The Taste Peddler - An interview with Wendy Grindley-Ferris

The Taste Peddler - An interview with Wendy Grindley-Ferris - Mumbleberry

March 27, 2024

Chilli Crisp has recently seen a massive rise in popularity, and we are not all that surprised. It quite simply makes everything taste better!

Wendy, founder of Taste Peddler, understands this condiment better than most, and the unique recipe she has developed helps her stand out from the rest of the pack. If you have not yet tried chilli crisp, we insist you try the 'flavour bomb' that Wendy has created.

We know small business is hard. Is there an inception story to your brand? What got you started or gave you the push to start your own enterprise?

I’m yet another Covid tragic - after running a travel insurance business through the pandemic I was burnt out and desperate for change.  

I found great comfort in my home kitchen when I started experimenting with chilli oil (an obsession that began years ago, during a time I spent backpacking and teaching English in Taiwan).  

I started making chilli crisp at home, sharing jars with friends, and before I knew it, the idea for The Taste Peddler took shape. My goal was simple: to create a chilli oil that was unique, and which busy home cooks could use to quickly elevate meals.   

I joke that it’s a ‘rags to riches’ journey, except there have been no riches (it’s tough out there…) and all my dish towels are stained with chilli oil. But it’s been an absolute blast, and I would not change it for the world.  

Who or what do you draw inspiration from? 

My mum is a constant source of inspiration for me. She creates the most delicious dishes using the simplest ingredients. My mum lives in South Africa, and our daily phone calls always begin with "what's for dinner" and "how was last night's supper?" It's our language. 

Food has always been a significant part of our family's identity, and I feel fortunate to have grown up in a household that cherished family, entertaining and homemade meals.  

The love for cooking and sharing food has been passed down to me, and I continue to carry on this tradition in my own life, although not nearly as skilfully as my mum! 

Other than yourself of course, who is your favourite artisan producer here in Australia? How come?

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah, the owner of Ugly Food & Co. I dropped by her shop unannounced and introduced myself. Despite being in the middle of a cook, Sarah was kind enough to step away and chat with me. 

Not only did she give me some fantastic advice, but she shared her contact information and offered to answer any questions I might have in the future. I was blown away by Sarah's warmth, encouragement, and willingness to share.  

I should add that I don't think I am alone in favouriting Sarah; you need only visit the food retailers out there who all speak so highly of her. 

We know Australia is the best place on earth, but what makes it so special to you? 

As a migrant, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t feel grateful to live in Australia. As cliché as it sounds, I love the Australian way of life. Australians are friendly and welcoming, and I love how there are small, diverse communities out there that support each otherI adore the laid-back lifestyle and love for the outdoors and the way there is always something to do (that does not involve going to a mall), whether it’s a walk-up Mount Coot-Tha or a stroll on the beach. It’s a beautiful country and I am grateful to call it home.  

What’s your favourite thing about Australia? 

Riding my bicycle at 5am in Brisbane with my cycling group makes me happy. The streets are quiet, and the air is cool and refreshing. We challenge and encourage each other and always end with a post ride coffee and debrief. Its something I hope to never take for granted. 

What is it about your Chilli Crisp that makes it such a fabulous gift for a loved one, or simply shared with friends & family around the table?

We've taken a classic chilli oil and given it our own spin by adding caramelised, salted black beans and roasted cashews. It’s crispy, there’s a kick of spice and a savoury umami flavour.  We love the versatility that it offers, from appearing on a cheese board, topping an oven baked brie, on a sandwich or even alongside a steak. The choices are endless. Thanks Mumbleberry for your support and the opportunity to share our creation with others! 

You can sample Wendy's wildly delicious chilli crisp right here 

Wendy has a list of scrumptious recipes to inspire your next cooking adventure over on her website, be sure to check it out!