Monthly Archives: July 2014

“HOT” off the Press! Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo World Hot Sauce Awards Revealed!

Below is a list of the winners of the inaugural World Hot Sauce Awards. The awards ceremony was held at the Lafayette, La Acadian Center, and the site of the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo. The winners were selected by approximately 30 judges from across the country, including executive chefs, restaurant owners, elected officials, beauty queens, hot sauce industry experts, and enthusiasts! The judges tasted 582 separate samples and each category had multiple judges. Everyone had a “hot” time and sweating foreheads, red faces, and sniffly noses were prevalent in the judge’s ranks! The awards are listed by division and category. My apologies if there are misspellings along the way, but there was limited time to proofread the list in an effort to get it out to everyone in a timely manner!!! Congratulations are in order for everyone who submitted an entry and especially to the winners across very crowded fields of excellent spicy sauces, spices, confections, etc etc etc!!! So without further ado, here are the lucky winners:

Late Note: The show producers omitted some categories when announcing the winners during the Awards ceremony, so I am adding them here, with the late entry noted in parentheses by the category. Divisional Winners, with the exception of Marketing, were announced in the week or so after the show. I’ve noted them in bold below, as well.

BBQ -Mustard

1. Aunty Lilikoi Passion Fruit ​Aunty Lilikoi Passion Fruit Kiawe BBQ Sauce
2. Firebud Brands​ – Slap Sauce
3. Backwoods Premium Sauces​ -Mustard Based

BBQ – Asian

1. Sweet & Spicy, LLC​ – Alaskan Umami Sauce “Hot”
2. High Octane Sauce Company​ – 1500 RPM Asian BBQ Sauce
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – Awesome sauce

BBQ – Bourbon

1. Sloppy 2nds BBQ​Sloppy 2nds Peach Bourbon BBQ
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods​AmberFyre Manhattan Black Cherry Bourbon
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – CaJohns Bourbon Street Spicy

BBQ –Specialty

1. Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ​ – Smoky Jon’s Fiery Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce
2. Me-Me K’s BBQ Sauce – ​Me-Me K’s BBQ Sauce

BBQ – Mild

1. Fat Ferg’s Backyard BBQ Sauce​ – Fat Ferg’s Backyard BBQ Sauce, Sweet & Mild
2. Minorcan Datil Pepper Products, LLC​ – Minorcan Datil Pepper Barbecue Sauce
3. Cerniglia Enterprises LLC – ​Russ & Frank’s Mild

BBQ- Fruit

1. Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ​ – Butch’s Smack Your Lips – Happy Apple (Also Divisional Winner)
2. Southern Belles BBQ​ – Pineapple Twang
3. Southern Belles BBQ​ – Ms. Mango

BBQ- Alcohol Infused

1. Sensational Sauces​ – Toasted Vanilla Cognac
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Apple Smoked Spiced Rum Ancho
3. Me-Me K’s BBQ Sauce – ​Me-Me K’s BBQ Sauce

BBQ – Chipotle

1. CattleBoyz Foods LTD​ – CattleBoyz Chipotle Maple Bacon BBQ Sauce
2. Sloppy 2nds BBQ​ – Sloppy 2nds Chipotle BBQ
3. Hammer & Tongs BBQ Sauce​ – Smoked Chipotle


1. Buddy’s BBQ Sauce LLC​ – Buddy’s BBQ Sauce
2. Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ​ – Butch’s Smack Your Lips – Pyro
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​HDH Grillin Sauce

BBQ – Medium

1. New Venue LLC​ – Mango Peach
2. FrogBone​ – Bayou Barbeque
3. Grill Side Barbeque​ – Grill Side Downtown Heat

BBQ – Tomato

1. Uncle Kenny’s BBQ ​- Uncle Kenny’s BBQ Original
2. Butcher BBQ – ​Butcher BBQ
3. Smoky Jon’s #1 BBQ​ – Smoky Jon’s Fiery Gourmet Supreme BBQ Sauce

BBQ – Vinegar Based

1. SuckleBusters​ – SuckleBusters Original
2. Meat Mitch​ – Naked BBQ Sauce
3. Whiteford Gourmet Foods, Inc.​ – Whiteford’s Olde 70

