The most trending fiery food event on the planet is back and it is this weekend at the Brooklyn Expo Center, as stayed directly above. Brought to you by High River Sauces and the man behind the event, Steve Seabury. The who’s who in hot sauce will be in attendance. Some of the finest artisan crafts men and women will be sampling out their goods while the event itself will unleash a full schedule of entertainment which includes the 2016 Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the annual Screaming Mi Mi Awards Presentation, another Guinness Book Of World Record Carolina Reaper Challenge from Puckerbutt’s very own Smokin’ Ed Currie, the Defcon Deathmatch is back after a one year hiatus, and the only food eating contest that has been a part of the Expo since it’s inception, the Volcanic Peppers & Grimaldi’s Fiery Pizza Challenge presented by yours truly, ILoveItSpicy.com. Yes, that is my baby! A big thanks goes out to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Tim Bader, my pizza partner and the man behind the heat who have kept this contest alive these last 4 years. Very excited if the defending champion Wayne Algenio will repeat as champion or will John Andrews return to his 1st year form and take back the pizza trophy. Here is da Champ, Wayne posing with his trophy:
There are so many more fiery eating contests from guacamole, to tacos, to burritos and meatballs. Here is the schedule as listed on the NYC Hot Sauce Expo’s Website:
April 23rd – Saturday
10 AM – Doors Open
11 AM – Demo
12 PM – Torch Bearer Sauces’ Guacamole Eating Contest
1 PM – Defcon Sauces & Bird Dog Whiskey Presents
Chicken Wing Eating Competition
2 PM – Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
3 PM – Screaming Mi Mi Awards Presentation
4 PM – El Jimador & Cocktail Crate Presents
5 PM –Grimaldi’s Pizza Eating Contest
6 PM – Close
April 24th – Sunday
10 AM – Doors Open
11 AM – Demo
12 PM – Jersey Barn Fire – Great Balls of Fire – Spicy Meatball Challenge
1 PM – Cold Spell Whiskey & Heartbreaking Dawns – Spicy Taco Eating Challenge
2 PM – High River Sauces – Burrito Eating Challenge
3 PM – Stoli & Murphs Bloody Mix Present The Bloody Mary Mix-Down
West Coast vs East Coast – National Championship!
5 PM – Puckerbutt Pepper Company Presents
Guinness World Record – Smokin’ Ed’s Reaper Eating Challenge
6 PM – Close
The biggest highlight for me is to see the induction ceremony, and what a class it is. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will be held on Saturday April 23rd on the main stage. Inductees will receive a distinctive Red Jacket and a Hall of Fame Ring. A little background for the class of 2016 just in case you did not know who these hot sauce giants are:
- Blair Lazar
Blair’s: Heating up over 31 countries, printed in six languages, and Guinness World Record certified with the hottest product created, Blair’s passion for peppers is ever present. It is what fuels the fiery phenomena that’s called the Death Sauce.
- David Tran
Huy Fong Foods (Sriracha Sauce): Started in 1980 and has grown to be the leader in Asian Hot Sauce with his Sriracha Sauce also known to hot sauce fans as the “Rooster Sauce”.
- Jacob Frank
Founder of Franks Red Hot and one of the biggest selling hot sauces in the country. Frank’s RedHot cayenne pepper sauce was used as the secret ingredient for the first ever Buffalo Wings in Buffalo, New York, putting it on the map and starting the flavor craze that has led to consumers obsession with all things Buffalo-flavor.
- Marie Sharp
Marie Sharp’s & the Original Melinda’s: Owner Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Ltd. – Started making sauce in the early 80’s and actually was the creator of Melinda’s sauces. Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce awesome flavor and great heat!
- Sam Garner
Texas Pete: This hot sauce was introduced to the world in 1929 and is now the 3rd largest selling hot sauce in the country.
It was just announced that both Blair Lazar and Marie Sharp will be at the ceremony to meet and greet with the public and to take pictures with their new Hall of Fame rings and custom red jackets.
