13th Annual Houston Hot Sauce Festival- Salsa Winners

Deception Salsa Entice Corn & Bean Salsa

We are here to announce the winners of the ILoveItSpicy Best Salsa in the World Contest. I would like to thank all the companies that participated. We asked for $5 entry fee/salsa to be donated to the Snowdrop Foundation and many of these companies spent way more to help support this great charity. The Snowdrop Foundation’s is dedicated to assisting patients and families at Texas Children’s Cancer Center through funding for continued research to eliminate childhood cancer and scholarships for college bound pediatric cancer patients and survivors. If you would like to help add to our totals here is the information to send your donations:
Snowdrop Foundation, Inc.
7155 Old Katy Rd., Ste. N270
Houston, TX 77024
713-232-9051

Okay now to our winners. Out of 75 salsa entries in 3 different categories, here are the results:

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13th Annual Houston Hot Sauce Festival

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What is happening this year at one of the best hosted hot sauce shows on the planet? Promoter Carol Borge has made this a go to show, now entering it’s 13th year. It is special in so many ways that other shows fall short of doing. I get this feedback from the vendors. Carol is very attentive to the vendors and her guests needs. She wants everyone back and she makes sure everything goes smoothly, and she circles the event throughout the weekend asking if everyone is happy. She knows the value of saying thank you which is lost on some of the other venue hosts. This being my 3rd year out of the last 4 years, I would certainly call Carol a friend just on how special she has made me feel over that time. I wish nothing but success to all the vendors and its reflected right back to her in their praise of the show. This year will be quite special too.

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2013 Best Salsa in the World Contest – LAST CALL!!!

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Since it was a huge hit last year, (55 jars of salsas submitted last year), we are doing it again. The most important factor in this salsa contest is to raise money for the Snowdrop Foundation which helps with Children’s Cancer research and support. All salsa entries are $5/salsa with 2 jars of salsa per entry to be submitted, but we will gladly accept more $$$ because 100% of the proceeds are given to the Snowdrop Foundation. If you did not hear about this salsa contest last year, we are sponsoring it in conjunction with the Houston Hot Sauce Festival. The salsa entered can be from anywhere, but must be manufactured in a legal kitchen and have nutritional and ingredient declarations on the label. No fresh salsa will be allowed, only sealed jars to be as fair as possible. We had 2 categories last year – traditional and fruit-based. We have now added in a black bean/black bean & corn salsa category. You can enter as many salsa categories as you desire. Who knows you might win them all.

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Zestfest Midwest 2013: On Stage with Mike Isenberg from Wicked Cactus Sauces

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

Right after I handed Mike Isenberg his Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge trophy at Zestfest Midwest, Mike entertained the crowd with a little of his cooking prowess. Showing a little of what him shine in our video contest, Mike shined on the main stage with a simple yet delicious chicken taco recipe. One of the bright moments from the Zestfest Midwest event shared with you now. Check it out and support Mike by checking out the Wicked Cactus Sauces website for some of the best hot sauces in your community.

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Zestfest Midwest 2013 – 2 day recap

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I have a huge conflict in reporting this show, but I owe our followers the truth, so I have to walk a tightrope now. I am scared of heights too. For those of you that do not know the conflict let me go over that for you. We have month plus spicy cooking contest for the last 3 years involving some of the best product makers our community has to offer. This year we had prizes valued over $4,000 including 2 free show booths to the winner, which for a little blog like mine, I can’t understate enough how much that means to me. One of these 2 shows is Zestfest Midwest. In exchange for a web banner and some online support, they gave a free booth to our winner, Mike Isenberg of Wicked Cactus Sauces. Plus, Mike got his own spot on the chef stage to do a cooking 45 minute cooking demo. I am not sure what the value of that is, to me it is worth a lot to get that kind of exposure, so I am so grateful that I Mike got that time on the stage just because he won my little spicy cooking contest.

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Preview of Zestfest Midwest 2013

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Anyone who appreciates the zesty things in life is invited to indulge in a flavorful food experience June 28-30, 2013 as ZestFest Midwest brings together spicy exhibitors and tasty products from around the country for one exciting weekend in Columbus, OH. Featuring hot sauces, barbeque sauces, salsas, spices, condiments, snacks, sweets — specialty foods and beverages of all types to tantalize your taste buds.

ZestFest is the ultimate party for food enthusiasts. Produced by Spicy Food Productions, ZestFest Midwest will be action-packed! Cooking demos by celebrity chefs, live music, interactive contests and delicious foods and beverages to sample and purchase will make June 28-30, 2013 the zestiest weekend of the year!

