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NYC Hot Sauce Expo Announces Hall of Fame Nominees

Immediate Release
August 12, 2014
NYC Hot Sauce Expo – Presents The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

Steve Seabury owner of High River Sauces and the organizer of the NYC Hot Sauce Expo will present to the world the official Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Foundation. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people in its inaugural year and each of the following years they will induct 3 all of which have been very instrumental in the fiery foods industry. Each year the NYC Hot Sauce Expo will present and host the induction ceremony to enshrine the legends of the industry to this greatest of honors.

The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will be held on Saturday April 25th on the main stage after the Screaming Mi Mi Awards show. Inductees will receive a distinctive red jacket, an achievement trophy and will be featured on exhibit at the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Library each year at NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

This year the 3rd Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo will take place on April 25th and April 26th 2015.

The first group on the inaugural ballot are some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry.

1. Blair Lazar – Owner Blair’s Sauces and Snacks also came out with one of the if not the first extract hot sauce. Took the collector sauce/limited edition sauce to new heights. Also took extreme heat to the limit with some of the hottest sauces ever.
2. Chip Hearn – One of the original hot sauce websites, as well as one of the first, and one of the largest national zesty distributors, Inventor of the Bloody Mary Smorgasbord in 1978. Originated the “risqué” hot sauce genre at the 1989 National Fiery Foods Show.
3. David Ashley – Owner Ashley Foods. Another one of the first users of extract sauces in the early 90’s. Was one of the first to collaborate with and have celebrity driven sauces.
4. Dave DeWitt – “The Pope of Peppers” – Author and maybe the original “Chilehead” Started the Fiery Foods Show 26 years ago and set the standard for The Big Hot Sauce Show.
5. Dave Hirschkop – Owner Dave’s Gourmet and creator of Dave’s Insanity one of the, if not the 1st extract hot sauce. Was one of the first to create “limited edition sauces” and was instrumental in the collector hot sauce craze.
6. Dave Lutz – Founder of Hot Shots Inc. one of the original hot sauce distributors and still operating for almost 20 years.
7. Edmund McIlhenny – Created Tabasco in the 1860’s and is the best-selling hot sauce ever.
8. Jim Campbell – Was one of the first pepper growers who supplied hot sauce companies their peppers from their early starts. Was very instrumental for the early success of some of the leading hot sauce makers like Blairs, CaJohns and Dave’s Insanity.
9. John Hard – Owner of CaJohns Hot Sauce. The God Father of the hot sauce industry. Started in 1996 and has garnered over 200 regional, national and international awards.
10. Marie Sharp – Owner Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Ltd. – Started making sauce in the early 80’s and actually was the creator of Melinda’s Sauces. Her sauce is the quintessential Central American hot sauce with amazing flavor and great heat!
To be eligible for the nominating or voting process, a person must operate within the fiery foods industry for a minimum of 3 years. These people will be known as the Selection Committee which will consist of hot sauce companies, retailers, distributors, exporters, chile pepper growers, media and restaurateurs who specialize if spicy foods and hot sauce. The Selection Committee will be polled by email from the Hall of Fame’s Senators Board in which the board will eventually narrow the Selection Committee’s ballot to a list to 10.

After the nomination process The Selection Committee will then receive the final ballot from the Senators Board. To be elected, a finalist must receive the top 3 votes from the Selection Committee. If a person has been nominated 3 separate times by the committee and does not get inducted their name will be removed from future elections for a waiting period of 5 years.

For More Information Please Contact Steve Seabury:
Info on the NYC Hot Sauce Expo:


Cast Away But Not Forgotten…Sweet Heat Gourmet – The Lost Sauces!!!

Sweet Heat's Lineup-Almost gone but not Forgotten!!!

Sweet Heat’s Lineup-Almost gone but not Forgotten!!!

I think everyone knows the Tom Hanks’ movie Cast Away!  You know….Fed Ex guy in the plane crash who is on a small island for 5 years hanging out with some volleyball named Wilson! Everyone thought he was lost forever, but NO! He turns up, not really any worse for wear, and resumes his life.  Well……..I have a kinda sorta similar story about Sweet Heat Gourmet, Michelle Mierwald’s State College, Pennsylvania’s work of love, who sent me sauces to review a looooong time ago.  How long ago, you ask? Well, I ain’t sayin’, but it’s been a while! Not Tom and Wilson’s 5 years, mind you, but long enough. There’s a genuine back-story that comes with the delay – but that’s no excuse, and I am dutifully ashamed and embarrassed, and publically ask forgiveness.  So here’s where I attempt to make amends!

