2011 Fiery Food & Bbq Show

I had been looking into any reason to go to the show over the past few weeks. I been checking on flights 2 times a day for the past few days all in hopes to see a rate that I could come to grips with. I had about given up hope that the rates would get reasonable since the gasoline prices went on crazy hike not too long ago. Last night I saw a rate that combined the flight, car rental and hotel that would get me in and out of Albuddahquerque at a time I could live with and a price I definitely could afford to do. So here I am traveling at the last minute for the 4th year in a row. Unfortunately, I do not have the same friends that I went with last year. I do not remember laughing more in a trip in my life. I hope I can have a fraction of that time, and then it will be something to remember.

I will do my best to report to you the lastest happenings. Stay tuned here for my daily diary.

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41 thoughts on “2011 Fiery Food & Bbq Show

  • March 4, 2011 at 3:36 am
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    Excellent
    [img]http://www.iloveitspicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/images.jpg[/img]

  • March 4, 2011 at 3:39 am
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    I can get RT train fare for 160 16 1/2 hours each way though. Air is over 600. I dunno

  • March 5, 2011 at 9:48 am
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    Day 1:

    I made it to the Casino around 1pm. Because of my involvement in the the chile community over the last several year, running into people you know is quite easy. In fact, it is hard not to run into a familiar face. I walked row after row, saying hello to all my chilehead brethren. I met up with Xero, then Kerry Stessel, and finally met Jim Duffy. I shook hands, hugged and waved person after person. It is hard to name everyone, so I will not further bore you with those details.

    The show seemed so much smaller to me. Maybe it is because there are less rows or more companies selling tequila and rubs that do not appeal to me at all. As I went by each booth, I skipped over anything that sold red or green chile because after 4 years, I still haven’t tasted any with flavor I would want to buy. I skipped over all the companies that I have tried before and presented nothing new this year. I skipped over all the non-spicy booths that sold labels, bottles, shirts, ads. After all the skipping, I was not left with much of anything new. So I continued to mingle and sample the few I had not tried. I found 1 or 2 new companies that I thought were worth mentioned, but I will save that for the wrap-up.

    As for burning myself, I got a HUGE hit from the new CaJohn Trinidad Scorpion Puree. It was damn hot! Those that tried it, truly suffered for it. I ran to the Garden Fresh Gourmet for some of their delicious dip to lighten the heat a tad. I had some decent burns from other things, but I rather enjoy flavors that get killed by heat. I didn’t waste my time with the $25 El Pinto New Mexico Scorpion Salsa. I heard it tasted more of chocolate habs than of anything scorpion related. I have no respect for them for this shameful explotation of the Trinidad Scorpion ripoff pepper. Funny how no one ever heard of the New Mexico Scorpion until Dave DeWitt decided to make it public a month ago. Anything to make a buck, eh Dave? When will the greed ever end?

    A group of us went out for dinner at Taco Cabana, a fast food joint that is popular in these parts. We had Scott and Joel from Judo Joels, Sam & Tina of Zane & Zack’s, Flaming Joe and Red Hot Robin, Jim Duffy and Doehne and his lovely companion (sorry I forgot her name in my senility). The food was eh, but not bad. We walked over to their hotel next door to the restaurant, and hung out until we retired for the evening. We were later joined by CaJohn and Brian from Louisiana Pepper Exchange. It was fun while it lasted, and I am very happy I made the decision to come. πŸ™‚

  • March 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm
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    Yo Buddah! If you stop in at Judo Joels, turn your head to the left a bit & let me know what the “new & improved” Mild to Wild(R)” booth looks like- you should be standing next to it. Tell the new owner hi!

    Wish I were there!! Have a blast!!!

  • March 6, 2011 at 12:22 am
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    Hey Jim, I met the new guys, and they did up a mock building with lights and silk to look like flames. I think I have a pic of it. It was pretty good.

  • March 6, 2011 at 3:15 am
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    Yeah, the Mild to Wild booth was pretty cool, but it was lacking a certain character. Everyone misses you Jim!

  • March 6, 2011 at 8:43 am
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    Re: Everyone misses you Jim!

    Only ’cause I’m on the move! Once your aim improves, I’m sure that will change πŸ˜‰

  • March 6, 2011 at 8:50 am
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    Now that’s funny… πŸ˜†

  • March 6, 2011 at 9:24 am
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    Day 2:

    I woke up earlier than expected and just was too anxious to start my day, so I headed right over to the show. It was 7:30am and the show wasn’t open until 9am. So I got an EatMoreHeat.com (EMH) pass for their video setup that was supposed to launch at 8am. I had plans to interview EMH’s James Beck, Jr, but their krewe arrived late and I had to shelf it for later. I did interview John Scrovak and David Martin who are two of the important cogs of the team. Throughout the day EMH setup interviews with some of the chile people in the industry such as Dave DeWitt, CaJohn Hard, Captain Thom, and many others. Their setup was quite impressive which also included a cam inside the show itself which ran live all day long Saturday. All the interviews also ran live through a feed on their website. I never got my own interview with James, but hope to do so before I leave the show at 2pm today.

