Today the Times profiles the man behind the phenomenally popular sriracha hot sauce Huy Fong, which is currently distributed worldwide at the rate of 10 million bottles a year and is used everywhere from Asian street carts to the kitchens of haute cuisine chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The 64-year-old founder of Huy Fong is named David Tran, a Vietnamese man of Chinese descent who left the Vietnam in 1979 and came to the U.S. by way of refugee camps. He tells the Times, "I landed the first week of January in 1980. By February, I was making sauce." Now Huy Fong fanatics get drawings of the distinctive red bottle tattooed on their flesh, and leave exultant late-night messages on the company's answering machine. And despite an increasing number of knock-offs on the market, demand continues to build; Huy Fongheads can even find their precious elixir on the shelves of Wal-Mart.
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