This is the current state of affairs, my friends. It is thursday night, and I’m going through gobs of Hot Sauce Expo photos, and picking out the best ones for you! Before I go into all that, I’d like to share with you some other things first:
Smoked Tri Tip Sandwich. I don’t smoke often, but this makes me realize that I should do it all the time. This sandwich was the bomb! I copied elements from one of Bobby Flay’s grilling episodes on the Food Network, and smoked some meat, made some spread with cotija cheese, and sour cream, and pickled onions with habaneros! Add in some Rattler BBQ Sauce, and you’ve got yourself a sandwich to die for! One day I hope to get a recipe for this out to ya. Let me know if you’re interested!
The garden is still doing great (most importantly Grandpa’s tomato), but we have some new visitors.
Now to the meaty and spicy section of this weeks post:
You know from last week’s Photo Friday that the first ever Hot Sauce Expo took place in Long Beach last Saturday and Sunday. With all the hot sauce companies showing their wares, beer vendors, food vendors, and competitions, it was easily one of the best events I’ve ever been to. Many event planners measure the success of an event by the number of attendees or tickets sold, but I was really loving that the event was not over-crowded. There weren’t long lines to wait in, and as an event patron, that is paramount! That freed up time for socializing with everybody, AND getting to taste all the sauces offerings, AND being satiated with the food and beverage vendors. Because there was plenty of room, EVERYONE was simply happy! The hubs and I talked to quite a few people, and we were always met with smiles and great exchanges!
I have to say a little something about Steve Seabury, the man behind it all. We’ve worked together in the past, but I’ve never met him face to face, and he is one class-act. He is such a great big ball of super-charged positivity, all while working his ass off. He and his wife hosted the challenges, and kept the party moving happily along. He definitely put in the work to make the expo the best event ever, and all the little details paid off. On the drive home, I noticed that the CA Hot Sauce Expo logo was printed on the ID wrist bands. Who does that? This guy! He definitely knows how to use every possible vehicle for marketing. If you didn’t go this year, you MUST GO next year. I’ll let you know, I promise. Without further ado:
Our lovely beer-tender in the VIP garden
The main stage where all the eating competitions were going to take place.
This burger was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The meat was cooked perfectly, and was a great breakfast to kick off the expo! LKSD is a restaurant in Downey, CA, and I cannot WAIT to get down there to try the rest of their menu. It looks spectacular!
Pure Evil Capsaicin Drops from Texas Creek Products is pure genius! Their capsaicin drops contain just that, and can be added to just about anything to give it that little extra kick that you need! They had both ketchup and of all things, frosting to sample! I love that kind of thinking. Both were delicious, but that frosting was THE BOMB!
This was the Puckerbutt Pepper Company booth. This company is responsible for the Carolina Reaper, currently the hottest pepper in the world. Their hot sauces were true to form also, I had nearly instant hiccups after sampling their offerings! Good stuff, and the guys were super fun.
Behold the Carolina Reaper Pepper!
This is the High River Sauces booth, and the brainchild of Steve Seabury, who was also the organizer for the event. Great, award winning hot sauces at this booth! Pick you up some, son!
SUICIDAL FOR LIFE!!!
Getting ready for the spicy burrito eating challenge. Steve is PUMPED!
The calm before the storm.
This poor woman was hurting after just a few bites.
The Burrito Virgin won!!
The Champion of the Burrito Challenge with his family:
Post-burrito challenge shenanigans and more mingling with booths and patrons.
Security guards were so rad!
Cutest Jack Daniel’s girls on the planet!
All kinds of happy people and families were at the event!
Sriracha Man flew through the air with the greatest of ease!
Overkill Hot Sauce three amigos! Boy were their sauces SPICY!
Hating life. All the vendors would start you mild and graduate you up to spicy. I was hurting pretty bad right here.
What’s a little more hot sauce going to hurt for the spicy pizza eating challenge?
Sure, everyone is all smiles now….
Beer pong – loser has to eat a habanero! This expo is NO JOKE, guys!
Big Reds Hot Sauce were the winners of the best hot sauce at the expo!!
Happy, lovely people all around!
Winners of the Bloody Mary Mix-Down!
The event we’ve all been waiting for – the Carolina Reaper eating contest. To break the Guinness Book of World Records, one would have had to consume more than 70 grams of Carolina Reapers in a minute.
This shit was official, yo!
Many came, nobody conquered, sadly, but this guy came the closest!
Hope to see you next year at this awesome event!
Don’t fear the reaper,