Cameron Walker created an interesting career as a food influencer.

In three short years, he has over two billion views across all social media platforms doing what he loves the most — eating spicy food.

The 26-year-old Tyler Texas native and TikTok star is known as Spice Cam (aka Spice King). He rose to fame eating spicy food and snacks and creating content around what he loves to eat. His video commentary and energetic personality have his audience enjoying all the “spices” of life.

He recently released a new hot sauce product and spoke to the Defender about his journey to become a TikTok sensation.

Viral TikTok sensation Spicy Cam

Defender: For those who aren’t quite familiar with you, who is the man behind the brand?

Walker: I’m a husband and father of two children living in California. I’m a family man living the American dream. I was born in…Tyler, Texas. I moved to Houston when I was 11. Without Houston I wouldn’t be who I am. Most of the hardest lessons I learned were in Houston. 

Defender: You have a large appetite for food and it clearly shows in your work. Where did this passion come from?

Walker: When I was a kid, I started eating food really early on. My passion came from eating jalapenos with every meal. I’m a fried chicken fan through and through. My cousins approached me one day with jalapenos thinking that it would be a prank, but I devoured it and asked for another one. I wanted more after that. My love for food really came from spicy food and accenting my food with spicy toppings.

My mom thought something was seriously wrong with me. She took me to the doctor and when I was younger, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. She would try to always take away my spicey elements to my food here and there. She would find little hidden bottles in my room. Lunch or dinner, I’ve got to have my hot sauce.

Defender: Has Houston’s food culture influenced you in any way?

Walker: What I miss about Houston is Tex Mex. Outside of that, I’ve got to shout out this place called Thai Chefs, it’s the best Thai food I’ve ever had. There is a place called Veegos, a vegan spot. Another place I like is Chuy’s. The list goes on and on. 

Defender: You describe yourself as an “Advocate of spicy food.” Why?                                                                                                              

Walker:  I think a lot of people don’t eat spicy food because they’re afraid of it. I know a lot of people who’ve had bad experiences and that caused them to not eat spicy food again. But I love to advocate for spicy food because there are so many different levels of spices that can change the entire flavor of the plate. There are a lot of flavors out there that you may not know. There are thousands of seasonings from different cultures and regions of the world that people don’t have access to. I get to travel and talk about spicy food. Spicy food is something that continuously evolves.

Defender: How have you been able to build up a high spice tolerance?

Walker: I won’t lie, my tongue feels less of a sensation than I did when I first started super hot challenges about two three years ago on TikTok. I was just an average guy eating ghost peppers, Carolina peppers, scorpion peppers in all these challenges. It’s really not as easy as I make it look. You have to put work into it. You can’t show up and expect to be the star. You have to prepare start off small like [spicy] Cheetos to habanero.

Defender: As a content creator, what is your daily routine?

Walker: In the morning, I call my [team] and they send me a schedule for the month for campaigns we’re on. Right now, we’re on a new campaign for my hot sauce that just came out. I have a lot of creative freedom. We throw content ideas at each other and they keep me on track. I iron out the kinks, make sure I get in a good 1,500 to 2,000 calories to prepare for the spices I will eat throughout the day. Shooting the content usually takes eight to 10-hour days. I get home to spend time with my wife and kids. I might have stressful days because spicy food [can cause discomfort] but nothing eases the pain more than family time.

Defender: What doors have being a TikTok influencer opened for you?

Walker: I started this journey about three years ago. The first two years I did by myself. Not too many doors opened. I was making the connections, making deals, and a lot of people that I know would have given up. I was told by a lot of my friends to go back to work. But in my third year, which I’m in right now, I’ve accomplished so much more in my career that I did when I was on my own. I signed with two agencies, Jelly Smack, who creates my all of my long form content on YouTube and other social media platforms. The CAA [Creative Artists Agency] is my home, and they have been amazing.

Defender: You have a new sauce product? Do they come in different flavors and levels of heat?

Walker: Right now, the hot sauce comes in one flavor. We wanted to come out with the everyday sauce that anyone could eat before adding the superhot element to it. In the near future we will have different flavors. For now, you can get the Spicy Cams hot sauce and a single bottle, a three- or six-pack on hoffandpepper.com. They go for $12 and it’s a good size bottle. I’ve worked on this for four months and I put a lot of my own personal taste into it.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...