Buddah’s Peppers at the Beach Diary

I sit Friday in the wee hours of the morning at my Mother’s NY home where I grew up. I think of the show to come, but my mind is on someone else. Maggie Dilley of Defcon Sauces yesterday was having some type of emergency operation as was announced by husband and partner John Dilley via Facebook. He alerted us that it was nothing too serious, but still problematic enough to keep her in the hospital throughout the weekend, and cancel their trip to Peppers at the Beach.

Some of you probably do not know the history of the show and how it came about. Well the show was the brainchild of Defcon Sauces who reached out to Chip Hearn of Peppers to see if he could organize something special for one of Defcon Sauces yearly appearances at Peppers. From the outset, without complete support from Peppers, John blazed the trail to make Peppers at the Beach a reality. A couple of years later, it is one of the most talked about events in the chile community, and Peppers has embraced the show like family. Which makes it even sadder that both John and Maggie can not be there to see how their seeds they planted 2 years prior have grown. They truly will be missed and a toast will surely be made in their absence thanking them for their vision and to wish Maggie our very best in her recovery.

Another thought going through my head right this very moment is my Dad. Today is his birthday, and I will be spending my morning with my Mom visiting him at his resting spot before heading to Delaware for the event. As I have tried to do since his passing, I will celebrate his life instead of morning his death. I hope my actions will be an indication of how I was raised by both my parents. I was taught to treat people as I would like to be treated, and I live with that as my motto. Hopefully I will make them proud along the way.

See everyone at the show, and I will report back as time permits. For information about the show and the vendors who will be there please visit our other posting HERE.

19 thoughts on “Buddah’s Peppers at the Beach Diary

  • May 19, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Day 1-

    I was in traffic for quite a while and made me an hour plus later than I was expecting. Not much time to do anything, and when I was giving a task by Chip Hearn to find 20 judges for an 11:00am Buffalo Wing contest on Saturday, it left me just an hour to get it done. I walked and greeted the many vendors there and found quite a few judges that would leave me a little shy of my mark.

    I got to mingle with many new to the show, and some familiar faces before everyone packed up. After settling into the living quarters, we met many of the attendees at Crabby Dicks for dinner and cocktais. The after show atmosphere is always the best part of the experience for me. I am not going to list everyone so I do not leave anyone out. It was good seafood, good friends, good times. A few of us drove to Peppers’ owned Ice Cream Store after that for a sampling of all the weird favors. Favorites seemed to a consensus between Crack and Zombie.

    Scott Roberts and The Machine both had plane delays and arrived late. Plus Scott had his luggage lost. Not the best of ways to kick off the weekend. As for the Machine, big day tomorrow. We are sharing a room, but he seems very relaxed and not a care in the world. It is 3am and he doesn’t even look tired and not in a rush to turn in. I myself are more than done, so nighty night. More to come tomorrow, maybe some pics with videos to follow eventually when I get home. Head to EatMoreHeat.com for the live feed of the Guinness Book record attempt at 3pm. Be a part of the action at the comfort of your computer.

  • May 19, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Morning anticipation of the big day is here. I am prepped and ready to hit the road. Let me say as quiet as the Machine is, his snoring is the opposite.

    10am, the show kicks off, which is followed by the ILIS sponsored Best Buffalo Wing Challenge at 11am. The trophies are really cool looking, and the one we have is with 2 chicken wings atop of a glass of beer. I will have pics to eventually share. I anticipate at the very least 30 entries in this chicken wing event, so I told the judges to come hungry and do not eat breakfast. The wings are huge and a mere 12 is very filling. I’m imaging taking a bite and judging it on that initial morsel. At any rate I can not wait to taste the offerings.

    Besides all the wing eating events, the Machine’s record attempt at 3pm, there is also another Blogger’s Round Table that we will squeeze in at some point before the day is over. Then the Rockaria Karaoke night at 9pm. There was smacktalk about who was going to tke home the trophy. Should be interesting and fun to watch.

    I will be back with more stuff as the day runs itself out.

  • May 20, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Day 2

    As soon as I got to Peppers I was ushered into conference with Chip about the Buffalo chicken wing contest I was to sponsor. From that moment on I found myself eating wings and tabulating the results. With a total of 20 judges and about 25 wings per contest it takes a while to finish. As soon as I was done adding up 3 contests I was moving onto the Machine and his pepper record. Ken Alexander, John Scrovak and I did an interview with the Machine in the back supply room before his record attempt.

    There was a lot of coverage for The Machine’s record attempt from the various bloggers attending, and even though I will be late to the table I too will have footage to share. To update you even if you all ready know, but the machine did it twice over with breaking pepper records. He was rocked a bit, and did some human traits previously not seen before. The first attempt was the ghost pepper record as he swallowed 8(48 grams) within 1 minute. The previous record was 3. He did cough up a few pepper bits, but kept going without hesitation to the cheers from the onlookers. The next record was for the Trinidad Scorpion, and that was also 8 whole peppers(49 grams). No one had ever attempted this type of stunt before, so the Machine set the benchmark for any future attempts. The crowd got behind Steve chanting, “THE MA-SHEEN” as well as “U-S-A” which was in recognitio of the previous record being held by a German citizen. The atmosphere was like a Rocky movie moment as the ghost pepper fell like the Berlin Wall. It was truly electric.