BBQ – X Hot

1. Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ​ – Butch’s Smack Your Lips – super pyro
2. Sweet & Spicy, LLC – ​Alaskan Umami Sauce “Extra Hot”
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​CaJohns BBQ Sauce 10 (Jolokia)

Hot Sauce Asian

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods -​Al Buddah Hot
2. Race City Sauce Works​ – 7 Pepper Sriracha
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Al Buddah Mild

Hot Sauce – Indian

1. Rick’s Test Kitchen​ – Ami (TM)
2. Race City Sauce Works​ – Pure Genius
3. Mr. Vikkis​ – King Naga

Hot Sauce – Caribbean

1. Pirate Jonny’s Carribean BBQ Rubs, Seasonings, & Sauces​ – Syrena’s Seduction
2. Cayman Islands Sauce Company​ – Citrus Heat
3. Ken’s Pepper Works​Island Sunshine

Hot Sauce – Latin

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – Caracara (Also Divisional Winner and “Best Hot Sauce in the World”)
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Oaxacan Chipotle
3. Culley’s Limited​ – Culley’s Green Chile

Hot Sauce – Chipotle

1. NW Elixirs Hot Sauce Co.​ – #3 Hott Smoke​
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Happy Beaver​
3. Cili Pipp – ​Chipotle BBQ​

Hot Sauce – Pepper Blend:

1. DAVEZ FOODZ – ​Just Chil’n
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​AmberFyre Livingston Parish
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – Bourbon Infused Chipotle Habanero

Hot Sauce – Fruit

1. Hot Mama’s Belize – ​Manganero
2. Jungle Heat​ – Mango Heat
3. VooDoo Chile Sauces – ​Psycho Tropic

Hot Sauce – Medium

1. High Octane Sauce Company​ – Anubis’ Chariot
2. Red Canyon Spice​ – Raptor Original
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Bumblefoot’s Normal

Hot Sauce – Mild

1. Race City Sauce Works – ​Roasted Aleppo & Cayenne Shiatta
2. Davez Foodz​ – Sweet Spicy Girl
3. NW Elixirs Hot Sauce Co.​ – #2 Verde Hot

Hot Sauce Hot

1. NW Elixirs – #5 Hot Jolkia
2. Humbolt – Habanero Hot
3. Feisty Parrot – Ouch

Hot Sauce – Xhot

1. Fire Dragon Chillies​ – Deadly
2. PuckerButt Pepper Company – ​Reaper
3. Scotty O’Hotty Hot Sauce​ – The Ghost Sauce

Hot Sauce Ultra Hot

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Sling Blade Reaper Hot Sauce
2. Race City Sauce Works – ​7 Pepper Sriracha
3. Hellfire Hot Sauce Inc​ – Fear This! (Carolina Reaper Sauce)

Hot Sauce Louisiana Style (Award Winners Announced Late – July 29, 2014)

1. Culley’s – Culley’s Habanero

2. Capsup – Paprika und Chiliprodukte – Habanero Blend

3. Gindo’s Spice of Life – “Original Fresh and Spicy” Pepper Sauce

Condiment – Jam/Jelly

1. Rasta Bros.​ – Jamaican Pepper Jelly
2. Bayou Born BBQ​ – Bayou Born – Fiesta Pepper Jam
3. Frog Bone​ – Apple Strawberry Ghost Pepper Preserves


1. Madison Chocolatiers West​ – Gateway to Hell (Also Divisional Winner)
2. Madison Chocolatiers West​ – Cayenne Caramels
3. Madison Chocolatiers West​ – Sweet Burn Butter Toffee

Snacks – Pickles

1. CHEEK Flavored Pickles – ​Sweet then Spicy Pickles
2. KA-Ranch​ – Smokey Hot Pickles
3. Texas Creek Products – ​Texas Creek Pickled Pepper Medley

Bloody Mary Mix

1. Whiteford Gourmet Foods, Inc. – ​Whiteford’s Spicy BMM
2. Aunt Whiskey Enterprises​ – Aunt Whiskey’s Smokin-Hot Bloody Mary Mix
3. Backyard Mary​ – Backyard Mary Bloody Mary Mix

Wing – Medium

1. Sean’s booYah! – ​Bali
2. Sean’s booYah!​ – Maple Habo Wabo
3. Sparky’s Wing & Dippin Sauce – ​Sparky’s Wing & Dippin Sauce