    I found some new companies that I thought were worth mentioning because their products really stood out amongst the rest. Starting with Panama Red Hot Sauce which had a very unique garlic blend of flavors which I think would be amazing on some chicken and fish. Their booth stood empty mid-way through Saturday’s show. I am guessing other people liked them too and bought them out. They might have underestimated their products sale potential at the show. Next comes a company I absolutely think will be the next name we will be talking about in the next few years as I think they know how to make a good hot sauce. They had 3 products I loved, and I put an order in with them for when they get home. I was not buying anything because I only had carry-on luggage. The only other company I bought from was Chef Dean Martin which finally came out with a spicy version of their amazing Asian sauce. Jim Beckett from Jungle Jim’s who was at the show, assured me he would restock some of my favorites in time for October’s Weekend of Fire Show. The last new company I liked was the Dessert Diva who had an amazing spicy brownie-like dessert. I will buy that before I leave the show. One more company to note was Amazon hot sauce who had many hot sauces, some hit, some miss, but the milder, fruity blends which were basically non-spicy were flavorwise excellent. They need to add some habs or something to the fruity flavors.

    Jim Duffy and I ventured to Santa Fe for lunch and ate at a Cajun-Bbq restaurant called Cowgirl Bbq. It was okay, but not worth the hour drive their and back. I got a chance to interview Jim Duffy, in a no-holds barred session, that will rock the foundations of the purity of the hot sauce community, so stay tuned for that in the near future.

    We winded the night at a restaurant by the New Mexico State University campus, all ready forgotten by my senility. Danny Cash loved it, but I think he liked the young waitress staff. As most of the guys did I might add. It was a nice atmosphere, even if the food was just par. We ended back at the hotel and hung until I was falling asleep.

  • March 6, 2011 at 2:47 pm
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    “Next comes a company I absolutely think will be the next name we will be talking about in the next few years as I think they know how to make a good hot sauce.”

    You didn’t mention their name? Who is it?

  • March 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm
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    “The show seemed so much smaller to me. Maybe it is because there are less rows or more companies selling tequila and rubs that do not appeal to me at all.”

    I never diss the rubs, because they can add SO much flavor to meat. Unfortunately, it is perhaps the hardest thing at a trade show to sample because rubs by themselves often taste WAY off from what they’re supposed to.

    “As I went by each booth, I skipped over anything that sold red or green chile because after 4 years, I still haven’t tasted any with flavor I would want to buy.”

    I agree with you for the most part, but products like Hot Heads Hoppin Jalapeno Pepperspread (who were not at the show) are great for being a thick, chunky, relish-y pepper item.

    “I skipped over all the companies that I have tried before and presented nothing new this year. I skipped over all the non-spicy booths that sold labels, bottles, shirts, ads.”

    Does anyone ever visit those booths? They’re usually pretty barren.

  • March 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm
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    Brian, sorry about that. The company is TATS. Cool labels.

  • March 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm
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    Me too. I could have used a hot sauce expert to go vendor to vendor with. Especially today where I was walking around aimlessly. I did win $40 playing 30 minutes of craps.

  • March 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm
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    You love those rubs but without putting it on food, it is all the same to me. I will note that I did like the flavor of a sweet and BBQ seasoning by a company I will tell you when I unpack. I forgot their name.

  • March 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm
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    I am the the “Champion” I entered into the “Who Can talk the Most Chilehead” competition. Buddah has been the un-contested champion but now as all who met me will attest I am the Champion. Buddah get jealous a few times because of all the attention and adoration I was shown. The side affects of this challenge were me talking so much I got sleepy, then sick and finally lost some of my voice. Cajohn was one of the Judges and I think tired of me calling him dad. Sam McCanless has a new nickname. It is “Wonderlick” He and Flaming or Flamer Joe have a new video of them both holding hands and skipping through the shoe aisleways. Way too hot! But not an NC17 rating!

  • March 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm
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    Day 3:

    Not much to say because it was a 1/2 day for me. I am at the airport now typing away. πŸ™ All over. I drove the talk-o-matic, Jim Duffy to the airport at 7:30am and went back to the Sandia right after. Thanks Jim for making the trip fun. You are a good sport. As much as people might not believe I can be out-talked, the truth is I can’t compete with him. Those that got a chance to hang with both of us got a strong dose of Duffy and now they know better.

