Hot Sauce Fest Cooking Tent

After last year's successful debut, the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts cooking demo tent returns to this year's Hot Sauce Fest. Three new chefs will talk about a variety of chiles and their uses. They'll share secrets for hot sauce making and cooking techniques, demonstrating recipes in all contest categories: red, green, and specialty. Attendees will be able to sample the hot sauces, prepared in advance at the school's kitchen, as they learn the recipes from the pros. Step in between noon and 3pm for some shelter from the sun (but not from the heat!) and add new recipes to your hot sauce repertoire.

Austin Chronicle contributing writer Claudia Alarcón will be running the cooking demo tent again this year. The schedule is as follows:

Chef Charles Mayes
Chef Charles Mayes (Photo by John Anderson)

Noon-1pm: Chef Charles Mayes has been delighting Austin with his tropical cuisine at the ever-popular Cafe Josie since 1997. Using ingredients from what he calls the "Equatorial Pantry," Mayes creates excellent dishes with exotic flavors that transport diners to a seaside paradise somewhere in the Caribbean. His fiery jerk chicken has been a staple at the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival's Sunday Fair for years, and his loyal customers are well-acquainted with his masterful use of various chiles (he participated in the Hot Sauce Contest back in the early 1990s). Mayes will be sharing a recipe for one of his sauces in the special variety category.

1-2pm: Chef Margarito Aranda is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and owner of Sazón, one of the best places in Austin to sample authentic cuisine from various regions of Mexico. His red sauce, served with chips at the restaurant, won first place in its category at the 2007 Hot Sauce Festival (when the restaurant had only been open for a year) and again in 2008. Last year, Sazón took home second place in the green sauce category and third place in special variety. Clearly well-versed in making all kinds of salsas, Aranda will be demonstrating a green sauce this year.

2-3pm: Marisela Godinez is the chef and saucier extraordinaire at El Mesón, now in a new full-service location on South Lamar. She has a special knack for making sauces, something she picked up at an early age growing up in Mexico City. Her sauce creations, both table salsas and those used in cooking, are made from scratch daily at the restaurant, including her mother's mole recipe, which is one of the best in the city. She travels often to various regions of Mexico to research recipes and bring back new ideas, including a fiery habanero sauce she picked up on a recent trip to the Riviera Maya and implemented at the restaurant. At the festival, Godinez will be preparing her popular roasted-tomato table salsa.

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