2016 Screaming Mi Mi Award Categories:
Hot Sauce Categories:
Fruit Based Hot Habanero
XXX Hot Sauce (Non Extract)
Best Hot Sauce Label Artwork
The Screaming Mi Mi Awards will be done live right after the Hall of Fame Ceremony is concluded. We will have the results posted on ILoveItSpicy right after the ceremony is completed. So please come back to see the results around 4pm est.
You can’t have a hot sauce event without the people who make the fiery goodies to make us sweat and smile. If you have never gone to an event like this, let me give you a few tips to make your show all it can be.
- Pace yourself. You do not have to do it all in one day. The Expo is 2 days long. If you can’t do 2, then just take your time. If your mouth is on fire, do not go to the next product, because you will not give it a fair shake because you will not know how hot it is, and maybe the flavor will be lost because you are too busy trying to stop the flop sweat and put out the fire.
- Don’t limit your heat to just ultra-super-duper-uber hot products. Let your taste buds be dazzled by what these artisans have created from mild to your heat range. Some of the greatest condiments I have ever tried are mild to medium heat level.
- Ask questions. Don’t just dive into something because it is free and attainable. Ask the maker if they can take you on a tour from mild to your heat range. Let them explain what is in it before you taste it. We all have certain flavors we are not fond of, so it is best to be polite and say no before making a face while others are watching. You do not want to hurt their business because you do not like pomegranates.
- Take notes! Carrying hot sauce around the show can wear you down. Try the products around the event. Right down exactly what you liked from each vendor and perhaps a little side note about why you liked it so much. That way you do not get confused later on when you come back to make your purchases before you leave.
- If you have something too spicy, do not go to alcohol or soda or even water to make the burn intensify, which it will. As science tells us, the oils of the chile pepper with be released with most liquids and in the case of fizzy drinks and alcohol it will prolong the burn every time you are done drinking it. Whole milk has a chemical, casein, that will cut the burn significantly. So anything with milk in it will be your best friend, e.g.- ice cream, milk chocolate, sour cream.
- Take in the entertainment. This will help pace your hot sauce burning and give yourself the rest you need. You will often get high from chile pepper pain, so once the pain is gone, you might notice how giggly you have become. This is called the endorphin rush. The endorphins are a self-induced drug your body secretes when it is in pain. These little guys are the reason we all love spicy food so much.
- Lastly, take business cards. If you run out of money, but still want to support these great spicy product makers, then you can always find a way to buy more once your home. Plus, you will discover that sometimes a sauce is even better on food. The regret of only buying one bottle at the Expo is something that I have done many times over. When I try a product on food, it might surprise me so much at how good it is, that I will be disappointed when the bottle is empty. The business card also works another way, and that is to reach out to a maker or two just to let them know how much you enjoyed their labor of love. They will really appreciate you for doing so.
2016 NYC Hot Sauce Expo Vendors
The NYC Hot Sauce Expo is committed to bring the BEST Artisan Hot Sauce Makers from around the World. This year we have companies representing from Canada, Mexico, Panama and as far as New Zealand. Meet the sauce makers, experience hot sauce tastings and celebrate all things spicy.
2016 NYC Hot Sauce Expo Tickets
Beer & BBQ Lunchbox – Super VIP Tickets – Only Available Advance Sale.
General Admission Tickets – $15 Day Of – $10 Advance Sale.
All Ticket Sales Are Final
Children under 8 years of age are free with admission of parent.
Beer & BBQ Lunchbox Ticket
This ticket includes 5 Craft Beer Tickets, a bottle of High River Sauces, GA Ticket and a BBQ Sandwich Platter.
Limited To 500 Tickets per day
Super VIP Ticket
This ticket you will receive an All-Access Pass to experience the unique insanity of the Greatest Hot Sauce Adventure on planet Earth.
Only 150 Tickets per day.
Exclusive VIP Area
VIP laminate w/ Lanyard
Bottle of High River Sauces
Issue of Chile Pepper Magazine + 1 Year Subscription
VIP Chile Bag + various gifts