The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

· Fiesta Gardens | 2101 Jesse E. Segovia Street
· Sunday, August 26, 2012
· 11a-5:30p

In the twenty-two years since its inception, what started as a friendly contest between Austin and San Antonio has become one of the largest annual contests in the world, the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival.  FREE to the public (with a donation of three healthy, non-perishable food items or a cash donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas), the event draws upwards of 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year.  This year the Austin ChronicleHot Sauce Festival will take place on Sunday, August 26 at Fiesta Gardens from 11:00am – 5:30pm.


For the first time ever at the Hot Sauce Festival, there will be a Park ‘N Ride parking lot available to all Hot Sauce Festival attendees. FREE parking will be available at Saltillo Plaza at the northwest corner of 4th & Waller with free shuttle buses running to and from Fiesta Gardens throughout the day. Attendees can also hop onto Capital Metro's Bus Route 17 (running every 15 minutes) and get dropped off 2 blocks from Fiesta Gardens.


Join KGSR's Kelly Jordan as he emcees the 22nd Annual Hot Sauce Festival featuring many notable attractions, especially the outstanding musical performances from Residual Kid, Crooks, Sauce Gonzalez & the Westside Horns, Mike & the Moonpies and Shinyribs featuring Kevin Russell & Keith Langford from The Gourds.  But the biggest draws are the salsas. Gallons and gallons of hot sauce are consumed at the event every year.  Area restaurants show off their hot and spicy foods at booths, and vendors from across the Southwest set up shop to sell hot and spicy cookbooks, fresh peppers, and chili pepper memorabilia.

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is presented in conjunction with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB). Three healthy, non-perishable food donations or a cash donation for CAFB are requested. Purchase raffle tickets at the festival to be included in the drawing for this year's Sizzling Summer Raffle prize packages (up to 5 packages available valued at more than $500 each). There's no limit – purchase as many as you'd like! $1 each or 6 for $5. Every $1 raffle ticket purchased allows the Food Bank to provide $5 worth of nutritious food to Central Texas families.

Last year's Hot Sauce Festival raised over $17,000 and almost 19,000 pounds of food for Central Texans in need. We challenge attendees to help us raise even more food and funds this year to meet the growing need for food assistance in our community!  This one-of-a-kind event has become one of Central Texas' biggest and best known parties.

The hot sauce contest has three levels of competition: individuals (homemade), restaurants, and commercial bottlers.  This gives us a good chance to recognize salsas in a class by themselves.  It also gives us a chance to consider salsas made fresh daily in restaurants apart from those made for grocery store shelves.  The 2012 featured Hot Sauce Festival judges are some of the finest chefs in Texas!


Food vendors will provide a wide array of foods – this year Brick Oven, Buenos Aires Cafe, Curra's Grill, Jalapeno's Taco Bar, Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina, Sun Garden Shaved Ice, and Torchy's Tacos will be on-hand serving up their specialty dishes!


The 22nd Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is presented in conjunction with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and sponsored in part by H-E-B, Verizon, Ziegenbock, Columbia Sportswear, Planet K, 93.3 KGSR, Champion Scion, Capital Metro, Le Cordon Bleu Collage of Culinary Arts, Car2Go, Sweet Leaf Tea, Texas Music Water and Grande Communications.


If you are interested in participating in the Hot Sauce Festival, entry forms and instructions will run in the Chronicle during the month of August and online at


One of the most popular features of The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is the giant tasting tent with hundreds of different tasty sauces free for sampling! In order to have as many different kinds of sauces as possible under that tent, we need your help! The Austin Chronicle is working in conjunction with Just Add Chef to allow Individual hot sauce makers to make their sauces in a commercial kitchen so that our volunteers can then put them out for the general public to sample.


On Friday, Aug. 24, and Saturday, Aug. 25, Just Add Chef's commercial kitchen will be available for FREE so that you can make your hot sauce. YOU MUST BRING ALL OF YOUR OWN INGREDIENTS, and please plan to make one quart of sauce. Once you are finished, you will receive a receipt verifying that your hot sauce was made in a commercial kitchen. Please BRING THIS RECEIPT WITH YOU WHEN YOU check in on the morning of the event. ALL HOT SAUCE ENTRIES WILL BE JUDGED BY OUR PANEL OF JUDGES regardless of where they were made.


Just Add Chef is located at 3505 N. I-35. Hours of availability: Friday, Aug. 24, 2pm-6pm; Saturday, Aug. 25, 9am-6pm. Call Herb at 708-1125 to schedule your appointment.


The mission of the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. Since 1981, CAFB in collaboration with more than 300 partner agencies has been helping Central Texans in need providing healthy food, nutritional program assistance and education, so they can make better choices at mealtime. In the past 12 months, CAFB distributed 24 million pounds of food to 300,000 Central Texans in its 21 county service territory. For more information on the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and its programs, visit or call 512/282-2111.


The Austin Chronicle celebrates 31 years as Austin's independent news source, covering music, film, arts, and politics, with 195,000 readers per week in the greater Austin metropolitan area.  The Chronicle is the eloquent and incisive voice of the city, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene.  The Austin Chronicle is available at over 1,800 locations every Thursday. For more information go to

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