Waking up the next day to write these little diary things is a lot easier than trying to fit them in during or immediately after the event. There is too much going on and once we start the process of after show gatherings, it is about the people and not about the blogging at that point. So here I am well rested and focused on my task at hand, talking about the last day of the show. I took a video from the People’s Choice Awards, but I had trouble with the dark setting and the evenness of the ground with the tripod it might end up in the scrap heap. I will see what I can savage when I am home. Brian Meagher from www.HotSauceDaily.com helped me film 2 segments at the award presentation last night. So I hope to have that up mid-week when I am home.
It might come across somewhat disappointing if you are looking for some kind hot sauce recommendation because I was not blown away by new things. There is some great stuff at the show, mostly the products I have had before, but outside of taking notes I will just have to tell you that my favorite new sauce came from Big Daddy’s Austin Slow Burn with the smoothest ghost pepper sauce I have ever tasted before. If I wasn’t flying home I would so buy me some. They also cleaned up with several People’s Choice Awards, as did Backyard BBQ with their delicious products. They have some good BBQ sauces. Another company, Howard’s Yummies had a hot sauce that I enjoyed, but can’t remember. What I did remember was their spicy chocolate-covered cherry filled with the nectar of the Gods. The only better chocolate, albeit not spicy, came from my roomies the Madison Chocolatiers West with their fig chocolate ganache thingy that Nate Hard called, “The Greatest Raisinette Ever”. In comparison it seemed so true for all those lucky to experience this morsel of sugary Heaven.
There was a green hot sauce by High Octane I totally dug with roasted poblanos and serranos, and they had this really nice Asian sauce called Rice Burner that invoked a desire for immediate Chinese Take-out. Red’s Hot Sauce & Salsa had 2 winning entries from the salsa contest the day before, but they also had a very nice garlic hot sauce that I could splash on a number of foods. The rest of the companies brought some of their great products, but I have had them before and can’t just name the numerous selections and every products. If you ever see me at a show and want me to take you on a walk through of what I love, I am there for you, just ask. Let me be your spicy tour guide. Houston has so many awesome companies representing the show if you are with a 6 hour driving distance and do not make the effort you are missing out.
I found my love of football and spicy things in conflict today. For those that do not know that I am a diehard Minnesota Vikings’ fan, and help run a fan group in Northern VA with about 150-200 Vikings’ fans, well I hope you understand now. I miss watching my team with my friends when I am not there, but I also live for these events too. I was not the only one though, and gave updates to several people throughout the day. Sam from Zane & Zack’s had a bet with Darryl from Big Dawg Salsa for their respective teams who were facing off. Sam’s Seachickens destroyed Darryl’s Cowgirls. My team? Well, not worth mentioning.
Back to back spicy events from Bowers’ Chile Festival to Houston was definitely taking it’s toll on me. There is only so much products you can experience, and after the 57 salsas from the contest the day before I was kind of slowing down. Plus the heat and humidity from both shows was taxing. Experiencing very spicy things and sweating from the heat is confusing because you have no clue what portion of perspiration is from the chile peppers. You just feel warm and wet. I still prefer that over any chilly cold experience.
Carol Borge and company put on such a great event, and the weather amazingly held up until the very end of the show with only a sprinkling as the vendors broke down their booths. It was a blast, but the entertainment was far from over. Dinner was held at Los Gallitos Mexican Cafe, a place CaJohn was showing pictures of from earlier in the week. I would say the food was very very good, but the company was even better. Hanging out with TATS’s Shauna & Derek and talking smack with them about anything has definitely been fun for me. Good peeps. Getting Derek to try new things which is contrast to his stubborn ways is fun. Every time he refused, I sang a little verse from Willy Wonka, “Pure Imagination”. A song they used in our Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge.
“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.
Take a look, and you’ll see into your imagination” We all got a chuckle out of it, especially by the fact that each note sounded like it came out of a rusty bed-spring. It did him to experiment a bit.
After the entertaining dinner and conversation many of us headed back to the hotel to continue with a nite cap. No drinking again for me, but I did buy something from the corner gas station called
Cucharas de Tamarindo. Which pretty much translates to Tamarind spoons, despite the fact that tamarind was not on the ingredient list. Why would I buy such a thang? Pure entertainment value, and believe you me I got my moneys worth. The looks of disgust upon everyone’s faces was priceless. As many of tried to recover from the taste, we decided to trick both CaJohn and Tracy Carter of JACS Tailgaters upon their late arrival with positive elation on how good these spoons of disgust actually were. They both cursed us, but the funny thing was we cleaned our spoons off just to trick them. I am not sure it was worth it. Well, that in itself was comedy gold, so the answer was yes. Vic Clinco’s face looked like he had just smelled a skunk’s fart mixed with the taste of hobo’s tattered shoe.
Take a look…
Hanging out to the early am hours I was thinking how much it sucks when these get togethers end and we all have to go back to simple daily grind. The brotherhood is so great. Hanging with these folks is so much fun, I hate to break away from it. Lucky for me I have Monday’s fun at the McMillan’s house, editors for Chile Pepper Magazine. I am supposed to participate with some kind of chicken wing competition in which yours truly will be using stuff from the cupboard to make the best possible tastiest wing I can. I smell disaster. Can you say Buddah’s Botulism and Burnt chicken wings? Well, not sure what I will be making, but I will just have to “wing” it. Hardee-har-har-har! I will be sure to keep you updated. Have a nice day folks, and enjoy the various pics below. Forgive some of them because others played with my camera when I wasn’t looking.