Lizotte handles the heat in Sauce or Pass
When it comes to his spice game, Blake Lizotte is up for a challenge but admits it's still a work in progress.
Blake Lizotte, spice king?
He's working on it.
The 23-year-old was willing to give being the sauce boss a shot by taking part in "Sauce or Pass", a truth-or-dare style interview segment created as part of a partnership between the Los Angeles Kings and Complex Networks' hit First We Feast series "Hot Ones."
The social series definitely brought the heat for Lizotte and teammate Mikey Anderson as the roommates went head-to-head in episode one, trading a few good-natured jabs between every taste.
The players tested the mettle of their respective palates by tasting pieces of chicken covered in hot sauce when they chose to pass on a question or didn't offer up the spiciest answer. From which teammate they'd each least like to be stuck in an elevator with to the question the pair of Minnesota-born players united to pass on, Lizotte managed to hold his own through the opening stages of the hot sauce face-off, but ended up feeling the heat in the latter stages.
“It’s getting to be a big series and they’ve done them with quite a few athletes and famous people, so it was pretty cool to be part of it,” Lizotte told NHLPA.com. “We do a lot of fun promos here in L.A., so it’s been enjoyable to be part of them. It was a really good time. I tried four hot sauces on the video.
“The first three weren’t so bad. I use Cholula hot sauce on a lot of stuff, and it’s pretty low-end on the heat scale. But when we got to the last one, I think it was XXX [The Last Dab], it was rough. I’m not going to lie to you, my throat hurt for a few hours after. I might have to stay away from that one for awhile.”
Lizotte wasn’t exactly surprised at how it all unfolded after admitting his baseline for heat was pretty mild.
“I have a pretty low tolerance for spicy foods. Growing up in the Midwest, it was simple food, things like Tater Tot Hotdish, soups… those types of things. My mom made a really good Shepherd’s Pie. That was a staple in our house. It’s mashed potatoes, beef and cheese. It’s super simple, but Midwest eating is kind of meat and potatoes, so that was a staple for me growing up.”
Now that he’s on the West Coast, Lizotte, who became a regular in the Kings lineup in 2019-20, has learned a thing or two about the California cuisine scene.
He’s taken the opportunity to add some new dishes to his menu along the way.
“I’m definitely a foodie. I love going out and trying new places. I actually really like to cook too. I get pretty adventurous when it comes to cooking at home. Sometimes I strike out and it’s not so good, but every now and again, I hit a home run.”
“That’s tough. I make a pretty good stir fry, whether it’s shrimp, steak, chicken, noodles or rice, plus whatever veggies. I also like to mix sauces together, whether it’s orange sauce or teriyaki, things like that. I usually makes up a mixture of my own and add in a level of spice. I’m pretty proud of that dish.”
As he is of his newfound ability to handle a little more heat.
“Since I’ve been in L.A. for a few years, my tolerance level has gone up a bit with the Mexican spices that are used on a lot of things out here. I’m really enjoying all the great food they have here.”
There is one teammate, in particular, who Lizotte has no interest in going up against in a hot sauce battle, should another competition arise.
After some contemplation, the 5-foot-7, 172-pounder landed on a veteran standout between the pipes.
“That’s a tough one, but for some reason, I think Jonathan Quick could eat some spicy food. He’s a foodie, and I feel like he’s a guy that could down some ghost peppers and be fine with it.”
Ghost peppers, however, are where Lizotte draws the line for himself.
“It takes practice when it comes to spices and spicy foods. You have to start out slow, ramp yourself up and battle your way through until your tolerance gets to a high level. So, I guess I’m trending in the right direction.”
Alex Iafallo and Cal Petersen also went head-to-head in episode two of the series. You can find out who handled the heat better in the video below.