Bongo, AKA Manny Elias, was born in Calcutta, India and grew up eating chillis with his morning glass of lassi! This early introduction to the joys of eating chillis prompted him to create his own chilli recipes. Bongo has been making Chillimanjaro for over 20 years and taking it on the road with him. The name “Chillimanjaro” came about on tour with Peter Hammill and Stuart Gordon somewhere in a tour bus in Eastern Europe!
Bongo is a top class drummer, he was an original member of Tears For Fears and did the first two albums The Hurting and Songs From The Big Chair. He has toured and recorded with some amazing musicians like: Julian Lennon, Gregory Darling, Peter Gabriel, Dolly Parton, Peter Hammill, Joni Mitchell and Tony Mortimer to name but a few. When Manny’s not touring, playing or recording, he lives in Cheshire with his actress wife Deborah Bouchard (Coronation Street, Cold Feet, Emmerdale) and ZappaSupaDawg.
He is asked for his pickles at many studios and by rock musicians around the world as well as friends and family. In 2014 Debs finally persuaded Manny to set up Bongo’s Rock & Roll Pickles and take their original recipies to the general public and we believe that there is nothing in the shops that can compete and our customers seem to agree!
Manny's wife, Deborah Bouchard, on the other hand comes from an acting background and has appeared on many TV shows, films and adverts, including Coronation Street, Cold Feet and Emmerdale. You can see the outtakes from a Greggs Advert she did with Paddy McGuinness below. She also works drawing and writing her own children's book and works in primary schools teaching literacy with her "Hokey Pokey Pig" books.
She "encouraged" (nagged) Bongo for years to start this business with her and really enjoys meeting new customers and chatting about food and chillis with them. You can catch her on most markets and food festivals with her bespoke chilli hat!
We are very proud to have a 5* Food hygiene rating from Cheshire West & Chester Council and we found our local EHO to be encouraging and extremely helpful to us when starting this madness!