Dates:

Friday, June 28, 2013 1:00-9:00
Saturday, June 29, 2013 10:00-6:00
Sunday, June 30, 2013 10:00-5:00

 

Place:

Ohio Expo Center
717 E. 17th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013 Champion

Champion

Here we are ready to announce this year’s champion of our weekly spicy cooking contest. With so much at stake, it is never easy telling someone they didn’t win. This group of 8 contestants are arguably our best set we have had in the 3 years of doing these challenges. I want to thank them all for putting in all their time and showing off their spicy cooking prowess in our ever-growing community. This contest is far from perfect, but I hope we presented an entertaining enough format for people to enjoy, and for our combatants to feel comfortable in. We can’t make everyone happy because there can only be one champion, but everyone of our contestants deserve all the accolades they can get for bringing this contest to new heights with such delicious, mouth-watering spicy recipes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving your all this year. Please give them all your support and go and visit their websites and show them your love and buy their great products.

To continue our thanks I have to really praise the great sponsors who let me organize a prize package valued over $3,000. For a small blog like mine that means I have a lot of great friends who really care. The overall winner of Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge will receive a free vendor booth from both the Houston Hot Sauce Festival & Zestfest Midwest. Plus, Chile Pepper Magazine will give an advertising package valued at over $2000. Cash prizes will also be awarded by Endorphin Farms & Refining Fire Chiles. Together, 1st place will receive an additional $300, the runner-up $150, and 3rd place $100. Plus, on top of all that good stuff, they will get one big ass trophy from yours truly. Without these awesome sponsors we would have no contest.

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 5 Contestant Videos

Round 5 Contestant Videos

This round is sponsored by Heartbreaking Dawns
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Heartbreaking Dawns has brought the ultimate assortment of Award Winning products to the industry. With a variety of products ranging from dry rubs, grilling sauces, spicy preserves and of course hot sauce, they’ve been cranking out nothing but hits! If you haven’t tried their products yet, some of the must haves are the original Fiery Trail Preserves, the 1498 Scorpion Sauce and the Original Classic Gold. This year they are breaking into onsite food, with a pop-Up Baltimore Pit Beef venture exclusively at Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg event. If you are attending the NYC Hot Sauce Expo, this is right next door and Johnny is planning a Chilehead’s Dream Sandwich Special for that weekend. Head on over to their website by clicking on the picture above and use the code “hbdfan” for 20% off your order!

Round 5 Challenge

The final 4 contestants had 2 make a sandwich and a wrap this round. One had to be cold, whilst the other had to be hot with no preference to which one they chose. One also had to use 3 proteins inside. Lastly, they could not use olives or bleu cheese at all. We also asked them to tell us a little about why they chose what they chose. A little background never hurts in the recipe. It gets us a little closer to our spicy recipe makers.

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 4

Round 4

We are now down to the final 5 as we say goodbye to one of our contestants in the video below. This was one of the best produced recipe challenges we ever had, but it was also the most confusing one too. That I take the blame for and must apologize to our contestants, the judges, and our loyal fans for making it so complex. Even with the issues the video recipes were off the hook. Now we move onto Round 4 and I think this is going to be a very fun challenge. The contestants are giving a HUGE choice to make, and it will be interesting which road they choose. Our sponsor for this round is once again TATS Sauces & Marinades. They are running a special during the contest for you all. Buy any 2 products and they will give a FREE Bottle of their 6 Feet Under hot sauce by typing the word “Nancyboy” in the comments area at checkout. Thanks to Derek and Shauna Jellsey for their double sponsorship with us. Click on the banner below to get you some TATS!
TATS 6 Feet Under

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 2 Contestant Videos

Round 2 Contestant Videos

This Round is sponsored by Cajun Heat
Cajun Heat

Round 2 is being sponsored by our 2011 Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Champion, Clement Bourg of Cajun Heat. He will be a guest judge and give a $50 gift card to the winner of this round. Winner of 2012 Golden Chile Award for Best New Product at Zestfest, Best BBQ Sauce of 2012 from ScottRobertsWeb.com and winner of ILIS’ Lenny Award for Best Product of the Year for 2012, Cajun Heat’s C’est Bon Cajun-Q is a product you need to experience. It is special when the bloggers and the industry both agree on what the best products are, and we got it right this time. Check out this BBQ sauce and more award winning Cajun-style products by clicking on the Cajun Heat picture above. I would also like to give a big thank you for the surprise video studio in a box that Clement bestowed upon me Saturday afternoon. I imagine once I open it up, my video production value will immensely improve. Too bad I can’t get a more charismatic persona to take my place. 😀 Thank you much Clement for being more than a friend to yours truly.

