Heat-Seeking Mission

Photos by Jane Kortright

Chantel Weed, the owner of ChantillyLace Kitchen and maker of the brand’s Hot Honey, is on a mission. She is determined to achieve the perfect spice level for her customers. 

Every person has a spice level preference, and while some are partial to no heat, others turn the Scoville scale into a competition. For those with a low spice tolerance, it’s difficult to appreciate a lot of peppers due to their overriding spice level which makes it challenging to taste other flavors present.

Weed creates small batches of honey to ensure quality while making allowances for the spice level of individual peppers. These levels can vary depending on growing conditions. ChantillyLace Kitchen’s flavor of the habanero comes through brilliantly — not too much heat — which is tempered by the mellow sugar in the honey. 

Chantel Weed, the owner of ChantillyLace Kitchen.

The impressively balanced blend of habanero and honey is based mostly on intuition. “There’s no set recipe,” Weed says. “I make it to taste. I can look at it in the light and see.” 

The Jersey-born business owner is also an Army veteran who put down roots in the Savannah River Region. Her Guyanese heritage has heavily influenced her cooking in other items such as the Holla! Jumbie Pepper Sauce (a Caribbean version of hot sauce made with Weed’s secret recipe) and handmade empanadas with traditional fillings like Jamaican Jerk Chicken alongside nontraditional ones like Korean Beef Bulgogi and Southern Pork Barbecue (a collaboration with Two Bugles BBQ), influenced by her world travels and time in the service.

Follow ChantillyLace Kitchen on Facebook for more information on upcoming events or to buy Jumbie Hot Honey. Bottles of the fabulous habanero honey can also be purchased at From Scratch & Co. LLC and the Southern Fired Foods truck where it is drizzled over The Boss pizza. 

Seen in the May 2024 issue of Augusta magazine

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

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