"Paul’s Rarotonga Hot Sauce is now an award-winning brand"

Every tropical destination has its share of characters, and in Rarotonga Paul Lynch (U’anga Tauei Napa), aka Paul Napa, must be included amongst them!

Lawyer, entrepreneur, tourism operator, hot chilli sauce creator and Elvis impersonator.

“I had a law firm here for 30 years, then I worked for the government up to 2022,” said Paul.

Paul is also known as the ‘Elvis of the Cook islands.’

“I do a full on Elvis show with a live band. For my 60th next year, I plan to go to Graceland and enter an Elvis tribute artist competition, just for fun!”

Paul and his wife Shona own Cook Islands Holiday Villas. When the pandemic struck in 2020, the borders closed and there was no tourism: “That’s when I began to think about the ‘hot sauce’ business.”

Enter Paul’s Rarotonga Hot Sauce.

“During the pandemic the government gave out seedlings for locals to become more sustainable with vegetables and crops. We turned our accommodation staff into growers. I had about 18 different crops in, but these chilli plants grew, they were a beautiful habanero. The habanero is a hot variety of chilli, so I started developing my first hot sauce, mango flavoured; it just took off!” said Paul.

Paul Napa

Paul’s Rarotonga Hot Sauce is now an award-winning brand after a two of his flavours landed placings in the Mr Chilli Hot Sauce Awards 2023 held in Australia. The Cook Islands product was up against 50 sauces from New Zealand and Australia.

If you want to taste the two winning flavours go to Punanga Nui Market on Saturday morning and ask Paul for ‘Shrekalicious’ and ‘Raro Lava’. Paul has created 8 flavours so far, with more to come.

“Separately from Punanga Nui Market, Paul’s Rarotonga Hot Sauce is in Prime Foods, Wigmores, and some cafes, and I'm about to have an Auckland distributor.

“Every hot sauce has its own fruit flavour depending on what's in season. We use local fruits including mango, coconut, banana, and pineapple. We cook it fresh, bottle it and sell it for $10 a bottle. The ‘super-hot’ is $15 a bottle. Kiwis And Aussies just love super-hot, hot sauce.”

Paul gave out his trade secret when he revealed that he had developed the recipes from a chutney recipe in Edmonds Cookery Book.

“Then I just improvised with more vinegar, less vinegar, more fruit, less fruit, more chillies etc. I grow all the chillies: habaneros, and green chillies, through to scorpion and ghost chillies. Now I’m growing Carolina Reapers.

“I love introducing hot sauces to our visitors and the locals; it's a great way to enhance your food.

“The majority of my buyers are visitors, around 90%. A bottle of Paul’s Rarotonga Hot Sauce is a great souvenir to take home.”

Pauls hot sauces