It’s a Fiery World!

by Ken Alexander

2013 Fiery Foods Weekend - Day 2 (8)

What Makes a Chilehead?

When Buddah asked me to be a contributing columnist for his new vision, “Chilehead Monthly”, I almost said no since I already struggle to make time to write for my own blog. But Buddah gave me my start in the community, and has become a close, honored friend, so how could I say no? So, in true Buddah whip cracking fashion, I got my first copy deadline (tonight! LOL) and he asked me what my theme would be each month. “Theme? I need a theme?” I asked. So I told him that my theme would be original, op ed type random musings from my Chilehead brain. And he was good with that (thanks, Buddah), but he told me that I should include an intro of sorts, so this month will be just that….my intro. The “About” section on my blog, It’s a Fiery World ( does a good job of providing a brief bio, so I’ll give that to Buddah to use as he sees fit. But the real intro is my reflection on what makes a true Chilehead.
Of course, to the casual observer, the obvious answer is plain as day. A Chilehead is someone who loves hot and spicy cuisine, hot sauce, hot peppers, and fiery flavors of all kinds. But that’s just the surface. I’ve discovered that a Chilehead is much, much more. Not only are they someone with a strong tolerance for pain and an asbestos stomach. And they are not just a thrill seeker who wants the endorphin rush that follows the spicy flame that makes their nostrils flare, their blood pressure rise, and their pores open into rivers of delightful sweat. Don’t misunderstand…they are indeed all those things, but that’s still not what defines them as a true Chilehead.

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Adventures of the Accidental Chilehead

by The Sauce Goddess

My name is Jennifer and I am the Sauce Goddess. I started my company back in 2001 on a dare from my friends while having a beer or two on the beach in San Diego. I make smoke-free BBQ sauce based on a recipe my Dad has been making since I was about 2. I expanded the line into some spicy flavors and added rubs to the mix over the years. You can check out our products at to see more.

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Taco Time

by: Heath ” The Taco Man” McDowell

First and foremost let me introduce myself. My name is Heath and I am the administrator for . Each month we will be talking about sauces, tacos, reader submitted recipes and new ideas. This month I will be letting you know a little about myself. And a little taco, chilehead comparison.

Think about your favorite taco. What’s in it? How many spices can you taste? For me, I look for an out of the ordinary taco. One that screams, TRY ME!!!!! I’m always looking for the different styles and cultures that can define a great taco. There is such a variety of tacos that every application of spice can be used in one way or another with them. My suggestion is to let your senses go wild! Make a taco you’ll never forget. Your taste buds will thank you.

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Q-ing With Your Average Joe

by Fiber Joe Madrid

Fiber Joe's Lincoln Hat

Hello all you happy people…

Here is a question I get asked a lot, Hey man how can I get a rack of ribs to taste like they’re smoked
without owning a smoker…
Well the first thing I usually say is buy a damn smoker.
I have found a few different ways on how to get that awesome smoked flavor and that’s what we are going to talk about this month, Welcome to Q-ing with your average Joe.

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Wickedly Creative Cooking

by Mike Isenberg

Mike from Wicked Cactus holds his Feast Your Eyes on This trophy

While neither a professional nor formally trained chef, I am a foodie and cooking TV junkie. Join me as I explore new things, letting you know what has worked for me, and hopefully inspiring you to get out there and try something new as well. I am owner of Wicked Cactus Sauce and love everything spicy.

I have a problem.

I love mushrooms. Sautéed mushrooms to be exact. The savory/earthy/meaty flavor, the versatility, the delicious transformation that comes from the simplest of cooking process*. I’ve made sautéed mushrooms before and ate them before the rest of the meal was done! I really, really love sautéed mushrooms.

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Blazin’ a Trail with Local & Farm Fresh Food

by Shellie Mierwald

Greetings fellow Chileheads! My name is Shellie Mierwald and I own Sweet Heat Gourmet. I’m very passionate about what I do with the local foods movement. Our award winning BBQ and hot sauces are made with as much farm fresh products as possible. Please feel free to contact me at, I’m happy to answer your questions! For Chilehead Monthly, I’ll be chatting about farm to table food and how spicy things should make your food taste better!

