Trees Can't Dance began over 4 years ago at the world's most northerly chilli farm. Against all conventional horticultural wisdom Dan May began growing chillies in the wilds of Northumberland. It wasn't long before Dan had to find something to do with all the produce. Disappointed with the quality of the chilli sauce brands available in the UK, he hit on the idea of filling a gap in the market by producing his own sauces using home-grown ingredients. In this fabulous book, chilli guru Dan shares more than 70 recipes celebrating chillies in all their varieties and strengths. Acquaint yourself with the history of chillies, how to grow them at home and how to identify the key varieties. There are ideas here for every kind of dish: soups and salads; nibbles and sharing plates; mains; side dishes; sauces, salsas and marinades; sweet things and drinks. Mouthwatering recipes include Thai Beef Noodle Soup; Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers; Texas Marinated Steak with Stuffed Mushrooms; Sweet Chilli-glazed Ham; Quick Chilli Lime Mayonnaise; three fiery pasta sauces; Chilli Pecan Brownies; and Chilli Hot Chocolate.
Dan May was born in south west London in 1969. In 1972 he moved with his parents and baby sister to Somerset and that was the beginning of the end. Without a full time job to keep her occupied his mother decided that he should not only learn to cook but do so with an independent mind. So from a very young age he started to ignore conventional wisdom and set out upon a rather haphazard path through life.
His love of music and lack of a better idea led him to tour some of the least pleasant venues in Britain and Europe in various bands before a brief stint working as a lighting engineer was ended by a St Patrick's Day incident involving Guinness, a very high lighting rig and cavalier approach to risk assessment.
For the next 13 years Dan travelled and worked as a landscape photographer, producing images that were used by companies all over the world. His love of some of the most remote places in the world first brought him into close contact not only with chillies, but with people who cooked with them and loved them. A relationship developed that was quite unintentionally life-changing.
Dan grew some chillies as a hobby in 2005 and before he knew it he had the world's most northerly chilli farm and had accidentally changed career (again). Trees Can't Dance now supplies an ever growing range of chilli saucery throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and beyond. Everything is lovingly made by hand at TCD HQ, just a few miles from where the business started.
Always ready with an opinion Dan is frequently quoted in national press with regard to the latest trends in chillies and spicy food. His current favourite topics are the blight of the "Australian question inflection" and "the technicalities of facing wrist spin on a deteriorating pitch". Although he is yet to be asked about these he is forever optimistic.