In the 21 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, nonperishable food items or a cash donation to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas), the event draws upward of 15,000 spectators and more than 350 entries every year. This year The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival will take place on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Waterloo Park from 11am to 5:30 pm. There will be great food, drink, vendors, and fabulous music…this is Austin, after all!
The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is presented in conjunction with the Capital Area Food Bank. Purchase raffle tickets at the festival to be included in the drawing for this year’s Sizzling Summer Raffle prize packages (up to five packages available valued at more than $500 each). There’s no limit – purchase as many as you’d like! $1 each, or six for $5. Every $1 raffle ticket purchased allows the food bank to provide $5 worth of nutritious food to Central Texas families.
The hot sauce contest has three levels of competition: individuals (homemade), restaurants, and commercial bottlers. This gives us a good chance to recognize hot sauces in a class by themselves. It also gives us a chance to consider hot sauces made fresh daily in restaurants apart from those made for grocery store shelves. The 2011 featured Hot Sauce Festival judges are some of the finest chefs in Texas! For more information, check out The Austin Chronicle’s Festival home page.