Anyone can buy a decent bottle of chilli sauce. But even if you’re convinced that your chicken is the best in town, it’s not really yours if you slather it with some generic condiment.

For a truly unique blend of chilli heat, vinegar bite, rich smoke, and great flavour, you have to make your own, says Andrew Carmellini, chef and author of American Flavor (R349, loot.co.za). Carmellini has concocted a multi-chilli formula that’s so versatile you’ll want to keep a bottle parked on your kitchen table at all times. “It tastes great on anything, from oysters to scrambled eggs,” he says. Start with Carmellini’s balanced blend of chillies, or crank up the heat by choosing peppers at the more incendiary end of the spectrum. Just make sure your friends are given fair warning when you hand them a bottle.