Getting to know Savannah’s hot sauce guy

EAT IT AND LIKE IT | Presented weekly by SAVANNAH TECHNICAL COLLEGE

Bauer in the kitchen working on new recipes.
Jesse Blanco
M.F. Hot Sauce already comes in a variety of flavors and heat levels.

By now we’ve heard every kind of version of story to come out of 2020. 

The good ones, the bad ones and everything in between. It has been tough for most of us. More than tough for just as many too.

Here we are a stones throw from 2022 and the lasting effects of what happened last year are still very much in play. In this case, you might be able to turn it into a creative Christmas gift.

Jeremy Bauer arrived in Savannah a handful of years ago because of one simple reason. He ran out of money. 

“I was traveling the country in my truck. I was thinking about heading to Florida. On my way there, my radiator died. I had a spare, so I was able to fix it, but I was running out of money. So I stayed here.”

He means that almost literally. When his truck gave out on him, he pulled into a random parking lot off of the highway in Pooler to fix it. 

Faced with the idea of continuing that journey with no money he figured this was as good of a stop as any. So he found himself a job as a bartender.  One thing led to another and he discovered, like so many do, that he kinda liked it here. So he stayed.

Last year, he lost his job. This is where the story gets spicy.

You see, all the while, he’d been receiving shipments from his dad back home in South Dakota. Shipments of peppers. 

“Every birthday. Every Christmas.” He says. “No, I never asked for them.”

Apparently, these peppers grow like weeds in South Dakota. Who’da thunk it?

At the same time, Jeremy developed a curiosity about making hot sauce. He’d visited some hot sauce shops hither and yon and found himself intrigued by what he could do with his regularly arriving bounty. 

Couple that with not much happening on the job front during 2020 and he enrolled in school. You Tube University.

“I started reading about it and watching videos.” he says. “I thought I could do something different.” 

 With a little encouragement from his girlfriend, he decided to go for it.

M.F. Hot Sauces are being created in a variety of different flavors once a week during the off hours of a Broughton St. restaurant. 

Most Sunday evenings you’ll find Jeremy in a 2nd floor kitchen tinkering and making batches of this product that, yes, is for sale. Products that are very different than your run of the mill stuff you will find at the grocery store.

“Most store bought sauces are full of preservatives and Xantham Gum as a binder.” He tells me. “A lot of vinegar, tomato and some onion.” 

“I have a cherry, chocolate and espresso hot sauce. I like to use different flavors to bind things together.” 

There’s another he’s made called “Hotermelon”

The day we visited with him, he was making a Thai Basil Curry Hot Sauce which I can tell you is absolutely delicious. 

I’m looking forward to hitting some fried chicken with it very soon.

“When you are using unique ingredients like figs, rhubarb, blueberries, bacon and maple syrup you can’t just jump from one to the other. Your mouth won’t know what to do. Finding a balance between all of these weird ingredients is tough, but I think I’ve figured it out.”

A couple of local restaurants, Top Deck, Double Wide Diner are carrying his sauces. He’s working with Broughton Common Restaurant (the spot he makes it all) to develop a sauce for their oyster program. 

For now, sales are limited pretty much to farmers markets, artisan sales around town and, of course, good ol’ person to person transactions.

“I’m not licensed to ship yet.” he says. “But I can sell it to you and you can ship it to whoever you’d like.” 

He’s hoping the full blown business side of this operation will catch up by middle of next year. In the meantime, he’s batching a handful of flavors every Sunday. Stockpiling what he isn’t selling. Because oh by the way, dad hasn’t stopped shipping. 

It’s the perfect time of the year to grab some, don’t you think?  

You can find him on Facebook or Instagram: MF Hot Sauces. 

There’s no website or phone number. Shoot Jeremy a message and he will make sure you Eat It and Like It.

About The Author

Jesse Blanco

One of the most recognizable personalities in the Savannah/Hilton Head Island television market, Jesse Blanco is sometimes called "Savannah's Anthony Bourdain." His 'Eat It and Like It' show has become a major regional brand in the foodie world.
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