2010 Weekend of Fire Diary

As I do in all the shows that I attend, I will try to give updates when I can to those that unfortunately can not make the show. I will try my best to fill in the blanks on what has happened and what will happen when I have a chance to report in. Things might get crazy, but I am sure Scott Roberts will be twittering, Brian and Marilyn Meagher of Hot Sauce Daily/Weekly will be podcasting and Firehead Thomas will be Facebooking for those that are on his friends’ list. So if you need to know the latest you will have many choices.

From the outset when Bret Vitek who once ran the show introduced the Blogger’s Booth in the Weekend of Fire’s 2nd year, this show has become the most popular amongst all the fiery food shows for the bloggers. Maybe it has something to do with the central location, maybe it has something to do with the hospitality from Jungle Jim’s employees, maybe it is all the hot sauce, salsa and other fiery food products inside the store. Whatever the reason, bloggers are coming from all over to attend the 4th Annual Weekend of Fire.

Why do I travel 7-9 hours to this show? Camaraderie is perhaps the main reason. I have made a lot of friends over the years and to get a chance to see many of my chilehead friends in one location is something I look forward to. Making new friends each and every year, and connecting to the vendors is always a highlight.

This show marks ILIS’ 1st show as an award sponsor for not just 1 contest, but 2. The 1st is Patter Fam’s Spicy PB & J Sammich Stackdown which will kick off at 2pm on Saturday. The 2nd is Heartbreaking Dawns’ Ghost Pepper Brownie Brawl Buster which starts at noon on Sunday. You can’t find a contest like these anywhere in the country, and as the guy behind ILIS, I am so proud to be sponsoring these 2 events at the show, and the two awards I will be presenting to the winners.

Beyond these 2 events, there are so many more contests happening almost hourly at the Oscar Event center where the show takes place. There is a spicy ice cream contest with Crazy Uncle Jester and a horseradish eating contest that will be interesting to watch. Plus a bugsicle licking lollipop challenge that might be umm…interesting to say the least. There is no Intensity Academy Lick-A-Thon here this year, only the copycat version which I personally think is a shameful ripoff. I also do not feel the firecracker contest is worth watching, but who knows it might get some attention.

On top of everyone’s list of things to watch is Defcon’s Annual Deathmatch Championship. A new trophy which will be unveiled at the show has Defcon’s Creator proud as a new Papa. As soon as I have a chance to take a pic, I will try to get it to you. I have to utilize other’s laptops since I am too poor to own one. 🙁

Then after everything has run it’s course at the show, we will have CaJohn’s Open House and the very first Reviewer’s Cup. This is a blind taste test contest for all the reviewers wishing to be a part of it, and there should be a few that will. The Open House has also become a tradition for the weekend, and to drive all the way to the Weekend of Fire, and not drive the extra distance to CaJohn’s new Factory is something that others have regret not doing in past years. So make it a part of your trip!

I sit here the night before leaving in a bit of pain from some last minute dentistry that I had to get done today. This has a chance to prevent me from doing the Reviewer’s Cup and some of the contests. I can not chew food right now on the right side of my mouth and can not eat anything that might be too chewy and/or sticky. This is a definite downer to my weekend, but I plan on having fun regardless.

Stay with us, check back in, and I will be sure to answer your questions if you have any, when time permits. It is going to be a blast!

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25 thoughts on “2010 Weekend of Fire Diary

  • July 31, 2010 at 7:50 am
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    Good mornin people. Eric and I rolled in from our 8 hour soujourn around 2:30pm. We grabbed a late lunch at skyline chili. We had their extreme habanero cheese chili with their hot sauce. The chili was quite bland and the hot sauce was so puckery vinegary, but together it made a good dish. Nothing extreme about it at all..

    Afterwards we made our way to the Oscar event center where the show was and met up with some of the vendors. Defcon was showing video from last years event. and their trophy. It is quite the vision with the mini toilet bowl on top and a full roll of toilet paper at its base. There are flames and a chicken too. What a prize!

    Crazy Uncle Jester Jeff was passing out his new and improved “Make Me Cough Drops”. These things were beyond hot and everyone that tried one spit them out after a minute or so because they were too spicy. Well everyone except yours truly of course. 😉 Just based on personal experience these were hotter than the Intensity Academy Lick-a-thon lollipops, and those were damn hot folks. These drops were also very tasty with lemon and lime flavor. A must try for any chilehead. I hope I can catch a few chileheads on camera trying these demonically hot drops. Especially when they tap out to them. Jeff also gave me an unlabeled bottle of his new spicy maple syrup that I will break out at the booth later today.

    We hung out with some of the vendors and other bloggers for dinner at Roosters down the road. Its another chain wing type of place. Nothing eventful happened. It was just great to see my chilehead brethren again.

    Well time to get out of bed and see what the day has in store. Later folks!

