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Tributes to Brighton man who founded Festival of Fiery Foods
The legend behind Britain’s hottest food festival has died two weeks before it is due to start.
Tragically Pete Seymour, known as Chilli Pepper Pete, was only diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago, although he had felt ill for longer.
He died on Tuesday, aged 56.
Mr Seymour, described as “the Godfather of chillies”, founded the Festival of Fiery Foods in 2005.
On September 14 the next festival will take place in Victoria Gardens, Brighton.
It will go ahead in his memory.
His wife Miranda Pellew, 48, of Brighton, said: “The festival will be a celebration of his life and chilli.”
Ms Pellew and Mr Seymour co-owned Chilli Pepper Pete’s shop in Trafalgar Street, Brighton.
Ms Pellew said her husband was fundamental in bringing chillies to Britain’s kitchens.
She said: “We started doing farmers’ markets, it was a real struggle.
“We were almost the first people to import chillies and then add them to sauces.
“We were the first company to do everything in relation to chillies.
“Pete was very generous with his help. He ate chillies with a lot of meals, although not for breakfast.
“He would be embarrassed so many people were calling him a legend and the Godfather of chillies.
“While he was actually really good in front of the camera he was quite shy.”
Mr Seymour, who leaves children Arron, 32, Rose, 27, Aishling, 14, and Wilf, 11, has featured in The Argus over the years.
Memorably in 2008 he convinced then reporter Richard Gurner to scoff raw chillies at his festival.
Friends paid tribute to Mr Seymour on Facebook.
Karl Wirrman said: “Pete has been a true inspiration to us, always willing to share ideas, talk chillies and was a true pioneer in what is now a massive UK chilli scene.
“A master in his field and a thoroughly decent chap, he’ll be sorely missed but remembered with great fondness by everyone who knew him.”
Ivor Davies said: “He was truly a legend in the chilli world, so passionate about everything spice and one of the most knowledgeable chilli heads I have ever met.
“The UK chilli scene would be nothing if it wasn’t for him and his passion.”