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1st Annual CA Hot Sauce Expo Review

My experience as a vendor at the 1st Annual California Hot Sauce Expo, 2015
By Scott Zalkind, Owner/Operator/Hot Sauce Guy/Towel Folder/Recipe Creator/Visionary/Custodial & Recycling Engineer, and resident hot sauce geek at Lucky Dog Hot Sauce

After vending at the 2014 NY Hot Sauce Expo, when Steve Seabury announced that there would be a California Hot Sauce Expo I could not send in my application fast enough. I didn’t know where the event would be, which other vendors would be there, or how many tickets would sell – and frankly I didn’t care. New York was an amazing time. Connecting with so many of the great sauce makers out there, and sampling my own products to an entirely new demographic makes for a fantastic weekend. The prospect of doing so in a stunning California location in July was even more appealing. I was in from the word “go!” – Steve Seabury throws a hell of a party. Also, it should be noted here, I have a personal ban on “1st year” anything – I’ve been burned several times in the past from such events, but this was the exception to the rule.

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Pepper of the Month – August ’15

by Jim Duffy

Jim Duffy from SD news article

My name is Jim Duffy and I am the owner and founder of Refining Fire chiles. We started off in 2003 as a small Hobby business that made salsa and sold peppers at local markets top raise money to help at risk youth in East County San Diego. The centers these kids went to after school and on weekends are called Youth Venture. Now we have grown to a business that sells retail and wholesale chile seeds, chile plants, dried chile powders, dried peppers and also fresh seasonal wholesale peppers. We sell on an International level everything except Chile plants. We are involved in growing operations in 6 States and 4 countries. Our goal is to raise awareness on the diverse varieties of Chiles many have never grown or tasted. Our other goal is to use a portion of our profits earned to help others in need. That can be people in the chile community, small business and youth at risk.

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Crazy Spicy World

by The Chile Beast


Hello there I’m Jason Reilly , a hardcore chilehead and foodie known as “Chile Beast” on YouTube with over 20k subscribers watching my spicy products and challenge videos. I have a passion for delicious flavorful and spicy cuisine made fresh and eaten with people you love and care about. I have always enjoyed connecting with people of different cultures especially Thai and Laotian. You may think you know all there is to Thai cuisine, but that’s like a foreigner saying that just because they ate at McDonald’s they had a true representation of American food. Just as in America were every region of this great country of ours has its own unique dishes so does Thailand. So I will be including my experiences with these dishes and the recipes so that you can cook them for yourself. I will also be including my opinion on many of the wrong myths about the dangers of eating spicy foods and also how I have been able to increase my tolerance. Thank you and welcome to my crazy spicy world.
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The Chilli Alchemist

by Jay Webley

The Chilli Alchemist banner

When asked to describe the UK chilli scene, the word that keeps coming to mind is ‘exploded’! During the past few years we Brits have seen a surge of chilli festivals, hot sauce companies, restaurants boasting ‘hot’ or ‘challenge’ dishes, chilli clubs & chilli farms. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down either!
I’ve always been a lover of chilli. Fresh, dried, hot sauce, it’s all good to me! However, until around 7 years ago, I struggled to find a range of any of these products. The ubiquitous Tabasco wasn’t cutting it for me but it was either that or Encona (Caribbean style sauces). Both carry a lot of vinegar & didn’t exactly showcase the flavour of the chillies within. I’d often make my own sauce with a blend of cayenne & naga, but I was convinced there must be more out there somewhere…but where?

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2015 LA Hot Sauce Expo Review


I am Keith Jenkins with Frog Bone Cajun Sauces, straight out of the bayous of south Louisiana from a town called Madisonville. I have been in the sauce business for 3 full years and am learning from my mentors, John “CaJohn” Hard of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods and Ed Currie from Puckerbutt Pepper Company. My company originally had 3 products when it first started, but now we have expanded to 14. We travel around the United States to visit great hot sauce festivals and expos to get our brand known.

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