You’ll sweat bullets, you’ll be red in the face, your eyes will water, and your mouth will burn but chances are you asked for it. This weekend, April 20-21st, join the ‘hottest show on earth’ at Brooklyn’s East River State Park for the First Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. The hot sauce industry had its own ‘small jolt of capsaicin’ with the rise of adventurous eaters in the United States. The increase of people searching new, exotic, and often spicy flavors helped trigger an increase in hot sauce production making the hot sauce industry the tenth fasting-growing industry in the country. Just think about how many restaurants now carry Sriracha right next to the ketchup where only a few years ago the red super spicy Thai sauce craved by many was found only in Asian grocers and restaurants.
You and fellow hot sauce addicts will enjoy live music, fire breathers (professional, not attendees who sampled too much ghost pepper sauce), spicy food vendors, the Screaming Mi Mi Awards honoring the best hot sauces in the country and judged by a panel of esteemed judges, eating challenges and contests, adult beverages, and sample sauces from the country’s top hot sauce making companies. Vendors planning on attending the Firey Foods Festival include Nebraska’s Volcanic Peppers, South Carolina’s PuckerButt Pepper Company, Oregon’s NW Elixirs, and New York’s Heartbreaking Dawns and High River Sauces, among many others.
General admission tickets are $10 granting you access to the festival when the doors open at 10am until the festival’s end at 6pm. There are also VIP Lounge tickets available for $100. The VIP Lounge tickets include a gift bag, a free bottle of High River Sauces, a subscription to Chile Pepper Magazine, coat check and private restrooms, sample foods, a craft beer tasting, as well as an open bar. The open bar will feature El Buho Mezcal, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila, and more. The only thing missing from the VIP ticket package seems to be the Tums you’ll likely need after the festival.
To purchase tickets and see the full programming line up, click here.