The NYC Hot Sauce Expo celebrated its 5th annual return at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on April 22 -23, 2017. The expo is a two day event at $15 per ticket, which unites dozens of innovative chefs, restaurant owners, and distributors from around the world to display their hot sauce and top shelf liquor products. The event also held record breaking contests such as Grimaldi's Pizza Eating contest, Spicy Taco Eating Contest, and the Stoli Vodka and Bloody Mary contest. On the expo's second day, The Guinness Book of World Records attended the event to oversee the Carolina Reaper pepper eating contest, renowned as the hottest pepper in the world. From 11AM to 5PM, New Yorkers flooded Brooklyn Center Expo Center's doors to check out new and veteran hot sauce products. Good weather also allowed for food trucks to set up shop on the expo center's outdoor area which faces the city skyline. Hot Sauce Expo founder Steve Seabury and Lisa Seabury host this killer event with an incredible amount of enthusiasm and energy all while seeing that event production runs smoothly. It was all too awesome to see them just as involved in the festivities as everyone else attending!
The combined scent of milk and hot peppers permeated throughout the venue as every booth throughout the expo center offered samples of their spiciest hot sauce products with milk to soothe the intense after taste. Expo attendees enjoyed craft beers and tacos as they visited a variety of hot sauce booths with elaborate displays. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo contests are not your typical contests. These contests are executed with concentration and perfect time management. This was especially the case during the Bloody Mary Mix-Down National Championship where winners from the Arizona, California and Portland Hot Sauce Expo's competed again NYC's best mixologist for the championship title, Stoli Vodka Bloody Mary trophy and a cash reward of $2500. The panel of judges of the Bloody Mary Mix-Down included a couple of big names as well as hot sauce hall of famer Chip Hearn and his chicken hat. Also remember that this is Brooklyn, and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo would not be complete without the Chihuahua Runway Fashion Show. Chihuahua owners proudly carried their little ones up to the stage in full costumes to strut their stuff on the make shift table runway. Although all the pups looked fabulous, a pair of Chihuahua siblings donning disco costumes and sunglasses stole the show.
The contest that many had anticipated on April 23rd was the Carolina Reaper pepper eating contest administered by The Guinness Book of World Records. Each carton of peppers were carefully weighed for contestants who competed against Greg Foster of Inferno Farms who broke the record at 120 grams of Carolina Reapers in November 2016. Greg defended his record title that day, leaving rivals walking off stage, doubled over with a carton of milk and whipped cream.
With so many hot sauces to name that were all worthy of purchasing a bottle or two to take home, our photos captured some of the highlights of this exciting, fun and quirky event that people make sure to mark on their calendars every year. Beer, music, food with an unlimited amount of hot sauce has been a recipe for success for the New York City Hot Sauce Expo over the last five years and its popularity continues to grow with something new every year. A word of advice to anyone attending next year's NYC Hot Sauce Expo, pace yourselves and enjoy. This event is a guaranteed ton of laughs and a great place to network while enjoying a day out on your day off. Hot sauce lover or not, if you missed this year's NYC Hot Sauce Expo, stay updated on next year's event on their website or Facebook page here and check out the rest of our photo coverage below!