Haute Foods founder gets down to business.
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2023 Wellness Show
When: Feb. 11-12
You are reading: Vancouver chili oil company one of many delicious discoveries at Wellness Show
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place)
Annie Nguyen’s fond food memories of the flavour of chili oil and crispy garlic originate in her youth.
“As a child, I would use this crispy garlic and chili oil with one dish my mom used to make, a Laotian chicken noodle soup,” she recalls.
When she introduced the specific pairing to her husband Peter years later, he questioned why she chose to only enjoy the spicy-savoury combination with that one familiar familial dish.
“I never thought to try it on other dishes because I was just used to eating it with my mom’s chicken noodle soup,” she recalls.
Her partner’s query inspired Nguyen to explore other ways in which she could use the chili oil with other dishes.
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“We started experimenting and eating it on all types of food then realized this condiment can go with pretty much everything,” Nguyen says. “Our top favourites would definitely be on pasta, pizza, tacos and steak. But, of course, also with the usual dishes people are accustomed to using chili oil with like soups, noodles, won tons.”
The condiment, she found, also added a kick to sauces such as soy sauce, gravy and even mayonnaise.
Nguyen began preparing her own chili oil for friends and family to try. And it didn’t take long, she says, before the interest in her spicy creations expanded beyond her own circle and into a business.
The owner and founder of the Vancouver-based Haute Foods — the name of which is a play on words that highlights the spiciness along with its sleek product design — Nguyen now offers a growing number of chili oil condiments with varying degrees of spiciness. The oils feature crispy discs of garlic, which Nguyen says are “addictive.”
“When you get a bite of the garlic chips throughout, it gives the dish a nice texture, taste and kick to your meal,” Nguyen says.
Haute Foods will be one of several businesses on display during the upcoming 30th-annual Wellness Show, running Feb. 11-12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The oil, Nguyen says, can be used on all types of cuisine.
“The products we have now are made from my background in Laos but we really do enhance every type of cuisine without changing or altering the flavour of that dish,” Nguyen says.
In addition to a booth at the upcoming Wellness Show, Haute Foods products can be found online at Hautefoods.com and in select stores in B.C., Winnipeg and Montreal.
Pan-fried garlic shrimp
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1 tsp (5 mL) Haute Garlic Oil
4 cloves minced garlic
9 large shrimp,
1 tsp (5 mL) Haute Mild Chili Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add teaspoon of garlic oil and minced garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Place the cleaned and deveined shrimp in the pan and cook untouched for two minutes. Flip the shrimp and let cook for another minute.
Add a teaspoon — or more, if desired — of Mild Chili Oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute. Stir it up, plate and enjoy.