TikTok’s Pink Sauce Chef Defends His Viral Seasoning


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The Florida chef whose Pepto Bismol-colored condiment went viral this week — people on social media are analyzing her TikTok with Zapruder-like intensity and questioning its legality, safety and ingredients — says he’s proud of his product.

Miami-based personal chef, known by her professional name Chef Pia, and her newly introduced Pink Sauce have found themselves at the center of the Barbie color controversy and have been the subject of dozens of TikTok videos that have racked up millions of views. . “The world is very interested in my creation,” she said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And they’re malicious.”

Chef Pia, 29, who declined to give her real name, has a response to all the criticism that has been leveled at her and her nascent brand. First among them: her product, according to her, is legal and safe. She does it in a FDA-certified commercial facility to comply with the law, she says, and not in a home kitchen, as some people suggest. She says she’s been making the sauce she sprinkled over fried chicken, french fries, and vegetables long before she started selling it. “I use it and serve it to my clients for a year – no one has ever gotten sick,” she says.

She confesses to her early mistakes, such as mislabeling her bottles. TikTokers seized on the errors in the original packaging and wondered if any of them could be trusted. She says a typo in the graphic design confused the number of grams of the product with the number of servings (444 servings instead of about 30 servings for a total weight of 444 grams). And after receiving backlash, she added instructions to “please chill.” She apologized for the mistakes. “This is a small business that is growing very, very fast,” she said in a video posted yesterday.

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As customers began receiving their products when shipments began on July 1 (she said she had sold about 700 bottles so far), people complained about poor packaging and some posted images of leaking bottles. Pia’s chef says she has changed shipping companies and apologized to customers who had damaged bottles.

And for those who said they suspect the sauce contains something that wasn’t on the list – at least one video suggesting she used mayonnaise to thicken it has 3.9 million views as of noon. Thursday – she says it’s not. But she doesn’t reveal everything about her process: “I won’t explain my process and I won’t be bullied.”

Previously, Chef Pia had only responded cryptically to many on social media who wondered if she was acting legally. “Yes, we follow the FDA standard,” she said in the video, adding that “we are currently in lab testing, so when we pass the lab tests, we will be able to introduce them to stores to put Pink Sauce in stores. “. Now she plans to post a long video, perhaps up to 45 minutes, to YouTube tonight to answer all the questions people have raised.

Many people found it odd that the sauce’s inventor did not describe its flavor, an oversight that helped reignite the sauce’s mystery and heighten the sense that it was hiding something. But Pia’s chef says she wasn’t intentionally shy or even trying to make a fuss. She says she really can’t describe in words the scent that some say is next door to the ranch. “I wasn’t trying to be rude or anything like that,” she insists.

Another thing she says isn’t a trick? The distinctive color of the sauce, which comes from the red dragon fruit, or pitaya. Pia’s chef says she has suffered from depression and anxiety, and she has long found the fruit’s properties to be helpful in treating her conditions. “I have a relationship with this sauce,” she says.

While some people on social media dug into possible legal or health issues, others simply enjoyed making fun of the spectacle.

Chef Pia says some of the negative reviews online have stung. “I’m a normal person and I woke up to a million insults,” she recalls. However, she has big plans for the brand, starting with cutting the price from the current $20 to make it more affordable. She doesn’t want to sell her brand to a bigger company, but she dreams of partnering with one of them – maybe a fast food company that will serve her sauce.

But she is trying to smooth over the backlash as she continues to take on new orders.

“Yes, the sauce is very controversial, but for my curious, frilly people who are actually pink sauce freaks, I love you all,” she said in this week’s video. “Haters won’t take my light.”

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