Forged in Fire

The 15th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival results

Forged in Fire
Photo By John Anderson

If you happened to notice the listings of winners from past Hot Sauce Festival competitions in the special pullout section of last week's Chronicle, you have some idea of how the event has grown and changed over the years. You can also see that there are individuals, restaurants, and commercial bottlers who take pride in competing year in and year out, because many have established track records. The most surprising news in this year's results is that for the first time in the history of the festival, perennial winner Trudy's did not enter, making way for five new restaurant winners. This year, there was a total of 320 salsas entered in the contest; 15 restaurants competed with 34 sauces, and 17 commercial bottlers presented their wares to be considered for the "People's Choice" awards. (Of the 12 places in that category, all but one were taken by previous competitors.) The heat was tolerable, the crowd was huge, and hundreds of pounds of food were donated to the Capital Area Food Bank. Thanks for 15 years of great community support, and congratulations to all the winners!

Justin Altman
Justin Altman (Photo By John Anderson)

Individual Category

(* denotes previous winner)


First place Justin Altman

Second place Shawn Muncy

Third place Lance Brauckman

Honorable Mentions: John Unger, Ethel McHorse, John McGlothlin, Deb Vogt (Georgetown), Jesse Pena, Taryn McNeill, Bob Sewell (Cedar Park), Amy Huff (Round Rock), Jay Guidry, Stan Shipe (Cedar Park), Sandra Byrer (San Antonio)

Michael Rypka
Michael Rypka (Photo By John Anderson)


First place Michael Rypka*

Second place Marvin Perez*

Third place Jonathan Hemmeter

Honorable Mentions: Scott "El Sucio" Carlson, Matt Morris, Jena Weatherly, Gringo Star


First place Karen Peterman*

Second place Chris Buslett*

Third place John Dever III

Honorable Mentions: Sonya Miller, Sean Huitt, Chuk Hall, Chris "Sal" Salinas, Jesse Pena, Burt Friedman, Lydia Lopez, Greg C. Holmes (Corsicana), Meghan Smith (Bastrop), Nicole Brooks, Robert Tisdale, Shawn Fike (Round Rock), Matthew Kimbro, Sonya Miller

Restaurant Category


First place El Caribe Mexican Restaurant*

Second place Sao Paulo Restaurant

Third place Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina

Honorable Mention: Serranos


First place Curra's Grill*

Second place Sao Paulo Restaurant

Third place Tres Amígos

Little Texas Bistro
Little Texas Bistro (Photo By John Anderson)


First place Little Texas Bistro in Buda

Second place Oaxacan Tamaleo

Third place Iguana Grill*

Texapenos (Photo By John Anderson)

Commercial Bottlers – People's Choice Awards


First place Texapenos Gourmet Red

Second place Two Hot Mamas Salsa Roja

Third place Classy Delites Jamaican Salsa

Honorable Mentions: 6th Street Salsa Red (Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop), Austin Slow Burn Salsa con Habanero, Sgt. Pepper's Salsa Roja, Hill Country Homestyle Habanero Garlic Salsa (Fredericksburg)

Two Hot Mamas
Two Hot Mamas (Photo By John Anderson)


First place Two Hot Mamas Chile Verde

Second place Texapenos Gourmet Green

Third place Classy Delites Spinach Avocado Dip

Honorable Mentions: 6th Street Salsa Green (Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop), Sgt. Pepper's Tomatillo Green, Austin Slow Burn Salsa Verde, Smoky Hill Salsa Verde


First place Texapenos Orange Flame

Second place Two Hot Mamas Creamy Cilantro Salsa Dip

Third place Two Hot Mamas Creamy Chipotle

Honorable Mentions: Classy Delites Queso Completo, Austin Slow Burn Jalapeño Jelly, Texas-Texas Mango Supreme Salsa, Texas Cactus Hot Sauce (Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop), Austin Spice Campfire Corn & Bean Salsa


First place Aztexan Pepper Co. Habanero Supreme

Second place Texapenos Red Flame

Third place Tears of Joy Tequila Lime Hot Sauce (new commercial winner)

Honorable Mentions: Austin Slow Burn Jamaican Jerk, August in Austin Hot Sauce (Tears of Joy Hot Sauce Shop), Pepper Creek Farm Mango Blaze (Belton), Winston's Hot Pepper Sauce, Sgt. Pepper's Tejas Tears

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The 15th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

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