The 2023 Wellness Show is just one month away. This year’s show takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 11 & 12, 2023. Featuring many vendors whose offerings are dedicated to health and well-being, we chatted with several key brands whose booths you should visit at this year’s show! —Noa Nichol
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Annie I am half Laos and half Vietnamese. I am the owner of Haute Foods. I’m also a mom of 2 soon to be 3 with my husband Peter. I consider myself a very chill person, nonchalant if you will. I worked in retail and restaurants in my teens and early 20s. I had no interests really but all I knew was I wanted a family. I enjoy cooking meals for my family and friends for any occasion. I’m a home cook that makes (or tries to) all types of different meals from a variety of cuisines and backgrounds. Pretty much whatever I feel like eating. So, fast forward to meeting my husband is when we realized this chili oil was unique and so versatile. I never thought anything of it because as a child I would just eat this chili oil with one Laotian dish, which was our version of a chicken noodle soup called Khao Piak. Peter was the one who started using it on all types of food like pasta, pizza and using it as a dip with other sauces. So, we started experimenting and used it with everything we ate to see what worked and didn’t work. To our surprise it went well with almost everything! That’s when Peter urged me to make the chili oil for friends and family and naturally since I already loved cooking for people of course I did it and now 8 years later here we are. We started with just the Crispy garlic oil and Crispy garlic hot chili oil but now we have expanded to our Mild chili oil and an even hotter version the Fire chili oil. So, we have something for everyone to enjoy!
What products do you currently offer, and what makes them unique?
We make a line of garlic and chili oils with our signature crispy (and addictive) garlic chips. Our line includes heat levels for all, from our Garlic oil that contains no spice that’s a jar full of our crispy garlic chips! Then we have Mild, Hot and Fire for the spice enthusiasts.
We hear a bestseller is your Chili Crisp Oil; what are your top serving suggestions (it can be used as a condiment for anything from dumplings to ice cream?!)?
Instead of chili crisp which people are used to seeing in grocery stores our crispy factor is the perfectly fried garlic chips instead of the chillies. That’s why we emphasize the Crispy Garlic part. My top uses that typically aren’t used with chili oil but our line of crispy garlic chili oils goes well with are pasta, pizza, tacos and steak. But for the uses we are all accustomed to would be soups, noodles and yes dumplings! Mixing it with other sauces is a must as well such as mayo, soy sauce, gravy etc. We have tried our chili oil with McDonald’s ice cream. The verdict was not bad but not something I would crave for just an interesting combination!
Who do you encourage to stop by your booth, and why?
Anyone who loves garlic and or spice! People who try our products are surprised how the garlic is crispy and stays crispy especially in oil. You just have to try it! A plus is that our line is vegan/gluten friendly, preservative, additive and sodium free.
What are some food trends you’re seeing or predicting for 2023?
Spicy foods! I think more and more people are eating spicy foods especially seeing companies making new products in a “spicy” version. Like spicy nuggets, chips, burgers and more sauces/chili oils that we can ever try. And vegan food; although vegan food has been around for a while now, I think there’s going to be new products for 2023 with more people wanting to live a healthier lifestyle and consume less animals/products. I don’t think I could go full vegan but I’ve had vegan sushi and it was delicious! Finally, non-alcoholic drinks. This might not fall under “food” but I’ve been seeing Non-Alcoholic drinks blow up in retail stores and at conventions. I’ve tried a Non-Alcoholic sangria before and it was exactly the same you wouldn’t even know there was no alcohol in it. So great for many reasons!