    Despite the Machine having some uncomfortable moments he was no less for the wear. He had a full rib meal for dinner with two sides and had no further issues to report as far as I know. For dinner many of us gathered at Whiskey BBQ and to party at Johnny McLaughlin and his Karaoke Rockaria. I filmed many a chilehead singing, but the winner of Master of the Mic was Patrick McGill of Evil Seed Company and Lisa Seabury a close 2nd. Awesome night, and I look forward sharing the rest of my journey with you to tomorrow.

  • May 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Nice Buddah! Keep it coming. Looking forward to all the pics and video 🙂 I have to live vicariously through you.

  • May 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Day 2 Part Deux

    I writing up some of my diary comments over the last 2 days, I waited to the wee hours of the night to write them. With tired mind and blurry eyes I tried to dig for each memory. I am sure I forgot some things along the way. So if something pops in my head later, I might just swing on back and add it to the diary later. One such thing is a rather precious award Scott Roberts bestowed to me. He gave me one of his new Scottvies for my contributions within our great community on Saturday. While I think there are plenty of people to award with such an honor, I humbly thank you once again Scott for such a thoughtful tribute. It means a lot.

    Another forgotten thing I need to mention is Rick Villafrade’s limited edition Steve “The Machine” Smallwood hot sauce bottle. He made 18 bottles, numbered them with a memorable picture of Steve on the label. Rick then had The Machine sign each bottle and make it even more a collectible to have. If I was a collector, I would so want that bottle, especially with the two Guinness records now in the books. If Scott Roberts or Ken Alexander did not post a picture of the bottle yet, then I will have it later on. I have much work to do with video and pictures that I will be quite busy setting that all up for future posts.

    I also never mentioned one of the highlights of the weekend, the Blogger’s Round Table. This I believe is the 4th one we have done. The brain child of Brian & Marilyn Meagher, we get a group of blog hosts and some reviewers together to discuss chile topics. Prior to the event we shared emails on what to discuss. Brian had some technical difficulties with his recordings, but still is very fun to exchange with these handful of chileheads and get their perspective. In this round table besides the Meaghers and myself, we had Scott Roberts, Ken Alexander, Firehead Thomas, and The Machine fresh from his chile record looking like nothing of substance had ever happened. We started off our round table with some questions for The Machine to get his thoughts on the monumental event that had just transpired. Some of the other topics discussed was whether or not our blogging efforts had any impact on the chile community, we talked about the good and bad of the Peppers at the Beach show, and some great products to buy during the BBQ Grillin’ Season. We covered a lot of ground and discussed other things along the way. I will have that video for you over the next few days.

    Day 3

    I woke up with the sound of an alarm to say my goodbyes to the Machine, and then a few hours later to Scott as they had early return flights to get to. Later on in the afternoon, Ken Alexander had to leave as well, and I never got to say goodbye. My phone had died and I did not even realize it. It was fun hanging with you boys, and I wish we could’ve spent some more time together. The same goes with everyone I meet at these shows whom I call my friend, and there are so many now.

    I started off my morning looking for my camera which I had misplaced from the day before in the madness that had unfolded. I realized at the Rockaria that I did not have it, but I thought I had just left it somewhere back in my car or the beach house. Just when I had given up, I found it on the EatMoreHeat Webcast table. I left it there right after the session we had towards the end of Saturday’s event.

    Once that drama was over, I could finally after 2 days of staying busy, try and purchase some stuff from the vendors at the show. Unfortunately though some had decided to leave after Saturday was over. I had designs to purchase more of Born to Hula’s Cayenne sauce which I absolutely have grown to love, but now I could not. Total bummer. The forecast for the day was a bit dreary with occasional rain and heavy winds, so I do not blame them for hightailing it early. The winds have been quite problematic off and on for the past 2 years, and this year was no different. Sunday’s winds were hard to deal with and the Evil Seed Sauce Company had his tent collapse and ruin his company banner and knock over products. Soon after tents were folded up and fingers were crossed that the day had subsided. Thank goodness for them only scattered drops could be felt. Unfortunately for the vendors the weather conditions might have kept people away from the show because it certainly was not busy. Even if it is a free show, you certainly do not want to see a lack of sales because the vendors still have their expenses for travel, hotel, and food to cover.

    Most of the vendors collapsed their tents an hour plus early because there was hardly anyone coming by and the winds were picking up again. Johnny was the last man standing not wanting to disappoint any patron that might stumble on by in hopes to see a show that advertised to be open to 4pm. He, with much help from Firehead Thomas, were grilling elk burgers right up to the last second of the show. EatMoreHeat lingered on with their live interviews past the 4pm time to entertain their internet fans.

