flavour profiles which we have watched taking hold in the US,” he says. “The first is Sriracha which is a garlic heavy pepper sauce that orignally came from Thailand and has been made popular in the US by a company in LA. The other is Cholula sauce, which is a Mexican sauce made with arbol and piquin peppers. We have plans to introduce versions of both, just for sale online and at the Avery Island store to start with.”

When it comes to his own Tabasco® intake he’s a traditionalist and primarily an original red pepper sauce man – the iconic product that still accounts for 70% of the company’s sales. So, how does he like to use it? “It would be much easier to say what I don’t do with it,” he says with a smile, “I was raised on the stuff.”

issue 01 {vol. 01} | autumn 2013

A SAUCE TO SI NG A BOU T A rather daring slice of late 19th-century marketing lies behind the curious tale of Tabasco the opera ®


on the planet that’s ever had an opera written about it. Tabasco®’s operatic heritage is itself a colourful tale, one that begins in the late 19th-century with a Boston based volunteer militia called the ‘First Corps of Cadets’, who staged a number of musicals to raise money for an armoury. With a membership that included various well-heeled Harvard graduates, their theatrical output was ambitious, inspired by the elaborate productions put on by their University’s ‘Hasty Pudding Club’. Accordingly they hired the composer George Whitefield Chadwick (a future head of the New England Conservatory of Music and a leading figure in the New England School of American composers) who worked with the librettist Robert Ayres Barnet, himself a member of the ‘Cadets, to create a Two Act musical comedy that was to be called Tabasco®. Its main plot concerned a bad tempered Ottoman potenate (Hot-Hed-Ham) with an insatiable appetite for spice, who after another disappointingly bland breakfast, threatens to behead his chef (Francois) if he cannot make him something sufficiently fiery by Noon. The chef hits the streets of Tangiers in search of something spicy enough to appease his employer and save his life. As luck would have it, he comes across a blind beggar with a mysterious bottle filled with a fiery red sauce. With subplots involving slave girls and political assassinations, it was a romp in the burlesque musical style that was popular at the time, influenced by Chadwick’s love of Gilbert and Sullivan. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Tabasco® was “A veritable anthology of popular styles, including a ‘Plantation Ballad’, a Spanish ‘Bolero’, an

Irish ‘Ditty’ and a French ‘Rigaudon’, most of them designed as set pieces to show off the talents of the first performers. But Chadwick also composed complex musical numbers that advance the plot and demonstrate his command of the extended finale as employed by Sullivan.” The amateur production, which began its run in Boston in January 1894, was a local box office success, and attracted the attention of the professional showman and actor Thomas Q. Seabrooke. Seabrooke planned a national tour but, since he would be using the Tabasco® trademark for profit, needed the approval of John Avery McIlhenny, who’d taken over the running of the company in 1890, when his father Edmund had died. John, who had attended business school, had a flair for promotion and saw the marketing potential of the opera. He travelled to Boston to meet Seabrooke, and wrote to his mother back on Avery Island, “The more I hear of the play, the better pleased I am with it, and the less disposed to make much of an outlay on it. If I can arrange with Seabrooke to bring the large bottle on the stage as the Cadets did, and to have it appear on his playbills, and to distribute samples twice a week, I shall be pretty well satisfied.” Seabrooke agreed to McIlhenny’s demands and the Tabasco® approved musical toured, renamed as The Burlesque Opera of Tabasco®, with a giant papier-mâché Tabasco® bottle appearing on stage during the performance. The Tabasco® bottle also appeared on the musical’s published sheet music, with a mechanical music box disk that played “The Tabasco® March”, the main theme composed by Chadwick, also produced. The opera also gave birth to the Tabasco® miniature bottle, given out to the audience post performance to help them judge whether this really was a sauce worth singing about.  


Left: Poster advertising the Boston perfomance Below: Production photographs and the cover of a playbill, showing De Wolf Hopper, one of the stars of the show Opposite: Cover of the original playbill


this november the third annual Tabasco® Bloody Mary Challenge will take place in London. Previously restricted to the UK’s best bar tenders, this year the competition is open to mixologists from across Europe. All entrants must

submit a Bloody Mary recipe that includes Tabasco® pepper sauce for a chance to compete in London in November. As in previous years, there will be two separate stages to the competition. The first is to make a ‘Classic Bloody

Mary’, the second to create an ‘Alternative Bloody Mary’. The winner of each category – Best Classic Bloody Mary 2013 and Best Alternative Bloody Mary 2013 – will be rewarded with a trip to visit Louisiana, the home of Tabasco®.

For a chance to take part, recipes must be submitted on email to laura@foodmatters. by November 1, 2013. To give you a taste of what it takes to win, below are the winning recipes from last year’s challenge.

Best Classic Blood Mary 2012

Best Alternative Bloody Mary 2012

- 35 ml Absolut vodka - 125 ml sundance tomato juice - 2 dashes Tabasco® Pepper Sauce - 15 ml Worcestershire sauce - 10 ml lemon juice - Pinch celery salt - Pinch black pepper

- 30 ml garlic infused vodka - 15 ml Punt e Mes - 15 ml lemon juice - 125ml tomato juice - Pinch of black pepper, celery salt and sugar - 7 drops of Tabasco® Pepper Sauce - 1tsp balsamic vinegar

Gareth Evans of Pollen Street Social

Throw three times, serve on a board garnished with a candy striped straw, small piece of celery, nocelara olive and cherry tomato, with a side of heritage tomato salad and horseradish snow, plus a miniature bottle of Tabasco®.

