Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 4

P1020023

September 23, 2013

The Sauce Goddess, Jennifer Reynolds and I headed from Stafford, Texas to Lafayette, Louisiana, (Home of the Ragin’ Cajuns), to meet up with Dana Romero for lunch. For those of you that do not know Dana Romero, he is the man in charge of creating the 1st ever Louisiana Hot Sauce Festival. He wanted to show us a good time, treat us for a nice Cajun lunch and get some feedback on the future festival grounds which will kick off on July 19-20, 2014. I have been exchanging messages with Dana for a few months, but I never had met him before. As I told you in the previous parts of my road trip, he volunteered as a salsa judge. Not only that he helped me quite a bit in adding up the judging scores of all 70 entries. With 7 judges, that is 490 scores to tabulate. I was extremely grateful for the help he gave me.

Jen and I each had our own transportation, and once Dana told us where to meet, we set off to meet at PreJeans Restaurant in Lafayette, LA. I let Dana choose my meal, as I wanted to have something Cajun and special. He hit a home run, and it was a dish I am not sure I would’ve ordered reading it from the menu. The dish was called Catfish Grand Chenier, and it one of the best meals I had on my 2 week trip. Here is the description as it is written on the Prejeans’ menu along with a picture of the dish.

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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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Buddah’s 2013 Ultimate Chilehead Roadtrip – Part 1

Ragin Cajun Hat

My trip began at my place of work in Reston, VA, continued to Houston, TX and then onward to New Orleans. I got to take part in 2 shows, visited with some chilehead friends along the way in my travels and got to spend some quality time with a lot of great people. I did close to 3,000 miles, and it was a trip I will never forget until the day my brain stops functioning. This trip changed me in a very good way, but it wasn’t without some highs and lows. In the coming days, I will tell you much of what I experienced, the good and the bad. I have a lot of people to thank and praise, so please allow me that license to kiss a little booty from time to time. So let me get going with how it all started…

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