Right after I received a generous sampling of her creations, I used them, abused them, played with them, made notes about them, enjoyed them, and never finished my formal review of them! Kinda like when, in Cast Away, packages never made it to their final destination…except one, at the end of the movie! Just like this post! (I know it’s a stretch, folks, but work with me a little, okay?!)

Sweet Heat has a great lineup of products.  I thought it was especially cool that she sources some of her local ingredients in her online product descriptions, much like Tom gave credit to his ol’ straw headed buddy Wilson! So what was in those lost packages?  What’s Sweet and what’s the Heat in the Gourmet?

Pineapple Ghost-my personal favorite!

Pineapple Ghost-my personal favorite!

I received the following: Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce, Habanero Peach Hot Sauce, Pineapple & Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce, and Moruga Scorpion Hot Sauce. I have a little left of all of them (testimony that I was saving some for the formal write-up), and they all still have a great fresh flavor and complex profile. Not a bad sauce in the lot! I found my notes, and here’s where it gets eerily similar to Cast Away…..just like Mr. Hanks was creative, ingenious, practical, and opportunistic with the ingredients he had to work with, so goes Ms. Mierwald and Sweet Heat Gourmet!

A Jalapeno BBQ sauce with nice heat!

A Jalapeno BBQ sauce with nice heat!

The Honey Jalapeno BBQ Sauce is fresh, and actually packs a little heat which is unusual for a jalapeno sauce. It has just enough soy and Worcestershire to give it some pop without being salty, a wonderful use of the pepper which you can feel and taste, and a spice compliment that worked well with pork, beef, and chicken.

The Habanero Peach played the cumin and ginger card nicely, creating a unique flavor profile to accompany the peaches and habs, a pleasant medium heat, and the black pepper created a nice earthiness that I really enjoyed. Think fish, veggie medleys, and a Sunday brunch frittata! The Pineapple & Ghost Pepper made a mean salad dressing, with that slow crawling, back palate bhut jolokia burn (but not too much!), and totally faked me out with the raisins, which added a fullness to the flavor profile! I really liked that one…a lot!  And the Moruga Scorpion sauce was no-nonsense, front end hot! But not mind numbing hot…just a nice hot! A polite hot! A Tom Hanks nice guy, but tough as all get out to survive 5 years on a deserted island hot! I’m not a big scorpion pepper fan, as I find it a little harsh, but Sweet Heat blends the scorpion with other unnamed red peppers, tomato, a little sugar, and spices to create a Scorpion sauce I could use in chili, spaghetti, meat loaf, and on chicken. I’m sure it has veggie uses if you think about it.  After all, Tom tied a raft up with VHS magnetic tape, for goodness sakes!

2nd Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo March 29&30, 2014

2nd Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo March 29&30, 2014

Short and Sweet – these are great products! They all get 4 Fiery Worlds, except for the Pineapple Ghost, which earns itself 4 1\2 Fiery Worlds!!!! After being lost in the back of my frig, my Sweet Heat Gourmet sauces are still very much present and accounted for! So go to their website and order some today! Or catch Sweet Heat March 29 and 30, 2014 at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo! Why, you ask? Because, It’s a Fiery World!

No Foo Foolin’! High River Sauces Heats Up the Reaper Scene!

Foo Foo Mama Choo is High River Sauce's Latest Creation

Foo Foo Mama Choo is High River Sauce’s Latest Creation

When I tell you that Steve and Lisa Seabury’s High River Sauces is heatin’ up the New York skyline, I’m not kidding! Their newest creation, Foo Foo Mama Choo, is made from the latest pepper to be recognized as the hottest on the planet by Guinness World Records- Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper! The “Reaper” clocks in at an average of more than 1.5 Million (yes, Million with a capital M!) Scovilles!  So it takes a lot to make a sauce that celebrates the sweetness of the Carolina Reaper while acknowledging the “Kung Foo Foo Fighting” nature of it’s heat!  And that’s exactly what Foo Foo Mama Choo does!

For those not familiar with High River Sauces, the sauce company was born a few short years ago with the release of Hellacious, a great sauce with a rich flavor that travelled the heavy metal circuit with Steve.  After adding the likes of Tears of the Sun, Rogue, and Grapes of Wrath, this latest offering does not disappoint.

