AC Hot Sauce Festival Announces Judges, Cooking Demo Talent

Celebrating 26 years of heat

photo by John Anderson

Hot diggity dog! The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival may be entering its 26th year, but we aren’t slowing down. Our annual shindig benefiting the Central Texas Food Bank is attracting more talent than ever – both in our cooking demo tent and behind the scenes as judges.

This year, our merry crew of local personalities, food writers, and chefs are joined by some friends from San Antonio in determining who will go home with the top prizes in the individual, restaurant, and commercial bottler categories. You will have the difficult task of determining who wins the people’s choice awards for commercial bottlers. I will be heading the judges this year with the assistance of the following celebrity judges:

Héctor González: Mexican food preservator, Mexicanity
Mariam Parker: executive director, 
Austin Food & Wine Alliance
CJ Morgan: radio personality, KLBJ
Nadia Chaudhury: editor, Eater Austin
Austin Ewald: sous chef, Jacoby’s 
Restaurant & Mercantile and the upcoming Grizzelda’s
Anastacia Uriegas: food writer, Time Out, Thrillist
Hugh Daschbach: culinary concierge, Hotel Emma San Antonio
Tameca Jones: queen bee of Austin soul
Luke Bibby: chef/owner, Luke’s Inside Out
Jessica Elizarraras: food editor, San Antonio Current
Jason White: fermentation specialist/research and development, Still Austin Whiskey Co.

At the cooking tent this year, we asked some our favorite chefs to demo recipes inspired by the fest. The day starts out with VOX Table chef Joe Anguiano, followed by Alcomar and El Alma's Alma Alcocer-Thomas, both chefs of First Plates award-winning restaurants. The day concludes with Lorenzo Morales of the upcoming Jazz, TX, in San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery and Pluckers Wing Bar’s annual Wing King competition.

Get ready for Best of Austin: Restaurants! Voting begins June 30 in the Readers Poll. Find out more at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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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Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, Brandon Watson, Héctor González, Mariam Parker, CJ Morgan, Nadia Chaudhury, Austin Ewald, Anastacia Uriegas, Hugh Daschbach, Tameca Jones, Luke Bibby, Jessica Elizarraras, Jason White, Joe Anguiano, VOX Table, Lorenzo Morales, Jazz, TX, Alma Alcocer-Thomas

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