19th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Contest

If you didn't make it to the fest to sample salsas, take this list of winners to the grocery store

19th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Contest
Photo by John Anderson

In what alternative universe would a temperature of 95 degrees be considered moderate, even comfortable? That would be Austin, Texas, on the last Sunday in August at the end of our hottest summer in recorded history. A salsa-loving crowd filled Waterloo Park, music rocked, and cold beer flowed like always, but the lawn-crisping, eyeball-scorching, energy-sapping heat didn't show – hallelujah! Enthusiastic crowds packed the new cooking demo tent, so that innovation looks like a keeper. The free use of an inspected commercial kitchen in which to prepare individual competition salsas is somewhat slower to catch on, but more people used it this year than last, so we're headed in the right direction.

Scanning the list of winners, we note that an interesting mix of regular and new contestants garnered prizes this year. The tony new La Condesa (400-A W. Second, 499-0300, www.lacondesaaustin.com) showed well, as did relatively new South Austin mom-and-pop Las Lomas (736 W. Stassney, 428-9425), while Torchy's, El Caribe, Sazón, Curra's Grill, and Cuatros are all repeat winners. After many years as an individual competitor, Nepalese native Kala Uprety competed this year under the banner of her popular local vegetarian food company, Kala's Kuisine. She greatly impressed both the crowd and the judges – no small feat. Another new commercial entry was created by sisters Ariel Zarate-Carmona and Katrina Zarate, who impressed the judges with their Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa, which is new on the shelves at Cissi's Market this week. The individual category sports some new names this year as well as a few winners who have received honorable mentions in years past – we love it that those confirmed chile-heads keep coming back, year after year! Congratulations to you all. And the best news of all is that salsa-loving Austinites raised $14,269 and 29,413 pounds of nonperishable food items for our friends at the Capital Area Food Bank. What a way to party!


CONTEST WINNERS

(All are from Austin unless otherwise noted.)

* Denotes first-time win or place.


RESTAURANTS

Red Sauce

1st Place: Torchy's Tacos

2nd Place: La Condesa*

3rd Place: El Caribe

Honorable Mention: Capital Barbecue, Las Lomas

Green Sauce

1st Place: Las Lomas*

2nd Place: Sazón

3rd Place: Cuatros

Honorable Mention: Burger Central (Leander)

Special Variety

1st Place: Curra's Grill

2nd Place: La Condesa*

3rd Place: Sazón

Honorable Mention: Habanero Mexican Cafe, Kenichi


INDIVIDUALS

Red Sauce

Twyla Wick
Twyla Wick (Photo by John Anderson)

1st Place: Twyla Wick*

2nd Place: Michael Hutchinson*

3rd Place: Robert Heady*

Honorable Mention: Heath Garcia (Hurst), Eileen Fuessel (Hutto), Maria Estela Flores, Michael Rypka, Rita Huffman, John Cunningham, Marlo Cooper, Jacob J. Serda, Mark Wayne Choban, B&R Salsa, Chris Samarripas, Adam Wear, Rene Moreno

Green Sauce

1st Place: Karen Kessel*

2nd Place: Gary Peifer*

3rd Place: Brett Appolito*

Honorable Mention: Eric Reyes, Célangé Santiso, Bobby Nall, Kala Uprety, Dustin & Evan Bozarth (TacoTown.org)

Special Variety

1st Place: Burt Friedman*

2nd Place: Jim Hoppers*

3rd Place: Carol Castillo* (Dallas)

Honorable Mention: Austin Shockley & Caleb Dawson, Russell & Mattie Lewis, Shane Crawford, Patty Tomasco, Melonie Canga, Jason Parsons, Sonya Miller, Andrea Christi Michelle, Célangé Santiso, Michelle Hardy


COMMERCIAL BOTTLERS – PEOPLE'S CHOICE

Red Sauce

Kala Uprety of Kala's Kuisine
Kala Uprety of Kala's Kuisine (Photo by John Anderson)

1st Place: Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa* – Mild

2nd Place: Tears of Joy 6th Street Salsa – Red

3rd Place: Kala's Kuisine Curry Chipotle Salsa*

Honorable Mention: Sgt. Pepper's Texas Smoke Salsa, Austin Slow Burn Salsa con Habanero, Texas-Texas Texas Scream Salsa, 2 Brothers Chipotle Salsa (Richardson), Winston's Hot Pepper Sauce, Big Dawg Habanero FlatLime (North Richland Hills)

Green Sauce

1st Place: Tears of Joy 6th Street Salsa – Green

2nd Place: Austin Slow Burn Salsa Verde

3rd Place: Kala's Kuisine Mirchi Masala Salsa*

Honorable Mention: Winston's Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce, Sgt. Pepper's Texas Green Salsa, Big Dawg Fire Rescue Jalapeno (North Richland Hills)

Pepper Sauce

1st Place: Aztexan Habanero Supreme

2nd Place: Tears of Joy August in Austin Hot Sauce

3rd Place: Austin Slow Burn Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Honorable Mention: Kala's Kuisine Curry-Tabasco, Sgt. Pepper's Tropical Tears Mango Hot Sauce, Big Daddy's Ass Burn Hot Sauce (Houston), Big Dawg DNR (North Richland Hills), Winston's Hot Habanero Sauce, Big Daddy's Flaming Lips (Houston)

Special Variety

1st Place: Tears of Joy Tequila Lime Hot Sauce

2nd Place: Logan's Habanero Relish

3rd Place: Austin Slow Burn Green Chile Queso

Honorable Mention: Austin Jam Co. Raspberry Pepper Jam, Sgt. Pepper's Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pesto, Winston's ManGogh, Texas-Texas Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Kala's Kuisine Mango Chutney, Kala's Kuisine Chutney Salsa


COMMERCIAL BOTTLERS – JUDGED

Red Sauce

1st Place: Kala's Kuisine Curry Chipotle Salsa*

2nd Place: Austin Slow Burn Salsa con Habanero

3rd Place: Pace Pico de Gallo* (Paris, Texas)

Honorable Mention: Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa – Mild

Green Sauce

1st Place: Kala's Kuisine Mirchi Masala Salsa*

2nd Place: Big Dawg Fire Rescue Jalapeno* (North Richland Hills)

3rd Place: Tears of Joy 6th Street Salsa – Green

Special Variety

1st Place: Tears of Joy Tequila Lime Hot Sauce

2nd Place: Pepper Creek Farm Island Flame

3rd Place: Kala's Kuisine Mango Chutney*

Pepper Sauce

1st Place: Big Daddy's Ass Burn Hot Sauce

2nd Place: Sgt. Pepper's Tropical Tears Mango Hot Sauce

3rd Place: Big Dawg DNR* (North Richland Hills)

Honorable Mention: Big Daddy's High on Fire Hot Sauce (Houston), Big Daddy's Flaming Lips (Houston), Sgt. Pepper's Ancho Mama's Hot Sauce, Tears of Joy August in Austin Hot Sauce

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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READ MORE
More Hot Sauce Festival
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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Hot Sauce Festival

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