Hey it’s Buddah reporting from Columbus, Ohio the night before their annual Fiery Food Festival at the North Market. I made it to Ohio in just 6 hours travel time. The anticipation of the event is high because there are so many things packed into the 2 days. The event is now being orchestrated by CaJohn Hard, who gives us an Open House at his new facility. Free food, product sampling and if desired a
guided tour through the hot facility.
I am accompanied by my friend Eric and his Dad who is attending his first event. We start off at Cajun Island Restaurant for lunch. Owned by Nick Ney who is the creator of the Cajun Island line of award winning products. He is popular at shows for making blackened pork and chicken and serving it with his sauces. The restaurant is new and I was curious to see how Nick was doing. While the location at a small food court in a flea market type of mall he told us that he is doing pretty good so far after 6 months plus. The food was fantastic highlighted by blackened chicken with bowtie pasta in an awesome cream sauce. He also brought us a blackened ribeye, Buffalo wings and pizza. The only thing I thought was average was the pizza, but I am a picky New Yorker who expects his pizza to be perfect.
After we thanked Nick and said our goodbyes we headed to CaJohn’s Fiery Foods for their Open House. Of course there was food, but we held out for dinner before we sampled some of their spicy offerings. Since I had seen their new facility the year before, I just walked around greeting all my friends and saying hello to new ones. Including Rick McMillen, the new owner of Chile Pepper Magazine. He got a full dose of my blabbering, but despite my endless chatter we had some rather interesting conversations. It seems the magazine is in for a resurgence.
These gatherings are the heart and soul reason for me why I got involved in the spicy world. There are so many good people and you feel the warmth as soon as you enter the room. Centered around John CaJohn Hard who makes you feel like you are family even if you meet him for the first time. When you eventually leave and head back home you feel like a part of you is being left behind. That sense of loss stays with you until the next event.
I filmed a little tour of the facility once it was starting to empty a bit, which I will share with you when I am back home. I am excited by the show tomorrow which I am sponsoring 3 things. The Spicy Cherry Challenge which is something I created just for the vendors. I reached out to all the companies attending the show a couple of months ago. I let them know that I will be giving a special award to the company that makes the best spicy cherry product just for the show. The feedback was excellent so I am anxious to taste their inspirations.
I am also sponsoring the Amateur hot sauce contest as well as the 1st Annual Heartbreaking Dawns’ Scorn Bread Challenge, which is a very spicy corn bread eating contest. We did the Ghost Brownie Brawl Buster last August at a show and it went over quite well. Both of these contests are set for Sunday. Saturday I am entering my version of guacamole, called Buddahmole and my Douglah Howser, M.D. salsa in the respective Amateur contests.
At the show over the next 2 days there are both amateur and professional chili cookoffs, a jalapeno eating contest, CaJohn’s. Wing Eating contest is a huge event too. Plus the last event Sunday is the spicy ice cream eating contest by Crazy Uncle Jester who has some awesome award winning products that I highly recommend trying. There is also a Fiery Asian Dinner planned Saturday evening after the show at a local Chinese restaurant, and a Chileheads Brunch to kick off the show Sunday.
Folks, it is going to be fun! Videos will be coming soon. Come swing by WWW.ILoveItSpicy.com and see our new spicy cooking contest, “Feast Your Eyes on This”. Sunday evening at 6pm est we will announce the Round 1 results and the new challenge for Round 2. Until next time, Buddah out!