Austinites have plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks to scorch their throats.

Hot Sauce Festival

Yes, hot sauce lovers, it's that time of year again. Time to slap on the sunblock and the sombrero and join 10,000 of your fellow chile heads at the premier hot sauce event in the country, the 10th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. This Sunday, August 27, the faithful will gather in downtown Austin's Waterloo Park between the hours of 11am and 5pm. There will be hot food, icy cold beer, live music, plus gallons and gallons of hot sauces to sample. In addition to the regular competition, this year we'll be inducting several individuals, restaurants, and commercial bottlers into the Hot Sauce Festival Hall of Flame. Be there or you'll miss all the fun.

More Hot Stuff

Just in case the Fiery Foods Show last weekend and the Hot Sauce Festival this weekend haven't put you over your quota for chile peppers, three local businesses are roasting and selling those famous green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico, right here in Austin for the next few weeks. Check with the folks at either Central Market location for roasted Hatch peppers this week, then hit Austin's Historic Farmers Market (6701 Burnet) both this weekend, Aug. 26 & 27, as well as next, Sept. 2 & 3, to stock up on bags of fresh roasted chiles. Look forward to Chuy's 12th Annual Green Chile Festival which runs Sept. 5 through 24. Stop in at your favorite Chuy's location to purchase chiles whole, roasted, or roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped for various prices. Or you can buy a commemorative hat or T-shirt and simply savor the chiles in special menu items all month long.


Art-loving foodies (or food-loving arties?) will want to stop by Jeffrey's (1204 West Lynn, 477-5584) between now and September 16 to view delectable new paintings by local artist Nancy D. Hoover. Titled simply "Edibles," the show includes fanciful paintings of food items such as sushi, a forkful of pasta, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Jeffrey's will host a reception for the artist on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 5:30-7:30pm.

Cowboy Cocktails

Many of our renowned celebrity judges in this week's Hot Sauce Festival will be signing books this Sunday at Waterloo Park between noon and 1pm. The newest book on the table will be a handy paperback titled Cowboy Cocktails (TenSpeed Press, $14.95) by Ft. Worth chef Grady Spears and Brigit L. Binns. Spears is the chef/owner of Reata Restaurants with locations in Alpine, Ft. Worth, and Beverly Hills, Calif. Spears' newest cookbook features drink recipes from the Reata bars, everything from "Cowboy Coffee Dranks" and "Drinks From the Border" to a chapter of libations more suited to "City Slickers." Each drink recipe comes complete with a musical listening suggestion, such as "Tequila" by the Champs to complement a Bloody Maria. (See p.31.) There's even a chapter on "Tasty Vittles" offering Reata-style appetizers to enjoy with drinks and a set of recipes for bar basics building blocks such as Sweet & Sour and Bloody Mary mixes. Y'all drink up!

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