The unofficial slogan of the Austin hot sauce contest–To Beat the Heat, You Gotta Eat the Heat!– was coined by MC for life Bryan Beck. The 20th Annual edition of the Hot Sauce Contest is being held this Sunday at Waterloo Park in Austin and the Austin Chronicle has published a lovely retrospective. When I proposed the event to Louis Black, I had just started working as the restaurant critic of the AusChron. I was doing a series of articles about chile pepper culture. So it seemed like a good idea at the time. 20 years later, the thing is an institution.
The history of the event is recapped in the salsa chapter of my new book, The Tex-Mex Grill-which also got a nice review in this issue of the Austin Chronicle Muchas Gracias!