  • August 1, 2010 at 12:08 am
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    GREAT time at WoF today! It was awesome to meet you all in person and sample some excellent spicy fare – the cheesecakes, in particular, were fantastic (Firehead Thomas, don’t forget that recipe – I need that!). Between my guests and I, I think we pretty well broke the bank with all the booty we unpacked when we got home and a good bit of it went to good use at the cookout we had – bison burgers with Captain Thom’s Bacon Catsup and Tony Paco’s catsup (not mixed, but both used), Black Burbon Sauce on grilled veggies, and salsas on fresh tortilla chips (CaJohn’s Mango Habanero and Gunther’s Tomatillo). Enough to turn some former tenderfeet at our meal into fledgling chileheads!
    See you all again soon!!!! :_redpepper:

  • August 1, 2010 at 9:22 am
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    There was so much going on on Saturday. The highlight for me was for the first time since the Weekend of Fire show has existed, it seemed to turn a successful corner. They had the biggest crowd ever to attend this event and that put smiles on many faces. It was hectic at times, but seeing this shows me that this event has a chance to be a top dog, if only all the vendors were happy. There were some minor kinks, but I think they can be worked out next year.

    I was worried on many levels that they had way too many contests involved food, mostly involving sugar, but I am happy to say I was 100% wrong. The happy masses filled up every contest way in advance and the crowds in the bleachers called, “Arena of Fire” were punch drunk with enthusiasm. Standing room only around the table for each contest they stood anxiously waiting the spicy torment that each contest was soon to bring. I filmed the horseradish, ice cream and the spicy pb & j sammich stackdown, and was smiling how the throng of chileheads screamed out with pleasure and grunted at times to what they saw. I can’t wait to share that with you.

    There were products galore to taste, and I will wrap up some favorites after the show when I have more to evaluate everything. At the Blogger’s booth Firehead Thomas and his lovely wife Annabelle brought some taste treats including a very very very popular mini spicy cheesecakes. Those things were quite delish. Scott Roberts brought some fiery jolokia chocolate covered coffee beans. Not being a coffee fan, I can’t tell you how they tasted. Hudd brought his mini collectible 2010 Weekend of Fire truck and shared it with many of the Bloggers and friends. It is real cool, and thanks again Hudd for taking the time to craft it!

    My head is still spinning, trying to recall everything, but I am sure I will add more as the weekend goes on. Those are the main highlights so far. The Deathmatch video is up, although I can’t see if it is working at the hotel, so I hope it is. Scott Roberts spent a lot of time trying to get his up, and you can visit his page on http://www.scottrobertsweb.com to view it if it doesn’t show up below. I had trouble with the code on it, and Defcon sent me his too, so I hope something is working.

    I will be back with more as time permits. Today I will be filmed the Heartbreaking Dawns Ghost Pepper Brownie Buster Brawl. That should be fun! Laterz!!!

  • August 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm
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    I had a great time! :_redpepper:

  • August 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm
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    :_dancingdevil: Crazy Uncle Jester candy is pure EVIL! You got me with the molasses! ::raises fist:: curses!!! :_dancingdevil:

  • August 2, 2010 at 12:01 am
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    Great time had by the hudd gang! can’t wait to get to Columbus tomorrow and hang with everybody some more.

  • August 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm
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    INDEED!!! I’m not sure if it’s from the horseradish competition or if it was the Crazy Uncle Jester “Make you cough” drop – but my tongue has not been the same since Saturday!

  • August 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm
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    Fie on those Dilley wings!! I could only eat 4, and had to drop out….my stomach was cursing me for hours.

  • August 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm
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    Maybe the cough drop, my tongue hurts too since having it. Yet, I did have some dental work so it might be that. 😕

  • August 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm
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    Sorry I didn’t do much updating. I will try and get to more stuff after work tomorrow. It was a long day and ride home. Now to sleep, up in 5 hours. Night all.

  • August 3, 2010 at 12:04 am
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    Welcome to ILIS Shawn.

  • August 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm
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    four was all I could do in the amount of time Steve finished his 10. Man, less than a minute was unreal. Stopped then and saved myself from an unbearable evening of cramps and trots!

  • August 4, 2010 at 12:00 am
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    Looks like I lost the key to my diary. Anyhoo late but still something of a wrap up to the show. My day started off shopping at Jungle Jim’s. I bought every one of the 13 bottles left of Mild to Wild’s Fiery Hot Habanero. For those not in the know, this is the cream of the crop of spicy bbq sauce. I bought a lot of other things, and if I ever get around to unpacking everything, I will take a pic of my haul.

    As soon as I made it back into the Oscar Center, I was given 2 blueberry cheesecakes by Crazy Uncle Jester Jeff Stevenson. One cheesecake with spicy chocolate and the other without. They were spectacular and delicious. Thanks again Jeff. It is Jeff’s birthday today, August 3rd, and I want to wish him a very happy birthday as well!

