The Great Chicago Vacation & Fiery Festival

Official hot sauce

At the beginning of the year when I had to choose my vacation time at work, I decided to choose the 2 weeks surrounding the Great Chicago Fiery Foods Fest. My vacation started with my birthday which was another incentive, but I had not been to Chicago in 20+ years. When I was there the first time, I had a limited stay, did a Cubs’ baseball game, did a double-decker bus tour, but the food we had was Michael Jordan’s restaurant and fast food. The second visit was for a wedding in Kalamazoo, MI and we only flew into Chicago and stayed one night for a bachelor’s party. Being a foodie I wanted to explore the best of deep dish pizza and Italian Beef Sammiches this time around. Having a fiery food festival build around my visit was my kind of vacation.

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Columbus, OH Fiery Food Festival 2016

 

 

Bluestone-Columbus-Ohio

John “CaJohn” Hard has given me the exclusive announcement just now that the North Market Fiery Food Festival from years past has now changed it’s name and the venue and looks like it is now back and bigger than ever. It was the thing to do each and every year on President’s Day Weekend until the new management at the North Market decided that it was not important enough and rented out the top floor of the Market for the next 3 years. So after missing out this past year it was a blow to the faithful vendors and chileheads who made it to the event. When CaJohn inquired about the availability of such a premium venue and downtown Columbus location as the Bluestone, (which is an old church that has turned itself into a place to hold concerts), the promoters at the Bluestone jumped at the opportunity to host it. ILoveItSpicy is the first official sponsor of the new reinvigorated Columbus Festival at the Bluestone and we are very proud to have been asked to be a part of it as we have been in past North Market Festivals. Thank you CaJohn for the honor.

So now, please get your cell phone and PC calendars updated for President’s Day Weekend in Columbus. February 13-14, 2016 is the dates now. Anyone else looking forward to having the Festival back as well as the Fiery Asian Dinner? For more information and available vendor spots, please contact CaJohn, but you better do it tomorrow because the celebration has begun with some new tasty Scorpion Beer!

The Bluestone
583 E Broad St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 884-4646
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2015 Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Inductees

Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Shield

The NYC Hot Sauce Expo & High River Sauces will present the official Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people in 2015 who have been very instrumental in the fiery foods industry. The very special ceremony will kick off at 3pm est and is by presented by: High River Sauces, Chile Pepper Magazine, Endorphin Farms & Iburn.com

You can watch the ceremony live on the Clifton Chilli Club YouTube page by clicking HERE

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NYC Hot Sauce Expo – Presents The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

Steve Seabury owner of High River Sauces and the organizer of the NYC Hot Sauce Expo will present to the world the official Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people in its inaugural year and each of the following years they will induct 3 all of which have been very instrumental in the fiery foods industry. Each year the NYC Hot Sauce Expo will present and host the induction ceremony to enshrine the legends of the industry to this greatest of honors.

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will be held on Saturday April 25th on the main stage after the Screaming Mi Mi Awards show. Inductees will receive a distinctive red jacket, an achievement trophy and will be featured on exhibit at the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Library each year at NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

This year the 3rd Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo will take place on April 25th and April 26th, 2015.

The first group on the inaugural ballot are some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry:

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2014 North Market Fiery Food Festival

Poster Fiery Foods WITH background

My favorite spicy food festival is back and ready to delight all those that attend. Why is this event my favorite? It is not to knock all the other great shows out there for which there are quite a few, but there is something very intimate about this festival that the bigger shows can not possibly achieve. It all kicks off Friday the 14th at the CaJohn Flavor & Fire warehouse where John and Sue Hard have their annual Open House event. Food is spicily prepared by Chef Steve Lawrence for those that want to grab a bite, and you have the full arsenal of CaJohn’s condiments at your disposal to add a kick or enhance your food. Not that Chef Steve’s food ever needs any form of doctoring.

The Open House allows for the spicy product makers vending at the festival and the chileheads going to sample, to mingle with each other in this relaxed setting. “The Wall” in the warehouse is like leaving your footprint behind for others to see on future visits. People scrawl their signatures and companies’ names and logos, and sometimes messages of their presence in this dedication to the chilehead community. If you come to the Open House, you MUST grab a marker and add your name to the lengthy list of fiery food fans from days gone by. It is all part of the tour you get from the CaJohn factory guide who will answer all your questions except for the secrets of the trade that have won them more product individual awards than any company in the fiery food business.

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Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 6

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September 25, 2013

The Sauce Goddess, Jen Reynolds and I started the day off with a little touristy stuff. Before we left Baton Rouge, we went to the Louisiana State Capitol building as recommended by Dana Romero, our host from the previous 2 days as mentioned in the previous posts. The State Capital building is also the tallest building in the city, and Dana said it would provide a great view of the landscape of the city. Boy was he right. You can see this in the pictures below as well as the Sauce Goddess modeling pic atop the page. It was a blue sky, and it added to the lovely landscape. The building itself had the coolest looking interior with the beautiful wooden pews and exquisite ceilings for the Federal Courtroom, State Senate and the halls in between.

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Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 5

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Talking about stretching something out for all it’s worth. I am sorry I am not writing this faster, but we had some issues once again with our web host and had to relocate again. There was some malicious code that was hacked into the site and it was causing endless spam to be sent to site, causing ILIS to need more and more space. Outside of paying $200/month for more space, I had another benefactor step up and get me another free web server to host my site. It is slower, but it is free, and for now it is all we got until I start paying for something bigger and better. My deep appreciation goes out to those that have helped me through the last month’s ordeal with my site. Thank you so much for all the help you all have provided me.

So let us continue where I left off, in New Iberia with the Sauce Goddess…

September 24, 2013

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Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 2

iBurn mural outside

September 20, 2013

I owe a lot of my sanity on this trip to the Sauce Goddess, Jennifer Reynolds. I was still having personal issues that I could not drop, and she told me to focus on where I was and have a good time with the people around you. Jennifer and I shared hotel rooms in Houston, TX as well as New Iberia and Lafayette, LA. We did the tourism thing in Louisiana and I had a great time with her company. Thanks very much Jen, you were an awesome travel mate. Our Friday schedule immediately became a bit sketchy because of the weather. It was raining and it was going to get worse and worse as a big storm was heading our way. Friday was setup day at the Stafford Centre for the Houston Hot Sauce Festival, so it was a matter of choosing the best time to dance between the raindrops.

Both Jen and I decided to visit the new iBurn brick and mortar hot sauce store before helping her setup her booth. The look of the store was amazing. So clean and professional looking. The murals were so very artistic. See the pic at the top for the outside mural and part of the inside mural is below. I really liked the way the bottles were child-protected by these small metal bar guards. While that was good against bottles tipping, the appearance was extremely sharp and appealing. Proprietors, as well as newlyweds, James and Amy Beck/Wreck had started selling products last year online and having such a widely successful show close by, they are going to support the festival by bringing in some of the vendors that appear. The idea is to tell the attendees at the show if you like the vendor’s products you will be able to reload at iBurn. Many of the vendors at the show gave away iBurn postcards to push home that point. Good marketing.

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Firehead Thomas presents…Zestfest 2013: Day 3 (Bumblefoot Interview)

Bumblefoot & Brimstone

Firehead explores a little more of the show, then gets the privilege to interview the one and only Bumblefoot from Guns ‘n Roses fame along with the Godfather of hot sauce, CaJohn Hard. Bumblefoot is pictured above along with Brimstone. After that he talks with Big Papa Sauces. It’s truly awesome!

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