    I didn’t do much but say goodbye to my chileheads friends today and got my interview with James Beck finally done. I introduced some of the others to some of my favorites from previous years that we don’t often hear about. Such as Chef Dean Martin who finally has a spicy version of his awesome Asian sauce. There was Bbq’n Fools with my favorite spicy teriyaki Sauce and EJ’s Mombo sauce and Sailor’s Swagger the mighty pineapple hot sauce who were debuting at their first show.

    I hate when it is over, but life must go on. It seems we got a new reviewer I met at the show, Fiber Joe. He has all ready sent me an intro video, so look for that in the near future. So I say hello to my new friends and say goodbye to my buds who are still trying to earn the bucks at the show.

  • March 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm
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    I’d hate to be trapped in a long car ride with you two. I was only able to survive the trip from Santa Fe last year because Buddah fell asleep. πŸ˜›

  • March 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm
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    One night CaJohn sat between us for a few hours at the hotel… he said he felt it in stereo. Funny thing is CaJohn can talk a lot too. Most don’t notice it because he has that soft old man voice!

  • March 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm
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    University of New Mexico unless you drove 250 miles South to Las Cruces…

  • March 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm
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    Soft old man voice?

  • March 8, 2011 at 12:21 am
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    So I will give you all my show experience. This was my first fiery show ever. I am not a product maker and only a chile grower. My first day was in booth with Marlin Bensinger of Sonoma Organics. Marlin did the testing of Superhots last year and we are growing together again. He and his lovely wife Gilley let me use their booth to promote my chiles. Since I did not have to stay there I ventured out with samples to try out on people. But first I had to say hi to my friends. Found Cajohn and his wife Sue who I now call mom and dad. Buddah was right when you meet CaJohn you feel like you have known him a long time and as a bonus there is no old man smell about him. Next found Danny Cash and his clan. In order for Danny to afford to bring a large entourage they use the bathtub in their hotel as a spare bed and eat dogfood for breakfast. Now thats being economical! After that saw Flaming Joe and Red Hot Robin. I tell you his Jerk sauce is so good I stopped making my own. I even got to put my head in the Flaming Joe cut out! After that I met Sam and Tina. Now I know Sam looks crazy in all his pictures. And you might think he is. And you would be right. On Sunday he and Joe held hands skipping around the show. After that I passed on going hot tubbing with him and Joe that night. Tina and Robin sure must love their men. But you know they say opposites attract. After that I visited the Golden Toad and thanked him for sending my Navy friend a bunch of hot sauce before he deployed. Later that day I met Kerry Stessel who gave me a bottle of Hot sauce he made with my chiles. And finally Buddah arrived. I tried giving him a 5 minute hug but he has had stomach surgery so I had to limit my hug time. Now the battle lines were drawn. Who would talk the most at the show. Me or Buddah?? The remainder of the day I fed my chiles to my new friends (victims) at All Spice Cafe, Chile Pepper Institute, Bryan of Louisiana Pepper Exchange, Martian Salsa, Jason’s Mom, Golden Toad, Sam, Danny cash and many many others. After the show we went out to an average taco place with Judo Joels, Deanos, Sam, Tina, Robin, Joe and Buddah. I brought my homemade salsa and some sauces from Australia. Then we finished up at Cajohns hotel with everyone except Judo Joels they insisted they needed beauty sleep and I did not argue with them. We all sat around listening to hot sauce stories from CaJohn or dad as I call him. I think I talked about 50% of the time with Buddah about 30% and the other 8 people filled in the rest. Buddah was right Cajohn does smell nice for an old guy and he is cool too.

  • March 8, 2011 at 12:25 am
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    I rest my case. He even talks a lot when he writes. :surrender:

  • March 9, 2011 at 11:27 am
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    Day Two Fiery Foods Show. I wake up late and get to show about 10AM
    First thing I do is get photo ops with all my Chilehead friends before the crowd comes in. Then I grab my chile samples and go off to see Jason’s mom. Jason’s mom gets beaten up by the Douglah and latest on Trinidad Yellow 7 Pot. I notice that Jason’s mom is not a female but actually a cross-dresser. So I am assuming that Jason was adopted. Next off to Martian Salsa. They had a few of their young boys in the booth that insisted on trying my chiles. First was the Douglah. I gave them larger pieces than normal because they said bring it on! One guy crouched down in a fetal position after eating the other toughed it out. Then I was off to test the chiles on the lovely lady from German Chile Police. She had a small piece of Douglah and wanted no more after that!

    Now I took a break and joined Buddah for a ride to Sante Fe for lunch. A very scenic ride I might add. I was in awe of all the dried up brown grass and dirt. So beautiful. It made me feel like I was in a Third World country during a drought. All I needed was some starving kids from UNICEF on the side of the road. I really wonder why people pay money to take a vacation here. Anyways we arrived in Santa Fe. Not really impressed unless you want to blow money on artsy stuff. I would take Sedona over Santa Fe any time! We had food at a BBQ place called Cowgirl. My creole crabcakes and sweet potato fries were good, but the Gumbo tasted like bland split pea soup. Buddah had the BBQ ribs which he thought could be better. We took a short walk around and I bought some chile design stuff for my kitchen. Then we rode back. I was all talked out on the way back and Buddah thought something was wrong because I was quiet.

