Andy Guy was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. His Father was in the RNZAF and they were constantly on the move, which gave Andy plenty of opportunity to sample many different cuisines. His first chilli recollection was when he was a boy and persuaded his Stepmother to try some chillies from a street stall in Singapore – it didn’t go well.
Lisa Guy gained her knowledge in chillies while working on cruise ships across the Caribbean. Here she learnt all about Jamaican food and the importance of the Scotch Bonnet chilli.
Lisa & Andy really are a team when it comes to developing products. Lisa is the main creator of the recipes and Andy’s job is to adapt them to a stable product and then up scale the cook. But if the recipe calls for lots of chilli, Lisa will step aside and leave Andy to create his fire.
They also own and run Poole Driving School and for four days a week they are full-time driving instructors – from one hot seat to another.
Both have always enjoyed cooking and experimenting with chillies, so in 2015 they decided to open the Dorset Chilli Shop in Winton High Street. They stocked UK based chilli products and as time went by, they slowly developed their own products, which were all made at home.
From the start they have always worked closely with Sea Spring Seeds and their legendary Dorset Naga chilli, one of the hottest chillies in the world. The Dorset Chilli Shop is one of only a handful outlets that can sell these seeds and plants. They naturally use the fruits in a huge range of their products, giving them some proper Dorset heat.
In 2017 they decided to close the shop and look for a suitable unit, to allow them finally get their kitchen back as a family room. In May 2018 they moved into the current unit, which had recently been vacated by From Dorset With Love. This is a prime example of how being a Member of Dorset Food & Drink can help you develop your business. They have regular networking events with local food and drink producers that have similar needs as you and have been through the same growing pains.
They now make over 30 chilli related products, which they sell on their website, at many food festivals across the country and from many stockists across Dorset. One that is very important to them both is their vegan friendly Dorset Knockers, a mild chilli raspberry dressing and for every bottle sold 25p is donated to Breast Cancer Care.
Andy’s latest creation is a blend of Spiced Rum, Pineapple, coconut and of course Dorset Naga Chilli. I tried it with fish and chicken kebabs; it has a sultry Jamaican heart, with a solid Dorset punch at the end.
Andy is very keen to work on more collaborative projects with other Dorset producers, so please contact him if you would like to create a chilli product or two.
Blog and photos kindly written and taken by our volunteer John Grindle.