Wing – Specialty

1. Rasta Bros. – ​Carribean Heat Dipping Sauce & Glaze​
2. Sean’s booYah! – ​Maple Habo Wabo​

Wings – Hot

1. Sean’s booYah! – ​Creeper
2. Sean’s booYah!​ – Sorta Hot
3. Sean’s booYah!​ – Stinky Bee

Wing – Mild

1. Sean’s booYah! – ​Bali (Also Divisional Winner)
2. Sean’s booYah!​ – Buffayaki
3. Gourmet Conveniences, Ltd. – ​Sweet Sunshine “Warm”

Salsa– Fruit

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – Mangonero
2. Sweet Slap’n Salsa Co. – ​Sweet Slap’n Salsa Strawberry
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – Jalapino

Salsa – Verde/Tomatillo

1. Deception Salsa – ​Jealous
2. SilverLeaf International – ​Ghost Pepper Salsa Verde
3. Stagecoach Salsa Company – ​Green Extreme

Salsa – Chipotle

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ -Raspberry chipotle
2. Gunther’s Gourmet Groceries​ – Spicy Chipotle Pepper & Smoked Corn Salsa

Salsa – Bean and Corn

1. Sweet Slap’n Salsa Co. – ​Sweet Slap’n Salsa Black Bean & Corn
2. CaJohns Fiery Foods​ – BBC Ghost Chile
3. Gunther’s Gourmet Groceries – ​Black & White Bean Salsa

Salsa – Extra Hot (Winners Announced Late – July 29th)

1. Silverleaf International – Scorpion Salsa 
2. Cajohn’s Fiery Foods – Reaper​
3. Stick Figure Salsa – Ghost Chile Salsa Verde

Salsa – Hot

1. Mr. Saucy – ​Flirting Flame
2. Uncle Bunk’s – ​Rustic Pepper Sauce – hot
3. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​Italian Hot

Salsa – Medium

1. CaJohns Fiery Foods – ​BBC Medium
2. Gunther’s Gourmet Groceries – ​Jalapeno Salsa Fresca
3. Rooster’s Salsa​Rooster’s Salsa- Medium Blend

Salsa – Mild

1. Gunther’s Gourmet Groceries – Salsa Fresca (Divisional Winner)
2. Mr. Saucy – Laid Back Jack

Condiment Relish

1. Uncle Bunk’s​ Mustard Relish – Hot (Also Divisional Winner)
2. Minorcan Datil Pepper Products, LLC – ​Minorcan Datil Pepper Relish
3. Posh Pickles and Preserves​ – Sa’ Va’ Tu’o’ng ‘o’t

Condiments – Salad Dressing

1. Stagecoach Salsa Company​ – Sheriff Mike’s Spicy Salsa Ranch
2. Uncle Roy’s Comestible Creations – ​”One & Only” Dressing
3. Poca’s Hottest​ – Shak Nasti Cajun Honey Mustard

Condiments – Specialty/Unique

1. Uncle Roy’s Comestible Creations – ​Super Horseradish Sauce
2. Frog Bone – ​Bayou Cocktail
3. Gourmet Conveniences, Ltd. – ​Sweet Sunshine “Roasted Shallot & Garlic”

Condiments – Mustard

1. Uncle Roy’s Comestible Creations​ – Rabbie’s Burnie Mustard
2. Backwoods Mustard Company – ​Sweet Jalapeno
3. Texas Creek Products​ – MVG Chipotle Mustard

Marketing Other

1. Frankie V’s – Wasabi Green Thai CHili
2. Zombie – Cajun
3. Trail Rider Salsa CO. – Yankee Mild Salsa

Marketing Hot Sauce

1. Lucky Dog – Dia Del Perro (Also Divisional Winner)
2. Cullys’s – Fire Water
3. Pirate Jonnys – Syrena’s Seduction

Marketing – BBQ Sauce

1. Smokey Moon BBQ Sauce
2. Jenk’s Specialty Foods Sugar Britches
3. Me-Me K’s BBQ Sauce


Holy Mole’! CaJohn’s Got Me Enchanted!