    This day went so fast for me. The Heartbreaking Dawns Ghost Pepper Brownie Brawl Buster was just an hour into the show, and I was called to make sure the competitors were in the house and signed in. There were 17 competitors that eventually sat down, and the contest went smooth as the icing on the extremely hot brownies. Each round took the meek out, until there was a winner, David “Hudd” Huddleston. After losing his Defcon Deathmatch title the night before, he was back in the saddle again taking home the trophy, a $100 Heartbreaking Dawn collectible, and a fine giftbasket of their products. The consensus was that the brownies, albeit hot were quite enjoyable taste wise. The video will be up in a few days.

    Scott Roberts had an idea that he related to Brian and Marilyn Meagher of http://www.hotsauceweekly.com that a few of the bloggers could do a podcast together. It was a great idea, and a few of us gathered for the first blogger’s round table podcast. Around the table besides Scott, Brian and Marilyn were Jon Passow and Joe Levinson from http://www.thehotzoneonline.com and Firehead Thomas and yours truly representing ILIS. I do not want to give out too much, but it was quite interesting to hear other people’s takes on things spicy. I filmed a video of the round table discussion, but will wait a week after their podcast goes up to be fair, since it was their idea.

    One thing not covered in the podcast that I brought up was the idea to have a universal reviewer rating throughout all the blogs. Something that I suggested a few times over the past few weeks in the light of the “no spoon” controversy at http://www.peppersandmore.com. The consensus is that it looks like an idea that will see the light of day as soon as we work out some of the details. We all agreed that it would be a good idea to do. Hopefully by the end of the summer we will have something setup across the board.

    From the point in which we came out of the round table podcast, the show was almost over. The bloggers had the job of voting on their favorite new product, (classified as being introduced over the last year), and favorite overall product which would be declared Best of Show. The favorite new product went to Heartbreaking Dawns’ Trail Preserves, and the blogger’s Best in show went to Race City Sauce Works’ 4 year Reserve. The WOFI awards voted on by the attendees were the following:
    1- Salsa- Don Sabrosa Salsa
    2- Best Hot Sauce- Uncle Phil’s Habanero Sauce
    3- Best Bbq Sauce- Kentucky’s Smokin’ Grill Meat Specialty Sauce
    4- Best Specialty- Deano’s Jalapenos

    A big congrats to all those fine companies on taking home those awards. Jungle Jim’s made it a point to visit each booth when they presented their award. It made it for a nice surprise to those that won. All except Don Sabrosa who took it in stride like it was all ready written in stone.

    Soon after that it was time for the bloggers to pack up and leave. At 7pm we met a large crowd of bloggers and vendors at Papadeux’s restaurant which has become our WoF tradition now. The food was great, the company even better. Creme Brulee well worth making room with a couple of burps. :_retarded:

    I hated to see it end, but at least we still had the Open House to turn to the next day. In the meantime, I have a lot of show video to edit, including some reviews that I did not see coming, contests, and the Blogger’s round table. A lot of work ahead of me.

  • August 4, 2010 at 6:25 am
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    The Heartbreaking Dawns product is the DATIL TRAIL PRESERVES & the Race City product is the 4 YEAR WHISKEY BARREL RESERVE.

    The food at Papadeux’s was exceptional, but the service was absoloutely AWFUL.

  • August 4, 2010 at 8:28 am
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    Yep service wasn’t that good. Was never asked if we wanted dessert, practically had to beg for a refill on pop. Then dumb me looking at the bill without putting my glasses on didn’t notice gratuity had been added to the bill and I left a tip on top of it. He got better than 10 bucks tip on a 26 dollar meal ticket.

  • August 4, 2010 at 8:43 am
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    Ask Joe Levinson what he thought of the service….LOL

  • August 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm
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    Don’t you always tip 40%?

  • August 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm
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    Don’t you always tip 40%?

  • August 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm
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    she’d have to naked for a tip that big! Not that I know anything about that!

  • August 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm
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    Yep, shoddy service for us as well. I think it was Doehne “Deano” Duckworth’s order that they completely botched up. I absolutely hate restaurants with the automatic gratuity for parties with over X people, and this is a prime example why I do. If they do not provide exemplary service then they don’t deserve the extra cash, plain and simple. And in this case they certainly didn’t.

    It makes me feel that a different restaurant should be chosen for Sunday night next year.

  • August 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm
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    That was another thing I wasn’t thinking about. I hardly ever eat out with a large crowd of people and never even thought about the 18% for parties over 10 or whatever. Saw my total and threw down enough to cover plus a better tip than the guy deserved. After he took it someone pointed out the tip had been included.
    A different place would be fine with us. Betty has a seafood allergy and she’s leary about eating anything prepared there.

  • August 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm
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    I know this is late in coming, but does anyone have any suggestions for next year’s Sunday night dinner? Any requests?

  • August 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm
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    I think the restaurant has done a fine job in the past and serves awesome food. I would love to give them one more chance, but I see the outcry about it might not sway many people.

  • August 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm
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    Having an almost negligible knowledge of Cincinnati restaurants, I personally wouldn’t know where to suggest next year. The food can be okay but it’s the people you hang out with that makes the evening. Yet, you get subpar service and it sure can put a damper on things no matter who you’re with.

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