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Business is hot: Michiko Campbell, sous chef at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

A taste of success with a secret seasoning has inspired a young chef to create two new recipes.

Michiko Campbell — whose Chiko’s Smokey Rub has sold more than 2,500 bottles since it was launched in the summer — is to introduce a special seasoning for ham and a triple garlic infusion.

Mr Campbell, a sous chef at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC), said: “The smokey rub has been hitting off good so far — we weren’t expecting to sell as many shipments of bottles as we have.

“I hope the new seasonings are just as popular.”

Mr Campbell added the new additions to the secret smokey rub recipe would be available at the end of the month.

And he said: “I’ve got about eight seasonings in mind, but I’m taking it slowly.”

Mr Campbell, 24, from Pembroke, developed the smokey rub — a blend of several spices and other ingredients plus paprika treated with a heating and cooling process — while still a BSc culinary arts student at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida.

He said the rub — which he sold from a stall over the summer at Hamilton’s Harbour Nights — had been snapped up, not just locally, but overseas as well.

Mr Campbell, who also serves as a Lance Corporal in the Bermuda Regiment, added: “We’ve shipped bottles to Canada, the UK, the US and several other places.

“We’ve also sent some sample bottles overseas as well and we’re going to send some to some celebrities to see how they like it — we’ll see how that goes.”

Mr Campbell got rave reviews for the rub when he started using it at family get-togethers in Bermuda and on steaks at the yacht club.

Bosses at the RBYC were so impressed with the taste of the all-purpose rub, which can be used on meats, seafood and vegetables, they asked him to incorporate it as a permanent fixture in some of its dishes.

The product got a further boost in July when former MP and MEF restaurant group director of training Dale Butler got a taste of the rub at Harbour Nights and asked Mr Campbell to cook for a special brunch at the Fourways Inn.

And the rub, which is free of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sugar, is a real family affair.

Mr Campbell makes the rub, bottles it and packages it himself, while his fiancee Sherelle Simmons, who runs her own business, Rellz Hot Graphics, designed the bottle labels, banners and posters and even created a T-shirts and a promotional DVD.

Mr Campbell said: “I’ve been really encouraged by the response to the rub and I’m hoping to develop the business even more over time.”

The rub is available at The Bermuda Shop in Dockyard’s Clocktower Mall, Bermuda Linens and Gifts in St George’s and Portraits of Afrique, Cox’s Hill Road, Warwick.

The rub can also be ordered through Mr Campbell’s website at http://www.chikosmokeyrub.com or by e-mail at Chiko_1989@live.com or chikosmokeyrub@hotmail.com.

Recipe for success: Michiko Campbell’s original “Chiko’s Smokey Rub” which has proved so popular