Lenny Awards – Best Spicy Products of 2017

Welcome to the 8th Annual Lenny Awards for the best new spicy products. The Lenny Award is named after my Father who died of Cancer on this very day back in 2010. Rather than mourn his death, I am here to celebrate his life and how he would help total strangers in need just because he could. I am trying to do the same with the Lenny Award by giving something from my heart to an industry and community that I love. The Lenny is given to my favorite new products and there is no other factor involved in my choice. I don’t get a chance to try everything in due time, so some of these products might be older than 2017 when I first got a chance to try them. I have listed the names of the companies below the video that either received a Lenny Award or got an honorable mention. If you do not want to view that spoiler list, go watch the video and enjoy the moment there.

The Lenny Awards have not been purchased yet, as I will need some of the addresses of the companies I will not see at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo come April. Those companies that attend that great event will have them presented by me in person. Those that do not, will get them mailed directly to whatever address you provide me with. The video is long as I ramble a lot and I try to give each product I mention their due. The addresses below are there for a reason. I hope you will give some thought into purchasing a few of these winners. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Besides, it is the holiday season and some of these fine artisan products might still be on sale.

Thank you for your time and congratulations to all the fiery product makers for making such flavorful and delicious food enhancements.

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Spicy Product Makers Round Table – Part 2


Part 2 of our interview with some of the spicy product makers in our Chilehead community continues where we left off. You can see Part 1 HERE. We elevate to more serious questions in this part including new spicy trends and tips for people who want to get into this industry. Unfortunately, the drinking that began well before the interview kicked off is now starting to take it’s toll with some of our participants. As the discussion continues we begin to lose a few of our makers to outside influences. In the end, I think we touched on some great points, and hope it is well perceived to those that have put in the time to watch it.

Our round table existed of Jeremy Walsh from Bigfats Hot Sauce, Ed Bucholtz from Born to Hula Hot Sauce, Steve Seabury from High River Sauces, Chuck Evans from Montezuma Brand Sauces & Salsas, Johnny McLaughlin from Heartbreaking Dawns and Joe Leicht from Flaming Joe’s, Inc. A big thanks to them all for giving us the time to do this. As well as a huge thanks to CaJohn for letting us use his place and private meeting room to house it in.

If we are lucky enough, we will get to do this round table discussion again with some other great spicy product makers at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo next month and/or the Bowers Chile Festival in September. If you are a spicy product maker interested in doing one of these and want to get yourself a seat at the next one, please let me know. Thanks and enjoy part 2!

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Born to Buddah Hot Sauce – Petrified Green Tomatillos

Born to Buddah label resized

Yours truly and Born to Hula’s very own Ed Bucholtz and I got together at the Fiery Food Show and got to talking a bit. Ed was telling me about how Hurricane Sandy had laid waste to so many homes, stores, vehicles and their way of life as they knew it was turned upside down. He was quite grateful at how so many people in this community of ours rallied around him and his fiance Amy. It touched him so much that even with him still trying to get his insurance payoffs from this disaster he wanted to do something on a more global level. Ed has been a huge advocate for years at raising awareness about the ever-changing ozone layer surrounding our Mother Earth. The reason the planet has had so many temperature swings and devastating storms the last few years is because we are slowly destroying our planet with chemicals in the air we do not yet understand. We all want better and more convenient lives, but what price are we going to pay? Our future depends on us to not stand idle, but to be proactive and Ed really wanted to do something, but he did not know what. This is where Born to Buddah came in.

I told him that he could use the ILoveItSpicy platform and the Facebook Chileheads group to launch a sauce that we both can get behind that has a new and exciting flavor profile and a portion of all sales can be the mark we both desire to make in our world a better place. $1 of each bottle will go to the upstart www.YoMotherEarth.org campaign that’s dual purpose is to fund research into fixing the ozone problem and help those that have suffered the wrath of Mother Nature from natural disasters. A grass roots drive to make the world a better place that all started with April Greenhorn, a little 7 year old girl in Indiana that asked her teacher how she could help those that got hurt by Sandy. The teacher not only came back with an answer, but she got her whole class, then school involved before it got national attention. All ready from the start of 2013, they have raised a staggering $122 million and counting from people in all walks of life. Celebrities, sports stars, media, and small and big companies across the world have thrown in their support.

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Helping out those in their time of need post-Sandy

One of our own chilehead brethren has taken a huge wallop from Sandy’s storm. He lost his home, his inventory and more or less his whole town. Ed Bulcholz and his girl Amy Shrewsbury of Born to Hula were displaced out of the apartment they were staying in and been staying with friends who also have been without electricity for more than a week. Who even knows what the NorEaster did in it’s wake since they got electricity back on Tuesday. I know my Mom is without electricity for the 2nd time after it blew on by leaving 4+ inches behind. She is colder than her icebox, and isn’t dealing with this latest storm too well, but lucky though she has her house and car and no damage to report. Ed and Amy haven’t been so lucky.

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