Marco Piroli of LAB

Combine all the ingredients in a tin, roll it with ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with bovril celery salt and chili flakes rim, boiled quails egg and soldiers.


“I don’t really like messing with classic drinks like a Bloody Mary but sometimes a pre dinner drink requires a lighter touch so you can fit the second one in. Isle of Wight tomatoes are a fantastic early season addition to our menus and their tomato juice really freshens up a mixed drink like this. How much heat you want in this drink is up to you so feel free to spice it up with more chillies and TABASCO®.” Bloody Hot Black Cow

Photo: Lauire Fletcher

Serves 4-6

- 150 - 250ml Black Cow vodka - 6 pickled guindillas (whole pickled chillies) - A few drops of Tabasco® (green or red ) - 400 - 500ml Isle of Wight tomato juice - Ice cubes - 4 -6 ice spheres or cubed ice - A couple of good pinches of sweet Spanish pimenton or paprika.

Line a fine strainer with muslin or use a jelly bag. Pour in the tomato juice and leave overnight to strain and extract a clear juice. You can squeeze the pulp a little just to extract any excess juice and add a little colour to the clear juice. Smash up two of the chillies, or more if you wish with the vodka in a jug with the end of a rolling pin or similar. Add the Tabasco® and strained tomato juice and mix well. Put the ice spheres into martini glasses or similar and

strain the liquid over the ice. Sprinkle with the pimenton and serve.

Black Cow Vodka

The creation of West Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow claims to be the world’s first pure milk vodka, made from nothing but pure whole milk. The whey from Barber’s herd is used for the vodka whilst the curds go into making cheese.

The World’s Greatest Oyster Bars: Huîtrerie Régis Where: In Paris’ Sixth Arrondissement, not far from the Boulevard St.Germain

established itself as arguably the smartest oyster specialist in Paris.

What: In less than in decade, in a city with no shortage of competition, this bijou outpost (14 seats inside and a couple of tables outside when the weather allows) has

On the menu: Oysters by the dozen (no half orders here) from Marennes-Oléron: No.3 and No.3 graded Fines, Pousses and Spéciales de Claires and – for roughly

twice the price – increasingly rare “Belons”. Booking: No reservations, closed Mon and mid July – mid Sept. 3 rue Montfaucon, 6th arrondissement, 75006 Paris +33 1 44 41 10 07

issue 01 {vol. 01} | autumn 2013

Readers’ Recipes Mille-feuille of Crab & Tomato


Tabasco Brand Oysters ®

While Tabasco® original red pepper sauce almost immediately established itself as an accompaniment to oysters, at one stage McIlhenny Company had a much more direct relationship with everyone’s favourite bivalve mollusc. This colourful label dates back to the period from 1905 –1910, when McIlhenny Company canned Tabasco® branded oysters.


CAJUN JOKE CORNER In memory of Paul C.P. McIlhenny March 9, 1944 – February 23, 2013 Boudreaux watched Little Pierre shuffle up the path. “Pierre you don’t look too happy,” Boudreaux said. “I ain’t. I got in trouble at school today,” Pierre replied. “Now you gotta do good in school Pierre. You gotta stay outta trouble,” Boudreaux lectured. Pierre blew out a long breath, kicked the dirt, then looked up at Boudreaux. “Well, it’s all your fault,” Pierre accused. “And how do you figure dat Mr. Smartie Pants?” Boudreaux demanded. “You remember yesterdaywhen I was doin’ my homework and I asked you what 250,000 and 500,000 was?” Pierre asked. “Yeah. So?” Boudreaux replied. “So, ‘a helluva lot’ ain’t da right answer,” Pierre stated.

Thierry Caruel is the Executive Chef of the Hôtel Grand Villa Argentina and its sister property the Villa Orsula, in Dubrovnik on the Dalmation Coast. He oversees all the restaurants at the two properties including the acclaimed Victoria Restaurant, which overlooks the Adriatic and the Old Town. He’s sent in his recipe for mille-feuille of crab & tomato, avocado tartare and tomato couli, Tabasco® Sauce and basil oil. Ingredients Serves 1 - 100g of crabmeat - 200g of fresh tomato - 100g of avocado - 0.25g fresh basil - 0.25ml of lemon juice - 5g of salt - 2g of pepper - 25ml of olive oil - 0.5g of cherry tomatoes - 0.02ml of Tabasco® Sauce Recipe 1. Add the tomatoes to a pot of boiling water for 5 seconds. Remove and add to a container of cold water. Remove the skin and cube the tomato. 2. Cut the avocado into small squares. Season with basil, salt, and pepper 3. Season the crab with lemon juice, salt, pepper and Tabasco® Sauce. 4. Mix the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper to make a coulis. 5. Mix the olive oil and basil. 6. Dress the plate with the tomato coulis 7. Arrange the tomato, crab and avocado within a square cutter (see photo) 8. Decorate with basil oil . For more details on where Thierry Caruel is Executive Chef go to:

TABASCO® is a registered trademark for sauces and other goods and services; TABASCO®, the TABASCO® bottle design and label designs are the exclusive property of McIlhenny Company, Avery Island, Louisiana, USA 70513.

The Tabasco Picante / Issue 01  

A Periodical From The World's Most Celebrated Pepper Sauce

The Tabasco Picante / Issue 01  

A Periodical From The World's Most Celebrated Pepper Sauce