Round 2 Challenge:

Refining Fire Chiles sent all the contestants a couple of dried Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion Chile Peppers. They had to use these super hot chile peppers in a pasta dish of some kind and add something green for St Patrick’s Day. They did not have to make the dish green, they just had to use something whether it was an herb, vegetable or some moldy cheese. They all had 6 minutes in which to make their video, accept for Sam who by winning round 1 gets to have an additional 2 minutes added to his video if he so chooses. Thanks to Jim Duffy for sending the chiles to our contestants. I hope they can handle the heat.

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 2

Round 2

We are back again with Round 2 of our spicy cooking contest. The video below has the newest challenge for our contestants as we whittle down from 8 to 7 with the results of Round 1, our pepper jelly challenge. I will also announce the winner who will get a bonus for this new challenge round, and the loser who will no longer be part of the contest. Round 2 is being sponsored by our 2011 Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Champion, Clement Bourg of Cajun Heat. He will be a guest judge and give a $50 gift card to the winner of this round.
cajun-heat

The overall winner of Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge will receive a free vendor booths from both the Houston Hot Sauce Festival & Zestfest Midwest. Plus, Chile Pepper Magazine will give an advertising package valued at over $2000. Cash prizes will also be awarded by Endorphin Farms & Refining Fire Chiles. Together, 1st place will receive an additional $300, the runner-up $150, and 3rd place $100. Plus, on top of all that good stuff, they will get one big ass trophy from yours truly. I thank all our great sponsors for their contributions to this spicy cooking challenge. Without them we would have no contest.

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 1 Contestant Videos

Round 1 Contestant Videos

This Round is sponsored by TATS Sauces & Marinades
TATS products display

To purchase the best of what TATS Sauces & Marinades have to offer from last year’s Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge Champion, Shauna Jellsey, please click the TATS picture above to check out all their great all natural products, including their newly added line of dry rubs and seasonings. Now for the month of March, if you purchase any 4 items, you will receive a FREE bottle of their Black Dahlia Ghost Hickory Barbecue Sauce, winner of a 2011 Lenny Award for best spicy BBQ Sauce. Just mention the FYEOT Spicy Cooking Challenge in the comments box at checkout. Shauna is giving a $50 cash card to the winner of this week’s round as well as being our guest judge with her hubby Derek.
Thanks TATS for your endless support and sponsorship!

Round 1 Challenge:

Let me review what the 1st challenge is for those who missed my video announcement on Wednesday. All the contestants received a jar of pepper jelly from Chef Denise Baxter of Mountain View High School’s Wildcat Cafe & Bakery. We randomly sent them 1 of 4 kinds of pepper jelly, (Red Pepper Habanero, Jalapeno, Mango Habanero and the 2012 Lenny Award winning Pineapple Habanero). Their job is to simply create a spicy dish using their given pepper jelly.

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Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge 2013- Round 1

Round 1

Here we are again with our 3rd annual spicy cooking challenge. We are kicking things off with a Round 1 sponsor who was also last year’s winner, Shauna Jellsey of Tats Sauces & Marinades. Shauna along with her hubby Derek will guest judge this round along with our other special judging panel. Representing some of our sponsors, these judges are Sir McMillan from Chile Pepper Magazine, Carol Borge from the Houston Hot Sauce Festival and Greg Bagarozy from Zestfest Midwest. Adding to that mix will be our bloggers extraordinaire, Firehead Thomas and Scott Roberts. Together they make a very educated group of spicy aficionados.

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THE CONTESTANTS – 2013 Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge

contestant videos

Yes we are back for our 3rd go around in this spicy cooking contest. We have 8 new spicy product makers raring to go and show us their fiery talents in the kitchen. We have more sponsorship than we have had in the previous 2 years with a value of over $3000! Can I get a woo-hoo?! So what exactly is this Feast Your Eyes on This Spicy Cooking Challenge(FYEOT)? Every Wednesday starting March 6th at 9am est, and all the way through April 17th, we will be giving a spicy challenge to our contestants. We will post their cooking videos Sunday mornings at 9am est as well. Our special judges will send me their results and we will reward a sponsored $50 prize to the winner of that round on the next Wednesday announcement video and a special bonus for the next challenge as well. The worst video result will get booted out of the contest. We will announce the winner on April 17th and we will laud them with much fanfare and prizes.

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2013 Fiery Foods Weekend – Race City Sauce Work’s Schweaty SamBalls Spicy Meatball Eating Contest

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Now that is a spicy meatball! Created by Chad Lowcock of Race City Sauce Works, Chad hoped to make a tasty, fiery and very messy challenge that people watching would not soon forget. I for one enjoyed both watching it and the flavor of the samball marinara he created for the meatball. It was flat out pleasing to my taste buds. I had 1 meatball and it was HUGE. It must have been very hard to eat 2 of those bad boys, plus a spicy yeast roll added for sopping up the sauce from the plate. Do check out the event…

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