Buddah’s Trip to Columbus for Fiery Food Festival (Day 3)

by Buddah on February 23, 2011 · 0 comments

in General Information



Reporting the next day, I type this with a sadness in my heart knowing that soon I will be headed back to my life and leaving the people I so cherish behind. If I ever get me a wife and family, maybe I will not feel such heartship, but I miss my chilehead family all ready. I really missed Sandi and Bill Kraft who have been a mainstay at these events, and did not come this year. Now I miss the rest as I prepare my last words to you on the trip that was Columbus.

The day started off with a huge ass line to the chilehead brunch, prepared by some of the vendors like Cajohn, the Urban Chef, HBD’s Johnny, to name a few. At least the ones I knew that contributed. It took about 30 minutes plus to get from the back of the line to the food if you decided to wait until the food was officially ready. There was quite a lot of choices and most of them were very tasty. Kudos to the chefs and crew that assembled the feast. Personally, I probably would have been fine with a waffle downstairs without the long wait, but I was happy to have experienced it. I wish the food was a tad spicier, but they were catering to the masses, and not the higher tolerance heat level.

At 12:00, that was some chile art, but too weird for my taste and they did not do a good job of displaying anything but one piece to the crowd. Then at 12:30, we announced the Spicy Cherry Challenge Chilehead Choice Champion (try saying that fast a few times). In a close race between 5 products, Heartbreaking Dawns captured the title with a chocolatey decadent dessert called the Cherry Bomb. It was a chocolate covered red velvet style cake with a cherry flavoring that seems to capture the hearts of the lovers of sweet chocolate bliss. Behind the cherry bomb, were Crazy Uncle Jester & Ole Ray with their sweet offerings of cherry bbq sauce. One was chunky and one was smooth. They were tied for 2nd. Then right behind them, and also tied were Race City Sauces with their hot sauce, also called Cherry Bomb and another offering from HBD with their cherry jolokia sauce. There were some other votes scattered between other products, but the majority of the votes went to these 5 products. Thanks for all that took the time and made the effort to participate in this special vendor’s only challenge. Congrats again to Johnny, who also was the winner of Round 1 of our “Feast Youy Eyes on This” Spicy Cooking Challenge. Round 2?s challenge has just been posted as of last night if you care to watch the video on that.

Once we announced the winner of that contest, we moved onto the Amateur Hot Sauce contest. I was also in charge of the sponsorship on that, so I got to select the judges. I used my crackerjack review staff that were at the show- Firehead Thomas, Steve “The Machine” Smallwood, and Wendy the Spice Goddess. You will know more why I am dubbing the title of “The Machine” onto Steve Smallwood as I release some of the videos from the weekend. You might not believe your eyes.

As for the judging, we had 14 products. Some hot, some not so, and some quite the opposite. I had a nice flop sweat going on. I also tasted some really nice flavors in the mix. There was a orange sesame style wing sauce that really stood out for me, but the winner was also a previous winner in past years, Donovan Stanley. He made a very smooth jalapeno offering that he told me he will share with us sometime soon. Congrats Donovan on your victory! Well done.

Right behind the hot sauce contest came the Amateur salsa contest. I did not have high hopes with my entry, and I was not surprised by the results. Except one judge said it was awesome. Hit or miss, but I think I let it sit at room temperature too long and when I tried it after the contest, I did not like it much either. There were some tasty salsas, but no wow factor. The winner that was selected had mint in it, not bad, but I will stick with my favorites I have in the industry. Congrats to the young lady who won the prize on that. Very creative salsa.

At 2:30, in came the Crazy one, Jeff aka Crazy Uncle Jester with his scary Ice Cream Sundae contest. This stuff is extreme. He has extremely hot sauces- hot fudge, caramel, marshmellow, and his evil black cherry “Make Me Cough Drop” at the cherry on the sundae. The contest was over in less than 2 minutes, and the sick look on their faces spoke volumes. The first and second place winners were shaking from the onslaught of raging fire that was in their belly. I am sorry I did not film this, and I hope someone did to share with us. Unfortunately, I was helping CaJohn gather the wing sauces in the kitchen for his wing contest up next, and missed the whole thing. I only saw the faces afterwards.

The wing contest keeps changing every year. CaJohn wanted to help the other vendors, so he took some of the shows hottest sauces and used them in each round of the contest. There are 7 rounds of wing eating, 3 wings per plate, except in the last round where there are 10 wings. These are not small wings either, so you better come hungry. Every round, they weed out the weak stomaches until only the strong and brave are left. Some of the sauces were from Crazy Uncle Jester with his new Jolokia Wing Sauce, the Urban Chef with his Jolokicious Sauce, Dragonfire’s Hot Sauce, HBD Trinidad Sauce 1498?(I can’t remember that damn number lol), CaJohn’s Fiery Food Show Sauce, and Race City Sauce Works 98 Octane Turbo. Then in round 7, CaJohn mixed all the sauces together for the ultimate punch. Steve “The Machine” Smallwood took it in a close race with another worthy competitior. He took top prizes in this contest and the Scorn bread challenge yesterday. I do not even think he had more than 1 to 2 drops of sweat in both contests combined.

Once the wing event was over, it was almost time to set the sails and leave the North Market. We said our goodbyes to those that would not be able to join us for dinner, and wondered where all the time had went. We gathered at our Mexican stomping grounds, Fiesta Jalisco a couple of hours later. It has been CaJohn’s choice for food on most trips, and we are always happy to come back. The food is also great. CaJohn, from the huge heart he has, treated the table for our meal. Something he doesn’t have to do because we cherish the time spent with him, and the price tag on that is worth a lot more than a Mexican dinner. Thanks to him and Sue for their kindness and to making us all feel like part of the family. It is sad that it is all over, at least until the next show. I wish I was going to Albuddahquerque in 2 weeks, but it will have to wait to Mid-May at Peppers at the Beach, a free show for vendors that was a blast last year. Until then, I will really miss these guys. Thanks to all that helped me forget my job at the US Postal Service, especially my judges and ILIS staff, my riding companions- Team Grant, my Chilehead and vendor friends, and the Hard family who made it all possible.

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