Click here to check out this year's Hot Sauce Festival poster
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.
Food vendors will provide a wide array of foods. This year, Amy’s Ice Cream, Austin’s Pizza, Curra’s Grill, Sun Garden Shaved Ice, The Real McCoy Catering, Torchy's Tacos, and Verona will be on hand serving up their specialty dishes!
The 23rd Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is sponsored in part by 93.3 KGSR, Aio Wireless, Black Iguana, Capital Metro, Car2Go, Frontera Produce, Google+ Local, Grande Communications, Just Add Chef, Latino 102.7, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Planet K, Roger Beasley Volvo, Sweet Leaf Tea, Texas Music Water, Titan Insurance, Univision, Whole Foods Market, and Ziegenbock.
The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is presented in conjunction with the Capital Area Food Bank. Three healthy, nonperishable food donations or a cash donation for CAFB are requested. Purchase raffle tickets at the festival to be included in the drawing for this year's Sizzling Summer Raffle prize packages (up to five packages available valued at more than $500 each). There's no limit – purchase as many as you'd like! $5 each, or five for $20. Every $5 raffle ticket purchased allows the food bank to provide $25 worth of nutritious food to Central Texas families.
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 2013 featured Hot Sauce Festival judges are some of the finest chefs in Texas!
Rosie Flores & The Rivetors
The Peterson Brothers
The popular hot sauce cooking demonstration tent is back this year! Three new chefs will talk about a variety of chiles and their uses, share insight into hot sauce making, and demonstrate recipes in all contest categories: red, green, and special variety. The Austin Chronicle's Claudia Alarcón will moderate the demonstrations.
Noon: Chef Eric Lucas, Whole Foods Market, special variety
1pm: Chef Paul Macry, Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy, green sauce
2pm: Chef Cindy Harrington, El Monumento, red sauce
One of the most popular features of The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is the giant tasting tent with hundreds of different tasty sauces free for sampling! In order to have as many different kinds of sauces as possible under that tent, we need your help! The Austin Chronicle is working in conjunction with Just Add Chef to allow Individual hot sauce makers to make their sauces in a commercial kitchen so that our volunteers can then put them out for the general public to sample.
On Friday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 24, Just Add Chef's commercial kitchen will be available for FREE so that you can make your hot sauce. YOU MUST BRING ALL OF YOUR OWN INGREDIENTS, and please plan to make one quart of sauce. Once you are finished, you will receive a receipt verifiying that your hot sauce was made in a commercial kitchen. Please BRING THIS RECEIPT WITH YOU WHEN YOU check in on the morning of the event. ALL HOT SAUCE ENTRIES WILL BE JUDGED BY OUR PANEL OF JUDGES regardless of where they were made.
Just Add Chef is located at 3505 N. I-35. Hours of availability: Friday, Aug. 23, 2pm-6pm; Saturday, Aug. 24, 9am-6pm. Call Herb at 708-1125 to schedule your appointment.
Aztexan Pepper Co.
Becerra's Tex-Mex Salsas & Sauces
Big Daddy's Hot Sauce
Cin Chili & Company
High Octane Sauce Company
Hot Line Pepper Products
Mikey V's Foods
Mom's Family Kitchen
My Chihuahua Bites Salsa
Red's Texas LLC
Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce
Tears of Joy Sauces
Texas Brew Salsa
Two Hot Mamas Salsa Co.
White Label, LLC
Whole Foods Market
Winston's Hot Pepper Sauce, Inc.