Hot Shots

11th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Results

Hot Shots

Just as if we'd ordered it that way, another year of fabulous hot sauce festivities drew to a close, the sun-bleached crowds left Waterloo Park, and then the skies opened up, dropping more than three inches of desperately needed rain on parched and crispy Central Texas. What could be better news than that?

Perusing this year's list of winners, the maxim that comes to mind is "practice makes perfect." Last year's big winner, Larry Blanton, came back strong again this year, taking first place in both the Individual Red Sauce and Special Variety categories and Hall of Flamer chef John Randall placed second in Green Sauce. There are only two new winners in the entire restaurant section, meaning the judges were once again impressed with restaurants that consistently get their salsas just right. Reviewing the "people's choices" among commercial bottlers' wares, it's pretty obvious that Austin's hot sauce loving populace recognizes quality when they taste it, year after year. Ask for the award-winning concoctions in local grocery and specialty stores and tell 'em The Austin Chronicle sent you.

As always, we offer our heartiest congratulations to all the winners and encourage all entrants to keep coming back, because practice does indeed appear to pay off.


Winners

*Denotes previous winners. Honorable mentions listed in order of voting. Contestants are from Austin unless otherwise noted.

Individual Category

Red Sauce

1st Place: Larry Blanton (Houston)*

2nd Place: Brent Kirby

3rd Place: Debbie Tucker (Cedar Creek)

Honorable mention: Gigi Cantu, Bob Zink, Derek Eckert, Clay Hert (Portland, Ore.), Valery Dubov, Michael Grissom, Rosa I. Salas, Deborah Vogt (Georgetown)

Green Sauce

1st Place: Benita Trevino

2nd Place: John Randall*

Hot Shots
Photo By John Anderson

3rd Place: Mark Kobdish (Smithville)

Honorable mention: Jose Avalos

Special Variety

1st Place: Larry Blanton (Houston)*

2nd Place: Susan McCartney

3rd Place: Ben Petko

Honorable mention: Joan Bryant, Joe Martinec (Cedar Creek), Leonardo Rodriguez, Megan Murphy

Restaurant Category

Red Sauce

1st Place: The Yellow Rose*

2nd Place: Trudy's*

3rd Place: Elva's (Corpus Christi)

Honorable mention: Evita's Botanitas, Trudy's, Evita's Botanitas

Winners of People's Choice Best Pepper Sauce: Aztexan Pepper Co. Habanero Supreme
Winners of People's Choice Best Pepper Sauce: Aztexan Pepper Co. Habanero Supreme (Photo By John Anderson)

Green Sauce

1st Place: Trudy's*

2nd Place: Antonio's Tex-Mex Cafe & Cantina*

3rd Place: Evita's Botanitas*

Honorable mention: Antonio's Tex-Mex y Cantina, The Yellow Rose, Evita's Botanitas

Special Variety

1st Place: Iguana Grill*

2nd Place: Southern Food Service Mgmt. (3M Cafeteria)

3rd Place: Trudy's*

Honorable mention: Curra's Grill

Commercial Bottlers

(People's Choice Awards)

Red Sauce

1st Place: Ana's Salsa*

Winners of Commercial Bottlers People's  Choice Special Variety: ATA International's  Hot Paradise Hot Salsa
Winners of Commercial Bottlers People's Choice Special Variety: ATA International's Hot Paradise Hot Salsa (Photo By John Anderson)

2nd Place: Texas Lava's Simply Delicious Salsa*

3rd Place: Rose's Just Right Salsa*

Green Sauce

1st Place: Rose's Salsa Fresca Verde (Austin)*

2nd Place: Smoky Hill Verde Sauce (Austin Spice Co.)*

3rd Place: Hombres Foods Texas Smoked Verde*

Special Variety

1st Place: ATA International's Hot Paradise Hot Salsa (Belton)*

2nd Place: Jump Up & Kick Yo Butt Peach Mango Habanero Salsa (La Grange)

3rd Place: Sgt. Pepper's Smoky Chipotle Pesto*

Pepper Sauce

1st Place: Aztexan Pepper Co. Habanero Supreme*

2nd Place: Winston's Hot Pepper Sauce*

3rd Place: Sgt. Pepper's Tejas Tears Habanero

Judges for Individual and Restaurant Categories

Preliminary Judges

Fred Alvarado, Henry Alvarado, Robert Bryce, Carlos Contreras, Pat Earvolino, Joe Nick Patoski, Jim Shahin, Dave Walsh

Celebrity Finals Judges

Sam Dickey, Alan Lazarus, Miguel Ravago, Grady Spears, Kathrine Tuason, Robb Walsh

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Sam Dickey, Alan Lazarus, Miguel Ravago, Grady Spears, Kathrine Tuason, Robb Walsh

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