The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, which began in 1990, has become the world's largest, drawing as many as 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year. This year The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will take place on Sunday, August 25 at Fiesta Gardens (2100 Jesse E. Segovia St.) in Austin, Texas.
In the 23 years since its inception, what started out as a small contest with a few spectators has turned into one of Austin's biggest and best-known annual parties. The event is a favorite among hot and spicy food lovers from all over the country. The Hot Sauce Festival also serves as a major fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Last year's Festival raised over $12,000 and almost 16,000 lbs. of food in a six hour period!
FREE to the public (with a donation of three healthy, nonperishable food items or a cash donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas), the event draws upward of 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year.
The hot sauce contest has three levels of competition: individuals (homemade), restaurants, and commercial bottlers. This gives us a good chance to recognize hot sauces in a class by themselves. It also gives us a chance to consider hot sauces made fresh daily in restaurants apart from those made for grocery store shelves. The 2012 featured Hot Sauce Festival judges are some of the finest chefs in Texas!