07/06/2018 11:46 EDT | Updated 07/06/2018 11:58 EDT

Sarp Kizir, Ottawa Food Writer, Nearly Hit By Lightning In Video

It struck the ground just 10 feet from him and his BBQ.

Sarp Kizir, an Ottawa-based food writer, says he was grilling green tomatillos for his salsa verde when the lighting hit.
Sarp Kizir
Sarp Kizir, an Ottawa-based food writer, says he was grilling green tomatillos for his salsa verde when the lighting hit.

When it comes to salsa, the jarred variety just won't do it for Sarp Kizir.

For the Ottawa-based food writer, the preferred stuff comes from the grill. Even if it involves contending with a little lighting.

That's exactly the situation Kizir found himself in over the Canada Day long weekend. Tasked with whipping up a salsa verde from scratch for his girlfriend, Kizir made his way to his BBQ armed with two handfuls of green tomatillos ready to be grilled.

Sarp Kizir
Sarp Kizir's grill prior to the lighting strike the brought him viral fame.

With the coals heated up and the BBQ ready to go, he took out his phone to capture the soothing sound of the rain for one of his mediation videos. Then this happened:

Kizir reckons the lightning bolt landed about 10 feet from him and the grill, according to an interview with the CBC. The incident initially left him shook, but also gave him a renewed appreciation for life.

"I'm doing really great, appreciating each day and moment of my precious existence a lot more," he said in an email to HuffPost Canada.

Sarp Kizir
Ottawa food writer Sarp Kizir says his close call with mother nature won't deter him from making his salsa verde from scratch.

July is typically the month with the greatest number of lightning flashes, according to Environment Canada. The agency estimates Canada sees 2.2 million incidents a year, with nine to 10 Canadians killed per year and another 100 to 150 reported injuries.

The numbers aren't lost on Kizir.

"The stats are still pretty alarming when you factor in that at least 10 Canadians die every year from lightning strikes," he says. "Makes me feel lucky that I was able to remain a spectator of nature and not become a victim of it."

That said, the food aficionado doesn't plan changing his recipe any time soon.

"It hasn't changed the way I make salsa per se, but it has made me aware of the dire need for better salsa out there. I want to change hearts and minds when it comes to eating fresh salsa."

And for anyone looking to try his recipe (sans lightning strike), check it out below:


  • 10-15 tomatillos
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1 roasted garlic clove
  • Optional: Roasted hot pepper of your choosing,


1. Cover with olive oil and grill tomatillos until skin is charred and flesh is soft to the touch.

2. Once ready, remove from grill and place into mixing bowl.

3. Add rest of ingredients and blitz with a hand blender or with a food processor. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve it for the rest of the week. Add levels of salt and spice to your liking as you mix.

Sarp Kizir
Sarp Kizir's salsa

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