The Austin foodie network is heating up just in time for the Hot Sauce Festival

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is fast approaching, and we have some important information for all potential contestants. According to health department regulations, any salsa that is served to the public in the big tent must be prepared in a permitted commercial kitchen. Restaurant entries can be submitted with a receipt from the restaurant or a note on company letterhead. Individual contestants who want their salsas served to the public must prepare their entries in a commercial kitchen. The Chronicle has arranged for contestants who wish to comply with this regulation to use the kitchen at Ciao Chow Catering (6019 N. I-35) by appointment on Friday, Aug. 28, between 2pm and 8pm, or Saturday, Aug. 29, between 9am and 6pm. Make appointments to use the kitchen free of charge by calling Ciao Chow owner Mark Bradley at 301-4443. Contest­ants must bring their own ingredients to the kitchen and will be given a receipt that must be submitted with their quart of sauce on Sunday, Aug. 30, at Waterloo Park. All salsa entries will be evaluated by the judges, regardless of where they were prepared. ¡Buena suerte!... Congratulations to Olivia (2043 S. Lamar, 804-2700, chef/owner James Holmes and his staff for being named one of the Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America in the August issue of Bon Appétit magazine. They were impressed with Olivia's fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table menu fare, and we wholeheartedly agree... And while we're recognizing accomplishments, kudos to local sommelier Anthony Garcia, who passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced (Level III) Exam in Chicago earlier this month. Garcia is the fourth Austin sommelier to achieve this level of certification and must now wait one year to take the master sommelier exam... Fotini and Fernando LaGuardia of Pizzeria La Boca (5706 Manor Rd., 933-9400) report they have remodeled their restaurant space and the interiors are now inspired by art and colors from their namesake, the La Boca suburb of Buenos Aires. Drop by to try their gourmet empanadas, pizzas, pastas, gnocchi, and homemade sausages... We hear West Coast natural frozen yogurt powerhouse Red Mango has several stores planned for the Austin market in the coming year. We'll keep you posted about possible locations... We have a correction about the ongoing developments at Kevin Williamson's entertainment compound on Nueces Street, between West Sixth and Seventh streets. Both the interior and exterior redesign of the Star Bar (600 W. Sixth) are the work of architect/designer Jamie Chioco (, while Joel Mozersky is designing the new Rattle Inn honky-tonk and bar. We regret the error and are eager to see both finished venues.

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The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, Ciao Chow Catering, Olivia, Bon Appétit, Court of Master Sommeliers, Pizzeria La Boca, Red Mango, Star Bar

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