I absolutely love Foo Foo Mama Choo’s label!  Just like the sauce, it’s simple and complex, from the name to the logo of the fired up dragon out to save the princess! I know..I know!! Dragon?  Fire? Princess? What’s up with that? I’ll tell you in a second….But back to the label- great graphics, easy to identify on a shelf, and fun! High River has won awards for their label graphics and marketing, and with good reason! The label makes a great marquis for the concert of flavor inside.

Foo Foo Mama Choo is a complex sauce. But it comes off simple. The label says it’s a little Asian, a little Southern Country, but I say it’s a lot unique. The natural blending of new flavors with favorite ingredients creates a veritable concert of smooth flavor.  Kinda like when  Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones played with the Foo Fighters in 2008 at Wembley (get it? Foo Fighters? Foo Foo Mama Choo?! Ok, fine….never mind..). Complex notes of “secret spices”, ginger, reaper pepper, roasted red peppers, and soy sauce, along with the more simple harmony of roasted tomato, onion and garlic come together nicely thanks to the backup band of rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and white pepper. And did I mention it’s HOT!? The Carolina Reaper, with it’s world record heat, packs a big punch. But it is a sweet pepper, with a great citrusy note, and High River has managed to layer it, control it, and deliver it with the finesse of a fine sound board engineer! Yessir, ladies and gentlemen, just like the music legends I mentioned, Foo Foo Mama Choo masters its sound and harnesses the raw energy of the world’s hottest pepper in unique and memorable fashion.

Foo Foo Mama Choo is a Rich, Medium Consistency Sacue

Foo Foo Mama Choo is a Rich, Medium Consistency Sacue

So, to sum it all up, Foo Foo Mama Choo comes in with a 5 Fiery World rating! My highest, and rarest, score!  It’s really that good, folks. This is a sauce that creates a fire breathing, high flying dragon that rises up, brings serious heat, and saves the Princess from the evil Witch! I know…I told you earlier that I’d explain. Steve and Lisa’s daughter created the inspiration for the sauce when she tried to cast a spell to turn Steve into a dragon to save the princess from the evil Witch. But, instead of Bippity Boppity Boo, she came out with Foo Foo Mama Choo – and history was made!

Foo Foo Mama Choo makes it public debut on February 28, 2014. Do yourself a favor, and go to High River Sauce’s website and order some. It can also be found at and at Order more than one- trust me on this one!  Why, you ask?! Because, Ladies and Gentlemen, It’s a Fiery World!

Steve Seabury Announces NYC Hot Sauce Expo Carolina Reaper Challenge

January 28th, 2014

Guinness Book of Records – Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper Challenge
New York’s own High River Sauces proudly presents the 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo on March 29th and 30th . This year’s Expo will host only the best artisanal sauce companies in the United States. Last year’s Expo proved to be a capsaicin rush for all who attended including ticket holders and vendors a like. This year organizers are turning up the heat with spicy drinks, craft beers from Laginitas Brewery, insane eating challenges, hot sauce tastings and the prestigious Screaming Mi Mi Award Show.

One of the highlights of the Expo is on Sunday, March 30th at 4 PM EST. The Puckerbutt Pepper Company “Presents the Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Eating Challenge” which the Guinness Book of Records will be on hand to judge and declare the winner with the World Record for eating the most Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Peppers in 60 seconds. This eating challenge will be one of the most anticipated events in fiery foods and professional eating industries combined. Many will enter but only one will survive the wrath.

“Of all the shows we have scheduled for the year, the NYC Hot Sauce Expo is the one we are most excited about,” said Currie. “Not only do I get to bring the HEAT to my hometown, but we are going to roll out the first EVER Guinness World Record-Winning Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper Eating Contest. We are expecting giants from all over the globe to try to win this title.”

Guinness World Records announced its recognition of PuckerButt Pepper Company as the winner and title of the World’s Hottest Pepper. Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper beat out former record-holder Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”. The Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper delivers an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). In comparison, Jalapeno peppers only have a rating of 2,500 to 8,000 SHU.

For more eating challenges and a full schedule of events at the Expo please check out this link for more information:

The 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo
March 29th & 30th 2014
401 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001

This year’s Expo will feature 45 different award winning hot sauce companies with tastings, eating challenges, spicy food vendors, cooking demos, and plenty of odd ball entertainment fun for the whole family. Come to the heartbeat of Manhattan to celebrate the pepper.

For more information about the 2nd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo please contact Steve Seabury:

Official website:

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