Picante Hot Sauce has entered the chat
Made from leftover Picante chillies, our new house condiment doubles down on our mission to reduce food waste
Monday 18 July 2022 By Jacquelyn Lumley
You probably didn’t need another reason to order a Picante de La Casa, but we’re giving you one. The leftover chillies that garnish our signature cocktail are the star of Executive Chef Andrea Cavaliere’s new hot sauce, with a recipe that streamlines sustainability across Soho House kitchens.
‘It’s our most popular cocktail,’ says Cavaliere, who runs our kitchens across the world. ‘I was talking to Tom Kerr, Global Beverage Director, about this goal to sell one million Picantes in 2022. I thought, if we’re going to sell one million Picantes, that means we are going to cut the tops off one million chillies.’
Soho House has a goal to reduce food waste in our operations by 50% by 2030, as noted in our ESG report. Currently, over 65% of our houses send food waste to environmentally positive programs. ‘We were already using the chilli – or, reusing the chilli – as a garnish on our calamari and tuna poke,’ he says. ‘Now we have a way to actually use the entire chilli.’ Only the top portion of the chilli is used to garnish the cocktail; the hot sauce makes use of the other half. Freshly made hot sauce is something that all the houses have played around with, but this is the first official recipe, labelled and bottled.
‘The fresno chilli has both a spiciness and freshness to it,’ notes Cavaliere. ‘For the hot sauce, we combine this with guajillo dry peppers and árbol chillies for smokiness. Then we add agave, apple cider vinegar, chipotle, paprika and garlic. All the chillies used in the hot sauce are Mexican and that was done intentionally, because the Picante cocktail, with the reposado and lime and agave, is a Mexican cocktail.
‘I love the fact that it’s not too spicy, because you really can feel the different layers of flavours,’ he adds. ‘To me, that's what makes it unique. We make it fresh without preservatives, so it doesn’t have a long shelf life. A recipe is a process. This is the final product of lots of testing and input from our staff. So far, we are getting really good feedback.’
In recent years Soho House has put a renewed focus on our company values and launched our social responsibility and sustainability programme, House Foundations.Our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives use the platform we’ve built over 27 years to make a positive impact on the people around us, the lives of our members and the environment. In 2021, Soho House signed the UN Global Compact enabling us to track and measure our social and environmental impact against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We set our 2030 goals for Soho House and implemented sustainable practices across our businesses that we believe will make things better for our members, our teams and the communities around us.
One of these goals is to reduce waste through responsible consumption and diverting food and non-food waste from landfill. Food and drink have always been a big part of our member experience and food waste is therefore one of our biggest impact areas; we’ve committed to reducing this by 50% by 2030, with 100% of our sites sending separated food waste to environmentally positive programmes. Ideas like the Picante Hot Sauce, removing plastic straws and implementing recycling across all our Houses are just some of the ways Soho House is working to reach that goal.
So, keep your eyes peeled for bottles of our Picante Hot Sauce, available now in our North American houses, coming to UK houses later this month and the rest of the world soon. Know that the next time you order a round of Picantes, you are helping to power our sustainability efforts. Cheers to that.
You can read more about all of our ESG goals and the progress we’re making towards them in our 2021 ESG report.