The details on the upcoming Fourth Annual Texas Fiery Foods Show and the 10th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Contest.

Hot Stuff

For the chileheads out there, the next two weekends should be hog heaven or hell on earth, depending on your preference. This weekend brings the Fourth Annual Texas Fiery Foods Show to Palmer Auditorium. The incendiary event is the brainchild of Austinites Amy and Greg Dillon and showcases over 1,000 hot and spicy products including salsas, sauces, candies, honeys, snacks, pestos, jams & jellies, spices, sausages, soups, salad dressings, mustards, ketchups, plus non-food items like clothing, cookbooks, posters, artwork, and kitchenware. In addition to hundreds of tasty food samples, promoters will also announce the winners of the Texas Shoot-Out product competition in which contestants competed for prizes in over 50 categories. On the cooking stage, chefs Jeff Blank and Ron Brannon of Hudson's on the Bend, Larry Perdido of Saba Blue Water Cafe, Kevin Williamson of Ella's and Ranch 616, Kevin Lewis of Austin Slow Burn, Dave Hermann of The Range in Salado, and Steve Warner of Gumbo's will demonstrate signature fiery dishes each afternoon. Saturday culminates with the Dash of Pepper 5K Run starting from Auditorium Shores at 6:30pm and ending with a 7:30pm concert presented by local musicians Joe Ely and Trish Murphy in the Run-Tex parking lot at Riverside Drive and South First Street.

This event has attracted the interest of the Television Food Network (TVFN) and a crew from the program Food 911 With Tyler Florence will document the fiery food scene in Austin from Aug. 19-22. Friday night, they'll drop into Central Market to photograph the astounding "Wall of Salsa" featuring many homegrown products and catch part of a cooking class taught by Austin's favorite cooking firefighter, Tim La Fuente. They'll also check out the spicy Asian fare at Satay. Look for the TVFN crew at the Fiery Foods Show, where they'll film cooking demonstrations at the chef's stage and document customer reactions to some of the more flammable fare.

Save the next Sunday, August 27, for the 10th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Contest! We've established a Salsa Hall of Flame to recognize frequent winners of the event that has made Austin the Hot Sauce Capital of Texas and they'll be introduced to the crowd and presented with plaques. For contest entry blanks, check out the ad on p.4 and watch this space next week for complete details.

Turkish Delights

A friend just returned from Istanbul with the most incredible cache of Turkish delights as a belated birthday gift. The basket contained metal kabob skewers decorated with brass Turkish symbols, an elegant little brass spice grinder, a blue glass eye guaranteed to ward off any evil spirits in my kitchen, bags of goodies from an Istanbul spice market such as a barbecue rub redolent of cumin, sumac for sprinkling on yogurt or salads, teas of apples and hibiscus flowers, and a tiny round plastic compact filled with a luxurious supply of Turkish saffron. For immediate consumption, there's a bag of native pistachios and a box of dried fruit, including huge dates, stuffed figs, and the most luscious apricots I've ever tasted. What delectable treasures!

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