Q: What is Outer Limits Hot Sauce and how did you get involved with the company?
Outer Limits Hot Sauce is my own line of all natural, vegan, gluten free hot sauces. My focus is on flavor first, I use all fresh peppers to make sure you really taste the pepper, not just the heat. I started the company while between jobs. During my job hunt my girlfriend (now my wife) was diagnosed with cancer, when that happened I put the search for a new gig on hold and decided my focus would be supporting her through the course of her whole treatment. Prior to that I had already been making homemade hot sauce mostly for myself, friends and family. After making the sauce for a bit we decided that if we were going to be hanging out on Phish lot all day anyway, we may as well bring some along with us and see what people on Shakedown thought – maybe we could make a few bucks for gas between shows. I sold through all my sauce at the first show I brought it to and we’ve been bringing it with us on tour ever since, those first few shows I still never imagined it would become a real business. During the time of my wife’s treatment, she saw how much I enjoyed making the sauce and seeing people enjoy it, so she encouraged me to really embrace it full time. At the end of 2013, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money I needed to get into a commercial kitchen and make everything legit to sell at events other than shows. Since then I have been hitting about 100 events a year, from farmer’s markets to BBQ festivals and, of course, we still do Phish Shakedown too!
Q: How is your wife doing today? Does she help sell Outer Limits Hot Sauce on tour?
Chelsea is doing great now, thanks! Since then she has become very health-focused and is a total badass, regularly running Spartan Races, half marathons and other races. She is a staple at the sauce tent on tour! She typically handles slinging the stickers that we do with our bud @es_stickers while I take care of giving out the sauce samples. It’s always great having her help and company on tour, as I am usually solo at my other events.
Q: What do you love about selling your hot sauce on tour?
We’ve definitely seen some crazy things being on lot for 8-10 hours pre-show, but my favorite part is all the people we meet and the vendors and customers we’ve become friends with over the years. It’s very cool being at a local farmer’s market at my home in New Jersey and having someone come up to the sauce table excitedly telling me how they bought some from me at Hampton or Charleston, or anywhere else hundreds of miles from home. It’s great getting to meet New Jersey fans who had no idea when they bought the sauce at Phish that it was produced by someone locally.
Q: What is your favorite flavor and why?
My personal favorite is the Habanero, one of the two flavors I originally launched with, the other being my Jalapeño Lime. Habaneros are my favorite pepper and this sauce really highlights the uniquely fruity, citrusy flavor of the pepper – I find it to be very versatile. I can’t eat eggs without it and use it on my pizza in place of red pepper flakes.
Q: What is a favorite Outer Limits recipe?
The most popular recipe on my website is my Jalapeno Lime Shrimp. I mix our Jalapeno Lime hot sauce with olive oil and salt and pepper, then use that to marinate peeled shrimp while the oven preheats to 400. Throw those on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 6 minutes – they will cook perfectly every time and taste great on their own, added to tacos, burritos or a salad!
You can order Outer Limits Hot Sauce at outerlimitshotsauce.com and use code STTF15 for 15% off! Be sure to follow on Twitter @OLHotSauce or Instagram @outerlimitshotsauce for recipes and photos from Phish tour and beyond.