    Overall it was fun for me, but not much as a financial success for some of the vendors as I had hoped. Some did well, but others were disappointed that too many people grazed for food than buy anything. I did buy quite a bit, and it still sits in my car waiting for me to bring it in the house. I arrived to the house at 1:30am too tired to do anything than bring the necessities inside. I organized a makeshift dinner at Lazy Susan’s seafood restaurant down the street and we had over 20 people join in. Once that was over there was a cry out for ice cream at the Pepper’s store, but it was closed so we settled for Baskin Robbins down the street for the nite cap. From there we said our goodbyes and I was on my merry way.

    I have much to edit in video of the Machine’s record breaking endeavors, HBD’s Karaoke Rockaria and the Blogger’s Round Table. Plus some pics to share. So look out for all that. Thanks for reading.

  • May 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Thanks Al, great reporting as always. You always manage to capture the flavor of the event. We’re looking forward to your updates!

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks for posting this Buddah. It looked like a blast.

  • May 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Good job Al! Maybe wil make the trip next year. In regards to people being sad about not making money, I thought everyone knew this was a promotional show to get exposure and let the public know about what products were for sale in Peppers. I guess some did not realize that, but hopefully the exposure will get them more sales down the road. Congrats Steve on your records!

  • May 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Jim, Peppers makes no promises about stocking anyone’s products. It is similar to a tailgate/farmer’s market event where people cook and try to sell their goods. Peppers hosts this as a free event for those people that want to join in, but they never make promises to sell products just because a company shows up. The show is huge, and is quite well stocked, so anything that goes out there must be able to be sold, and not every product is worthy. No offense to those unworthy products.

  • May 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    What a perfect weekend Luther and Chip had for this event, plus what a thrill to see a Guinness Record set. That poor guy. I was happy to reconnect with people in the industry I hadn’t seen in a few years — and really delighted to meet a few people who said it was my hot sauce poster (out of print for more years than I’d care to remember…) that got them started on the trail of flame. We had a dozen or so entries in the hot sauce contest, and Trevor of Stiff Willi’s came in third…

  • May 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    exactly! Some do the show to promote what they already have in Peppers. And some come to try and get their product into peppers. But those that know this event understand that and know its not really a selling show, but an exposure show.

  • May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Anyone who travels to Delaware and pays for gas, hotel, food, and other expenses wants to make it worth their time. Sure some companies like CaJohn came for other reasons, but the smaller companies also want to sell, not just to Peppers. The companies are selling cheaper than Peppers outside their store, so if they sell it, and the person likes it, there is a chance they will come back and buy it at Peppers.

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    From the ooutset, this show was made for fun, and custom made for smaller companies to get their faces in front of the public. Many start-up companies can’t afford to drop many thousands of dollars to sttend the large shows, and this is a perfect opportunity to get a feel in front of the public. Seems this event has grown quite a bit in a short amoiunt of time, which is awesome. It’s exactly what I foresaw happening just a short couple of years ago. It looks as though most, if not all, had a great time. The key factor in this show is it’s supposed to be FUN!

    I’d personally like to thank Buddah for his kind words at the beginning of this thread. We have received numerous emails and phone calls wishing Maggie the best. She is floored by the outpouring of good tidings. I calmly explained to her that THIS is what the chilehead community is all about. I’ve known this for years, and I’m DAMN proud to be a part of it! I am currently in the hospital with Maggie, and it seems she will be coming home today! Our attendance this weekend was just not to be. If this had all happened 24 hours later, en route to Peppers, it would’ve been a Hell of a lot worse. Come Hell or high water, we will be there next year!

  • May 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Nice write up Al, I look forward to viewing your video and pictures when you get them up. Maybe next year I will have my plants in the ground earlier so I can make it to this event, sounds like it was a lot of fun.

  • May 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    My pleasure John. Wish Maggie our best in a speedy recovery.I hope you will get a kick out of much of the bad singing from Johnny’s Rockaria night that I am working on now.

  • May 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Buddah, what a great job capturing the flavor of the event. I was excited and honored to play a small role, emceeing and judging and being a general “flunkie” to whoever needed help. And it was great to spend time with so many people I’ve only known on Facebook. I hated not seeing you Sunday to say goodbye. I feel we’ve become good friends over the past year. The weekend was a much needed break for me, and I had a blast! As I continue to work to earn respect as a blogger and Chileheaddom advocate and ambassador, I’m humbled at the genuine sense of family that I’ve come to appreciate at these shows. I’ll definitely make the trip again! Well worth a plane ride! And I can’t thank Ricky and Renee from Madison Chocolatiers for putting me up for the weekend and taking good care of me!!! They rock as much as their chocolate!!!!

  • May 22, 2012 at 12:45 am

    And one more thing- Johnny McLaughlin deserves huge cudos for his enthusiasm, cooking demos, and for producing a heck of a karaoke rockaria!!! It was so much fun (and please don’t post me singing Steamroller!!! I sucked pretty bad at that one!!! hahahaha

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