Interview with Chili Klaus / Claus Pilgaard

What happens when you cross a Dane with a Chili Pepper and the Danish National Chamber Orchestra?

One of the Internet’s biggest rising stars….Claus Pilgaard, also known as Chili Klaus.


But if you thought that Chili Klaus was just a man who liked to watch the reactions of people when he encourages them to try incredibly hot chili peppers, you would be wrong.

Claus Pilgaard  entered this world in 1965. Claus grew up in West Jutland and eventually moved to Aarhus where he gained his place at the Royal Academy of Music. A talented musician who went on to direct revues, Claus is very much the Dane of many talents.

Claus eventually met and married his wife, Danish singer and entertainer Jette Torp. Jette has been a strong supporter of her husbands one man crusade to spice up people’s lives, with this hot object being a subject of debate over whether it falls into the vegetable or fruit category!

Entertaining came as a natural talent and after coming upon by chance the unknown world of chilis, Claus soon realised that not only could he spread his knowledge of the many different varieties, but along the way he could entertain by getting relatively calm stars of TV and screen, musicians and like to try his hot chilis.

The results soon became an overnight hit on the internet and Claus soon realised there was an interest in the effects on someone’s composer when they are faced with an unnatural test of willpower.

Claus Pilgaard came to my attention last year when I was in Denmark and his videos were starting to come through on Youtube where he was testing the restraints of some of Denmark’s greatest stars from Carsten Bang to Bubber, Dan Rachlin and Gordon Kennedy.

chili klaus smagning

With his Youtube videos hitting over 2million hits a go Chili Klaus has definitely tapped into something which has brought intrigue to the masses.

But there is a message somewhere along the line. People want some light hearted entertainment which is brought to them by a simple concept ending in different but extreme results every time.

Claus Pilgaard has written a book to explain this amazing journey that he has found himself on and to try and explain to the everyday person all the crazy facts about the Chili, which we have been kept from for so many years. Wine and cheese connoisseurs had better watch out as people are looking for the next big thing to bring to the table at dinner parties which will engage their guests and become a talking point alongside testing their limits.

As a brilliant way to get people talking about his book and gaining a proper insight into it Claus had 1000 members of the public meet in Copenhagen at his book launch and try some of the worlds hottest chili peppers. The results were entertaining to say the least.

So who is this man behind Chili Klaus? What has he got planned over the coming months and where would he like to bring his chili expertise to next?

Rejer i hvidlA¦â-©_

Interview Chili Klaus

You are an extremely talented man, from your music to comedy. What drove you to find a new persona to bring to the limelight? or did Chili Klaus happen by chance?

Actually Chili Klaus came out of nowhere. My best advice in inventing anything, is to cut off the internet and phone connection for about a week. After getting bored for 2 days your mind comes with suggestions you´d never had imagined – in my occasion I started eating chili in a small video format.

Is it more than just testing yourself with the next hottest chili? Have you found that this relatively simple concept has intrigued people you didn’t think it would?

I think it has become more than just eating a hot pepper. You get to see people which normally act calm and normal on screen in a whole new way fighting the pain. And suddenly you have a classic comedy situation …

Your work has seen you testing some of the most high profile people in Denmark. How important to you was it to start in your native country?

I have never made a plan for my videos. I think I did what was possible a long the way – I never thought much about the viewers but more bout my own intuition. Like “Is this interesting or just a boring video?”

Everybody is wondering who you would like to work with next? as Chili Klaus.

Hmmm – everything seems to be possible – so who knows? 🙂

Tell us a bit about your book. What will the reader get from it?

If you are a newbie to chili pepper you´ll get an introduction to the most funny plant on the planet. Did you know that there are more than 3000 spices and chili pepper is considered to be one of the most healthy fruits in the world.

As your campaign is building momentum around the world, where do you go from here in 2015?

I have lots of wishes and places I would like to visit – something is starting up in Brazil, but also US, Germany, Japan and England would be nice to visit!

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