On a whim, I decided to accept my friend’s invitation to attend the latest gun show in Novi, Michigan. I had never been to one before and was curious about what I’d see there. Would it be big ass ones or little baby firearms like the stuff you see in movies. I admit that I’m naive when it comes to guns; America has an interesting relationship with them, but for today, that is not what this story is about.

This is a story about the little table at the back of the gun show. It wasn’t a trade show booth. and it didn’t have a typical identifying cloth on it;  just a man and some hot sauce bottles (and spices).

Chef Zachary Smith Spices
Chef Zachary Smith Spices

The man was handsome, with gray dreads and friendly eyes. I nodded as I walked by, glancing at the bottles in front of him. He had what looked like seasoning and bottles of hot sauce. Interesting, I thought as I went on about the business of enjoying the spectacle of a gun show. Oh! They had knives too. Not that that’s relevant to this story, but it seemed like something worth mentioning. Let’s carry on. I wandered around for a bit, occasionally glancing back at the man and his hot sauce bottles (and spices). I wondered how many people would be interested in something like that. I mean, it’s a gun show. Anyhow, a few minutes passed and I found myself standing in front of the man and his hot sauce bottles (and spices). He looked at me expectantly.

“What’s this?” I asked, pointing to the bottle he’d been holding earlier. He smiled broadly.

“Hot sauce,” he said proudly. “I make it myself.” Go on I said.


These are the details: 

Chef Zachary Smith

Photo courtesy of Chef Zachary Smith

The man behind the table turned out to be Chef Zachary Smith. As I sampled the hot sauce and seasonings, Chef Smith shared his story. He went on to say that he was born in Detroit and his love and experience with food started at a young age, watching his mom cook at home. By age of nine, he was already quite an accomplished cook. He ultimately turned that love of cooking into a way of life; attending culinary school at Canada’s Foothill College in Redwood City, California. He went on to have an impressive career that includes serving many years in prestigious hotels and restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. He then went on to become the executive chef of 5-star French restaurant, Ben Bow Inn.

It was such a pleasant surprise to come across Chef Smith and his spices and seasonings and I walked away with a bottle of hot sauce and a signed package of seasoning!

Chef Zach Smith

The Zachary Spice

We purchased the Zachary Spice which sells for $10. The description reads: A masterful blend of the best quality hot peppers and herbs that takes you on a roller coaster ride of flavors and heats, tantalizing every taste bud in your mouth. Rub or sprinkle on fish, meats, poultry, vegetables, sauces or anything you like. Chef Zachary originally made this blend for Mums a famous San Francisco supper club to use on swordfish. For the-hotter-the-better’ individuals, this spice is 100 % heart smart, with no salt, sugars, or MSG. Plus it skips the additives, fillers and the bonus is that it’s gluten free. 

The seasoning is indeed spicy. In a good way. Do not, I repeat, do not sniff too hard when opening the bag. You will sneeze, repeatedly. But it’s totally worth it.

We ultimately settled on whole baked chicken breasts and they came out with a nice skin on them, however I didn’t slice it well enough to keep the skin on for enjoying with the meat. However, that flavor went though the entire breast and it was balanced with heat at the end.

This spice is a win and we would use again. While it could be used on a variety of meats. I suggest that it’s best cooked with chicken.

Stay on the look out for the recipe we may or may not post it at some point.  

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