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21 June, 2020

Local chutney is a winner

An old family chilli chutney recipe has won first and third place at the recent chilli awards in Sydney.

By Phil Brandel

An old family chilli chutney recipe has won first and third place at the recent chilli awards in Sydney.

Neil Hooper grew up on a cattle station in Western Queensland near Richmond and his nanna Isabel used to make her chutney the old fashioned way with her secret recipe while she was cooking in the Station Kitchen on Delta Downs in Normanton.

In 1996 Neil came up the idea of marketing and selling his nana’s sweet chilli chutney across Australia.

“I grew up eating my nan's famous chilli chutney and I wanted to share it. It’s a good old fashioned bush recipe that only contains natural ingredients with no preservatives.”

“It’s so authentically Australian; originally it was made in a corrugated iron station kitchen in The Gulf Of Carpentaria.”

Neil who now lives in Millaa Millaa says he could have called his product a number of names but he wanted to pay tribute to his grandmother who worked over woodstove cooking every day.

“I called it Isabel’s Sweet Chilli Chutney after my grandmother and the signature on the label is her handwriting.”

The Mr Chilli awards were recently held in Sydney, the competition is open to companies with Chilli products in Australia and New Zealand and the judging takes place with 10 judges across a number of different categories.

Neil said that he was amazed to find out that he had received two awards in the same category.

“Our Magma Chili Chutney received 1st place in the Chilli Chutney Hot category and our Extreme Chilli Chutney received 3rd place in the same category."

“We were up against some amazing products out there and we feel very privileged to be amongst the winners.”

Neil says he is very proud of his awards, his products and his grandmother.

“It’s a tribute to my grandmother, I’m proud to be part of it and proud to be part of her story.”

Isabel’s Sweet Chilli Chutney is available at:

Humpy Nut World Tolga, Fresh Street Market IGA Atherton,  SPAR Malanda, Tobin's Millaa Millaa, Food Works Yungaburra, The Mareeba Discount Drugstore,  Wholelife Healthfoods, Mareeba Heritage Centre Mareeba, Dee - Licious Family Deli, Altitude Cafe  Yungaburra, Beatties Produce Atherton, Barista in the Mist, Malanda Seafood Malanda, The Chilli Shop Kuranda, Jonsson's Farmers Market, and Whole Health at the Barr St. Markets.


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