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The Chronicle used to publish guide issues to the different sections of the city regularly. This was back when we were bi-weekly. These guides required an incredible amount of energy and hours. Since we went weekly, nearly a decade ago, we've published very few because they are so labor-intensive. Over the next couple of years, we are planning to publish a series of Austin Chronicle Guide issues detailing the many sections of Austin. These guides will be updated every year or two. The UT Guide in this issue is the first of these.

The idea is to provide a reasonably detailed guide to the different sections of Austin (all become a little arbitrarily defined at the edges). We try not to offer just a map and a listing but a sense of the community we are examining. The issue includes different features on the area, as well as the map and annotated listings. This time, visit UT's campus with us.

Heroic work on preparing this UT Guide was done by a team spearheaded by Kate Messer, including help from Kim Mellen, Ghislaine Ball, Sarah Hepola, Kevin Fullerton, David Snyder, Marty Beard, Nicole Kleman, and Claiborne Smith. We thank all who participated.

Waterloo Park turned out to be the perfect setting for the 7th annual Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival this past Sunday. Co-sponsored by Dos Equis, Shiner Bock, Guiltless Gourmet, and 107.1 KGSR, the event was bigger than ever. Literally hundreds of hot sauces were available with crowds everywhere partaking.

The judging of these hot sauces is taken very seriously. Each sauce is tasted by a group of preliminary judges who are dedicated beyond comprehension. They are also knowledgeable, enthusiastic and articulate. They include Carlos Contreras and the fabulous Alvarado brothers, Henry and Fred -- this trio has been first-round judges for all seven years of the event, as has Dave Walsh. Judge Jim Shahin checks in at six years while Marion Winik, Robert Bryce, and John Burnett just finished their third years. This was the second year for judges Pat Earvolino and Joe Nick Patoski, and the first for Meredith Phillips and Pableaux Johnson.

Every sauce is tasted, discussed, occasionally argued over, and then agreed upon. At the end of the first round, the entries have been whittled down and the finalists are passed along. Meanwhile, the sauces were continuously put out at the Festival for the crowd to sample. For the final round, some of the most famous chefs in Texas and the country offered their expertise, including David Garrido (Jeffrey's), Bruce Auden (Biga in San Antonio), Miguel Ravago (Bertram's), Stephan Pyles (Star Canyon in Dallas), Jay McCarthy (Jay's Mestena in San Antonio), and chief judge, festival mastermind, cheerleader, and bottle-washer Robb Walsh. Our special thanks to Elizabeth Derzco and Austintatious Events, which produced the Festival, and to Luke Zimmerman from Ruby's BBQ.

And all that was behind the scenes. The real action was in Waterloo Park, where thousands of people tasted hundreds of sauces, and where Don Walser and Los Pinkys combined with the sunny Texas summer for another memorable day.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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