Hot Sauce Festival FAQ

Everything you need to know to keep it saucy

Photo by John Anderson

What is this thing?

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is an Austin institution. What began as a small hot sauce contest in 1990 has grown into the largest competition of its kind and one of Austin's largest and best-known annual food events, drawing as many as 10,000 spectators.

But not this year, right?

Right. Due to COVID-19, we're celebrating our 30th anniversary safely with our first-ever at-home festival.

What's the at-home festival going to look like?

Hosted by the Horn's Trey Elling, the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will stream live Sunday, Aug. 30, 1-3pm. The virtual event will feature:

* hot sauce winners announcements

* video highlights from this year's judging panel

* cooking demos by Camila Alves McConaughey, Eldorado Cafe's Joel Fried, and Emily Beyda

* musical performances by Go Fever, Como Las Movies, Mike Melinoe, and Nemegata

Isn't this a fundraiser?

It is! Serving as a major fundraiser for the Central Texas Food Bank, the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival has raised almost a million meals in its history. CTFB needs the community's help now more than ever. Donate at and you'll be eligible to earn perks from over a dozen local businesses like Tiff's Treats, Mour Cafe, Grassroots Harvest, Lick Honest Ice Cream, and others.

Did I hear something about Hot Sauce Tasting Kits?

You mean the limited edition at-home kits featuring a selection of hot sauce and chips, festival merch, and swag from our sponsors? Yep, they're all sold out now. If you previously ordered a kit, check your email for your scheduled contactless kit pickup.

The annual new T-shirt design is my favorite thing about the fest. Is that still a thing?

It sure is. The "psychedillo" – that's our special 2020 design by Zeke Barbaro – is already on sale at the Chronicle's merch store (, along with another commemorative T-shirt, patch, and bandanna, plus our Austin Chronicle Adult Coloring Book.

If I have any more questions, where should I go?

Find all the answers at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle