Bringing Flare and Umami To Hot Sauce
The Fireblade Food Company, founded and based in Houston, Texas, started a new take on hot sauce with two products in July 2018. At 27, the founder Matthew Wong has combined the cultural influences in his life as an Asian American to introduce the first ever mala hot sauce, packing a unique flare into a bottle that brings both heat and a numbing sensation that is unique to Szechuan cuisine, and the matador hot sauce, a jalapeno based Sriracha. Both are now available on: www.firebladefoods.com.
About The Founder - Inspiration and Startup Speed
Matthew comes from family of restauranteurs. The story begins with his parents, Gorina and Paul Wong, who immigrated from Hong Kong to the United States. Gorina, at the age of 18, started the first restaurant with Paul as a means to provide for the family. Being the family business, the children of the Wong family often found their spare time assisting at the restaurant. From that, Matthew has been exposed to the ins and outs of the restaurant industry, developed an eye for quality food, and built a refined palate for ethnic foods. Basically, his parents unknowingly raised him to be foodie.
Growing up in the restaurant was a double-edged sword. Although it was critical to Matthew's development in experience and identity, like many kids he wanted to stray away from the family business. While attending the University of Texas, he found himself plugged into the booming tech industry in Austin, Texas. This resulted him working for various tech companies, ranging from small startups to large tech giants. A few years later he found himself back in Houston to work at a friend's startup.
30 plus years later from opening their first restaurant, Matthew's parents eventually found their way into retirement and moved back to Hong Kong. There they connected with relatives who had built a strong reputation in the food world in Asia. Both his cousin and uncle were pioneering and elevating Szechuan cuisine, which landed their restaurants on the Michelin list. Tasting their foods and seeing the creativity that can be brought to Szechuan food, Matthew began to think of ways to popularize Szechuan flavors back home in America.
With the drive to pursue food, Matthew began to cook and experiment more in the kitchen. Being inspired by David Chang's Ssam sauce, he too wanted to create something new to the condiment space that embodied authenticity and the influences of his life.
After creating a couple variations of hot sauce, both were positively received from friends and family. Learning from his experience at tech startups, he approached this with a "fail fast" mentality. This meant putting out his product into the market as quickly and cheaply as possible to validate the idea.
Matthew quickly needed to acquire unbiased feedback, so he set up shop at local farmers markets. Being completely unprepared and scrappy, he tackled the farmers market with just a folding table, a tent, and no signage. He sold out of his products 2 weekends in a row, which proved he was onto something special.
The Mala Hot Sauce and Matador Hot Sauce
Created to fill a needed hole in the market, Mala Hot Sauce is the perfect addition the industry of hot sauce as it is a Szechuan centric hot sauce. Consisting of red chilis, garlic, and Szechuan peppercorns, the mala hot sauce has a unique floral aroma and is sure provide a very unique sensation and experience that goes beyond just heat. It is vegan, low carb, and has no preservatives, making it perfect for health conscious individuals.
Sriracha as a condiment has gained a strong foothold within food culture. Over the years, many other brands have begun to create their own take on it. Despite this, all were roughly similar as they are all composed of similar ingredients. Matt, being from Texas and heavily influenced by latin cuisine that is prevalent in the state, took the same approach to produce Sriracha but used green jalapenos rather than the typical red chilis to bring a new spin on the beloved condiment. The end result is the Matador Hot Sauce. Like the Mala, it too is vegan, low carb, and contains no preservatives.
Both are unique in flavor, which is attributed to the sauces' simple ingredient blend combined with aging. This provides spice, tang, a bit of sweetness, and umami. The Mala and Matador Hot Sauces have been delicious on anything from pizza to fried chicken.
Fireblade Food Company's Instagram: http://instagram.com/firebladeco
Matthew's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fir3blad3rr/
For hi-res photos, more information, or to get in touch with Matthew, please fill out the contact form below.