I am Neal Milsom and I have been known as “The Chilli Man” to family and friends for over 30 years. To finally turn my passion into a business is the realisation of a long-held dream.
It all started when I was at university in Brighton a long time ago. I was looking for a way to feed everyone cheaply and soon got the reputation of cooking the best chilli con carne in town! I started growing my own chillies at this stage as the ones available in supermarkets back then were limited to say the least. Little did I know then that it was going to turn into an obsession!
After a stint in the City of London followed by a back-packing trip round the world, I ended up emigrating to Australia, where my love for chillies really started getting serious. The weather in Perth was ideal for growing and I was soon on the fledgling internet sourcing seeds from all over the world. There was not too much available at that time, but I soon amassed a good collection and started swapping with other growers I had met.
I just loved all the different shapes, colours and of course flavours you could get by growing your own. I still remember the first time I managed to grow an exotic one, a Bulgarian carrot variety!
We eventually moved to a small-holding of 5 acres and Before I knew it I was growing up to 100 different types and making all sorts of sauces and relishes for family and friends.
We had a herd of Alpacas on the farm (which I won in a bet, but that’s a different story) and it turned out that the chillies absolutely loved Alpaca poo – my 3 chilli beds turned into a forest with many 7-8 feet tall!
We moved back to the UK in 2016 for family reasons and it seemed like an ideal moment to make the jump and turn my part time passion into a full-time business and… The Chilli Man was born!
Combining my two great loves of chillies and cooking, we now provide chilli inspired street food and products at markets and festivals and cater for private events.
We aim to be your go-to place for information on all things chillies, from seed to plate as they say, and provide you with the benefit of my 30-plus years’ experience of being “The Chilli Man”.
Please explore our site and if there is anything you can’t find an answer for, just get in touch and we will do our best to assist you.
Spice up your life!