Blog: NYC Hot Sauce Expo
You put it on everything and often pay the price when you overdo it. It’s hot sauce and across the planet millions obsess about it, challenge themselves with it and even collect it. This past Saturday on the Williamsburg Waterfront the LocalBozo.com crew got down with our peppery friend in a major way at the first annual, “NYC Hot Sauce Expo.” And may we say it was a hot day that we won’t soon forget!
Upon entry we had no idea what amazing spicy treats we were in for. Luckily we were in the highly capable hands of Jimmy Carbone (Jimmy’s No. 43) and Steve Seabury (High River Sauces, Metal Alliance Tour) two of the expos producers. This waterfront area has seen tons of outdoor food events, but nothing to this level. Before diving deep into the chile collective we grabbed pints of Texas favorite, “Shiner Bock Beer” and local brew, “Coney Island Pilsner” in order to wet our whistles before burning them. The first sauce we tried was from, “Jordan Brenner’s Hot-Cha Waa-cha Sauce and Spice Co.” The sauce infused the highly popular Habanero pepper with strawberries in both a bold and beautiful way. The sweet fruit notes shined through first with the pepper kick nailing the back of our throats. A unique sauce such as this had to be a part of our collection, so bottles were purchased after the first taste. The good folks over at, “Bonfatto’s” came to the expo hot with their incredibly inventive buffalo wing sauces and ice cream infused with these killer spices. In business it’s always best to diversify and these guys know that well.
After a few tries of some medium level and novelty sauces it was time to seriously kick up the flavor and “Defcon Sauces” was a perfect place to start. Their collection of rubs, extracts and sauces are not for the faint of heart and that’s exactly how we like it. Just don’t ask the owner for a sample out of his vest pocket. It is pure evil in the best sense of the word! You can often find the Defcon team at Duff’s Brooklyn and as a winner of several, “Chile” awards. A few steps over sat, “Evil Seed” sauces. The owner was clad in zombie wear and red eye contacts. Their, “Asylum” brand is their most popular. And while it yields a major burn the over all flavor profile is extremely satisfying leading us to pick up a bottle as well. And as a extreme sampling the Evil Seed team brought a peanut Brittle that had been caked in crazy hot peppers. Event goers challenged themselves by tossing fistfuls of this crazy stuff down their gullets leaving many of them needing some dairy right away. Brooklyn local’s, “Pinata” made a great showing at the expo with a fruit infusion that can literally be put on any type of savory food, especially fish. You literally couldn’t walk a foot in either direction without encountering a new and exciting way to present the pepper, and we couldn’t have been happier.
All of this hard work in the sauce business means that these brilliant chefs and creators need to be honored. Therefore a slick award ceremony hosted by Steve Seabury went down aptly titled the, “Screamin Mi Mi Awards.” “CaJohns Fiery Food’s” made a terrific showing placing in several catagories such as, “Louisiana Style Hot Sauce”, “Chipotle Hot Sauce” and “Scorpion.” After a long day of treating our tummies like a science experiment it was time to call it a day. Our tongues may have been on fire but we still had a blast.
- Jay Rubin