    Back at the show Buddah interviewed me and then I got on camera a few minutes with “Eat More Heat” James ate the Douglah and 7 Pot Jonah and felt the heat. The highlight was seeing Firehead Thomas spell words wrong on the chat room monitor. I guess when you live down South you only are required to have a certain level of education.
    Next I heard a Fox News reporter was looking for me. I saw him in CaJohn’s booth and did not see the camera and ended up walking right in front of it. Oooooooooops! Oh well I can be a bumbling fool sometimes too. So I got my interview later and nobody walked in front of my camera. I got to plug Kerry Stessel so I hope it gets on the air. Maybe they will replace CaJohns interview with mine since some idiot messed up his!

    Later that night we ate at Kelly’s Pub. This place was suggested by Danny Cash. The food sucked but the company was great. We asked Danny what was so great about the food that he came here two nights in a row?? Well Danny replied he did not remember because all he had was beer the night before. I can see Danny’s waitress now. What do you want to drink? Danny says….Beer. Well sir would you like an appetizer?? Danny says…I want a beer for an appetizer! And sir what can I bring you for the main entree?? Danny says more beer! I think I get it now. Danny the restaurant reviewer. He says I give this place 5 Stars!! Why?? The beer was cold! Well maybe the food sucked but the company was great. Same group as night before but we were also joined by Sauce Goddess and Texas Rib Ranger.

    Now we were off to the hotel. We hung out with Cajohn, Deanos, Vic Clinco, Same and Tina, Joe and Robin, Chris and Bryan from Pepper Exchange. I guess the highlights were hearing Sam talk about lesbian fantasies and watching a teenage girl beat a guy up at the teen party that was going on at the hotel. Oh yeah I got another kiss on my cheek from Mrs Deano. Now that was gooooood.I will buy more chips if I keep getting kisses. I wanted a 5 minute hug from Buddah but he fell asleep so once again I won the talking competition. So this was my first Show. Question is does everyone want me back?? Can you all handle another few days with Jim Duffy?? I will miss all of you and have lost my voice so need time to recover. Thanks CaJohn and Buddah for talking me into going. It was worth it. On a final note new stuff I liked and bought was Dakota Mustard, Chef Dean Martin Spicy Asian BBQ, Mild to Wild Habanero BBQ, and Cajun Island Sauces (all of them).

  • March 9, 2011 at 11:54 am
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    Um…I was typing fast Jim, I’m, actually a very clever grammarian…. also a cunning linguist.

  • March 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm
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    Let me correct a few things. First, Jim talked the whole hour ride back from Santa Fe, save the last 10 miles. Next, Jim’s dinner was a nacho platter he barely touched avoiding the Jalapenos on top because of his sensitive tummy. He did not sample anyone else’s food, so saying it was bad food probably had more to do with throwing up lunch than the food at dinner. The food was average, but not bad. Lastly, I fell asleep for the same reason you talked yourself to sleep in the car.

    As for your remarks about Firehead Thomas, 2 words: Raven’s Fan

  • March 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm
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    Old guy? Cajohn is only 43.

  • March 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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    “I wanted a 5 minute hug from Buddah but he fell asleep”? What, did he pass out in your arms?

  • March 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm
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    I am going to make sure You share a room with him at NOLA. :_dancingdevil:

  • March 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm
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    I had Buddahs Rueben sandwich too and it sucked and I did not hear anyone else say anything positive about the food. So the food sucked. Oh I don’t share rooms so don’t get your hopes up Scott!

  • March 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm
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    Last time I checked, the Ravens were a hell of a lot better than the stinky Vikings.

  • March 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm
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    The only reason you are cunning is you happen to like the Ravens. People with less common sense usually choose Detroit or the Vikings for their team and later blame that decision on something traumatic that happened way back in their childhood they cannot remember because they are suppressing their memory!

  • March 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm
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    No Buddah was on the other side of CaJohn. CaJohn sat between us so he could get the stereo effect. Afterwards I think CaJohn remarked that it was not stereo but sounded more like 6.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

  • March 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm
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    My meal at Kelly’s kicked some serious ass! I had an ostrich burger, medium rare with bacon and green chile! Monique from Deano’s had the seared Ahi, I believe Tina and Joe got the Rueben. Don’t know what to say, ours was not just good it was exceptional.

  • March 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm
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    :afro:

  • March 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm
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    Well you guys were on other side so I did not hear what you thought of your food. The nachos and the rueben I tasted were average. Keep in mind I was sober so all my tastebuds are in tune.

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