Enchantment is a mole inspired sauce and a new addition to CaJohn's stable of sauces

Enchantment is a mole inspired sauce and a new addition to CaJohn’s stable of sauces

At this spring’s New York City Hot Sauce Expo, John Hard (aka CaJohn) came up to me and said, Ken, I have a new sauce I want you to try. I think you’re gonna like it! Well, I don’t know if there’s been a creation from CaJohn’s Flavor & Fire that I didn’t like, so it was a safe bet.  But I didn’t expect to be enchanted!!!!

Okay, so I’m making a little play on words here. If you’ve looked at the picture, you know I’m referring to Enchantment, a mole’ style sauce and one of CaJohn’s most recent culinary creations! I’ve had this sauce since the week after the show (thanks to Sue Hard, who graciously boxed up and shipped my hot sauce booty for me, since it’s kind of hard to take 40 bottles of sauce and products through as a carry on!) and it has become one of my go to sauces for anything Mexican or Latin, or anything I want to highlight with the flavor or Old Mexico!

If you know CaJohn and Sue, you know they love New Mexico, and they pay homage to their affection in the label write up of the sauce. They reference their enchantment with the state (get it? Nice word play, CaJohn!) and wanted a sauce that created a fusion of North American Indian, Spanish Mission, Mayan, and Chuck Wagon styles in the tradition of the old Mexico Mole Poblano sauce made famous in the mountain city of Puebla, Mexico (there’s some controversy about the origin of mole sauce, but I’ve been to Puebla, and those folks are pretty darn convincing!). A traditional mole sauce has a pile of stuff in it, from various roasted nuts, to dried bread and fruit, and a finishing of dark chocolate, and cooks for hours and hours. This sauce celebrates that richness, but uses a different flavor and ingredient profile.

Enchantment uses several different peppers: New Mexican chile, Ancho, Guajillo, Chile de Arbol, and Pequin.  Add in distilled and cider vinegar, garlic, agave nectar, cumin, salt and oregano, and you have a dark, rich, complex sauce that masterfully layers its flavors and it’s oh so subtle heat.  This is not a hot sauce to me.  It is a finishing sauce for meat, or a base to slow cook and simmer pork, chicken, or beef. And it took my Spanish omelet to a whole new level! If I have any suggestions for CaJohn based on my using it these past few months, is that my batch is really thick and doesn’t always want to easily pour out of its flask style bottle. But that is a small issue, and after all, a mole is supposed to be thick. Another thing I learned while playing with it is that it doesn’t always play well with others, and mixing it with other powders, spices, rubs, etc. could alter the flavor profile enough to mess things up. So for those that like to use multiple sauces, powders, rubs, etc. in your dishes, don’t be surprised if you’re not thrilled with your results. In other words, make your life easy and don’t use anything else- it’s not necessary.

Enchantment adds a new dimension to a Spanish Omelet!

Enchantment adds a new dimension to a Spanish Omelet!

Now I’m sure there are those of you that are much more skilled in the kitchen than yours truly, and can use it with other spices and products, but I appreciated the stupid proofness that Enchantment gave me. And like I said, while it’s not a true mole sauce (CaJohn will be the first to tell you that it’s a mole “inspired” sauce), the deep, earthy tones of the Arbol chile, combined with the mildly acidic guajillo and New Mexican, the sweetness of the ancho (I think they’re sweet, anyway!), and the playful heat of the pequin combine in masterful fashion to provide my taste buds and smell buds (do we even have smell buds? Remind me to look that up!) with a trip to old Mexico!

So Enchantment earns itself a full 4 Fiery Worlds from this author. I enjoyed the cool way it uses so many different peppers so smartly, the simple list of other ingredients that celebrates the flavors without muddying it all up, and the fullness and richness that makes the sauce “mole-like”. Add in a first hand appreciation for John and Sue’s love for New Mexico and I wish I was on a mesa in New Mexico watching a beautiful sunset, chowing down on some slow cooked pork wrapped in a homemade tortilla, smothered in Enchantment! Ahhh….some enchanted evening that would be!  And why, Ladies and Gentlemen? Because…….It’s a Fiery World! (Note: At press time, I didn’t see Enchantment listed on Cajohn’s website, so you may need to inquire as to availability)

Yours truly and the "Godfather" at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo

Yours truly and the “Godfather” at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo

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