Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dave Krueger, and I would love to share my background in cooking with you. Enjoy!
When I was a young boy, I was always hovering and following my mom around the kitchen... mostly because I was always eating and hungry. I grew up in a large family where she cooked dinner every night. This consisted of a lot of Italian food and what I would consider to be a common American dinner with meat, a vegetable, and a carbohydrate.
Once I moved out of the house I had to fend for myself, so I started cooking and made most of my mother's staples and dishes that I always loved. Being a young athlete, I ate a lot! Which meant, I cooked a lot. I always enjoyed the food especially from those times when it was a memorable experience, it really made an impression on me. One of my regular meals during this time of my life was breakfast potatoes!
I got really into spices, but it was all new to me. I would read the ingredients and learn what herbs and spices went well with others. I paid close attention to their use regarding ratios, freshness, color, and how to treat them. This quickly became a passion of mine and over time that passion grew stronger. Now I would consider myself a spice freak. In my travels around the world for racing, I bring back some of the freshest and best spices and ingredients. I am familiar with many varieties and where the known regions of the world are best to grow them. I suppose I am slightly obsessed and even excitedly ask my friends that mention a trip of theirs with, “Ohh, can you please bring me back some of this?!”
The first apartment I lived in was nicknamed “the hostel” or “flophouse”. It earned this name because we were six guys and many belonged to a church that had locations around the world. We would get many visitors from everywhere always staying with us. This is where I met people who brought their own cuisines and staple dishes into our home. One of my roommates, Trooper, made an amazing stir-fried rice which is especially memorable due the use of fish sauce. Man, did that smell, but the food tasted amazing! My other roommate Paul made superb chicken adobo, which is still one of my favorite dishes. Perhaps the largest influence on me at the flophouse had to be my roommate, Santino. He was into very healthy eating and the health properties food has. He had a large book that had every ingredient you could think of in it! The book listed the many uses and methods of preparation of each ingredient for specific properties of health.
My first garden started at the flophouse! This was an eye-opening experience of how much better the produce was when it was homegrown. Salsa became a thing for me. One of my roommates had been shown how to make salsa from one of his coworkers at Gina’s Pizza and he passed it onto me. Since then I have been making salsa about 1-3 times a week and have even made an impression on many of my friends who always remember my salsa. During this time in my life, I was very active, had a lot of free time and knew every place to eat around town - I even knew the days of the weeks they had their specials. I was the guy to ask anytime someone wanted a recommendation on where to eat. Over the years I have acquired a few nicknames like “Pasta Dave,” “Salsa Dave” and “Chef Dave” for all my food-related endeavors.
So how does this all lead to hot sauce? Well it really started when my garden kept giving me a prolific amount of chili peppers. I had grown mostly tomatoes and chili peppers to make salsa, but one day I decided to make a simple hot sauce. It has been about six years now since that day and I have become quite adept in this specific field and melding it with the influences of my culinary experiences.
The first hot sauce that I made that wasn't a basic recipe was one I had spiced up. I had been to a taco shop in LA called Tacos Por Favor and they had a salsa that had what felt like holiday-like spices in it. I tried to recreate this in a hot sauce form and that's when the creativity really began. So many times going out to eat with friends (and I am sure you have all experienced this) one person wants Mexican food, one person wants Thai food, one person wants Indian food, and so on...well I figured why can't we bring this all with us no matter where we decide to eat? So I made a sauce relative to each of these cuisines and BAM, Culture Hot Sauce was born. I started creating recipes of different cuisines based on staple dishes, ingredients or flavor combinations true to those cuisines. So far I would say that I have made over thirty recipes, some Persian, Japanese, Thai, Indian, New Zealand, Mexican, Tahitian, Chinese, and more.
Personally, I really just enjoy making food for friends and family. I always had dinner parties, invited everyone over, and had a great time. I had been told by many friends I should open a restaurant or cafe. Many people who tried my hot sauce said that I should start a business and sell it. Well, with all the praise and pushing to make a business with hot sauce that everyone wanted, paired with my joy of sharing, Culture Hot Sauce is now here. I want to continue to share my knowledge and style of food with everyone, recreating my memorable food experiences for others to also enjoy. I want to make an impression and create a wow factor so you too can understand that good food makes a difference and it is worth it.
I will always offer the best recipes I have had over the years and also, in keeping my creativity, seasonal and new recipes as limited editions.