22nd Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Winners

Congratulations to all our hot sauce contenders

Individual green sauce winner Daniel Cook
Individual green sauce winner Daniel Cook (Photos by John Anderson)

We were gratified to see hot sauce lovers making themselves right at home in our new location at Fiesta Gardens on the shady shores of Lady Bird Lake on Sunday, and relieved when Mother Nature cooperated by delivering temperatures well below last year's record of 112 degrees. The music and beer were cool, the salsas were hot, and everybody appeared to have a great time.

The individual competition produced all new winners this year, with three folks who had previously achieved honorable mention status moving up into the winner's circle, which confirms that it's worthwhile to keep trying. The restaurant category produced some new winners, as well, with both El Nuevo Mexico and Buenos Aires Cafe garnering third place finishes for the first time. In the commercial bottlers division, the crowd and the celebrity judges demonstrated different tastes, with the judges recognizing some new talent such as Texas Brew Products, Becerras Mild, and Hot Line Pepper Products, while the public tended to stay with the tried and true – Austin Slow Burn, Don't Panic Hispanic, Kala's Kuisine, Big Daddy's, Sgt. Pepper's, and Jaime's Foods. We offer our thanks to the preliminary and celebrity judging panels and our heartiest congratulations to all the winners. Once the flames have cooled, we'll see you again next year at Fiesta Gardens.

Individuals

Red Sauce

1st: Michael Valencia*

2nd: Scott Nettles* †

3rd: Brian Alexander*

Honorable Mention: Sam Addison, Scott Stafford

Green Sauce

1st: Daniel Cook* †

2nd: Evan LeRoy*

3rd: Marvin Perez*

HM: Bud Spaar

Special Variety

1st: Vanessa Brightman* †

2nd: Vanessa Brightman* †

3rd: David Bernard*

Restaurants

Red Sauce

1st: Sazón #

2nd: Las Lomas

3rd: El Nuevo Mexico*

HM: Chucho's Mexican Restaurant (Pflugerville)

Green Sauce

1st: Torchy's Tacos #

Commercial bottlers (judges) special variety winner Kala's Kuisine
Commercial bottlers (judges) special variety winner Kala's Kuisine

2nd: Curra's Grill #

3rd: Chucho's Mexican Restaurant (Pflugerville)

HM: El Nuevo Mexico

Special Variety

1st: Tacodeli

2nd: Sazón #

3rd: Buenos Aires Cafe*

HM: Las Lomas

Commercial Bottlers (Judges)

Red Sauce

1st: Texan Brew Products Honey Roasted Chipotle, Slow Kick Me*

2nd: My Chihuahua Bites Mild Salsa

3rd: Becerra's Mild Tex-Mex Jalapeno Salsa*

Green Sauce

1st: Jaime's Spanish Village Hot Green Salsa

2nd: Hot Line Pepper Products Hatchanero*

3rd: Kala's Kuisine Hotvocado #

HM: Taste of Texas from the Vine: Red's Ghost Pepper Salsa (Grapevine)

Pepper Sauce

1st: Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce # Chipotle Del Sol Smokin' Hot Sauce

2nd: Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce # Tejas Tears Habanero Sauce

3rd: Sgt. Pepper's Hot Sauce # Tropical Tears Mango Ginger Sauce

Special Variety

1st: Kala's Kuisine Mango Chutney #

2nd: Kala's Kuisine Gingery Habanero #

Commercial bottlers (people's choice) red sauce winners Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa
Commercial bottlers (people's choice) red sauce winners Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa

3rd: My Chihuahua Bites Blanco Party Dip

Commercial Bottlers (People's Choice)

Red Sauce

1st: Don't Panic Hispanic Salsa

2nd: Jaime's Spanish Village Salsa

3rd: Kala's Kuisine Curry Chipotle #

HM: La Familia Salsa Co. (Corpus Christi); Austin Slow Burn; Mom's Family Kitchen

Green Sauce

1st: Don't Panic Hispanic Greengo Salsa

2nd: Jaime's Spanish Village Hot Green Salsa

3rd: Austin Slow Burn Salsa Verde #

HM: Kala's Kuisine Hotvocado #; La Familia Salsa Co. (Corpus Christi)

Pepper Sauce

1st: Aztexan Pepper Co. Habanero Supreme #

2nd: Kala's Kuisine Gingery Habanero #

3rd: Austin Slow Burn Jerk Marinade #

HM: Big Daddy's Ass Burn Hot Sauce; Sgt. Pepper's Tropical Tears Mango Ginger Salsa

Special Variety

1st: Austin Slow Burn Creamy Jalapeño #

2nd: Thai Gourmet Thai Salsa *

3rd: Kala's Kuisine Mango Chutney #

HM: Big Daddy's Flaming Lips Three Drops of Death; Granddaddy's Sweet Southern Heat; Jaime's Spanish Village Chili Con Queso; My Chihuahua Bites Blanco Party Dip

* = first-time winner

# = Hall of Flame member

† = previous honorable mention

All are from Austin unless otherwise noted

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Hot Sauce, salsa, Fiesta Gardens, Special Variety, Green, Red

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