2015 California Hot Sauce Expo More than a few surprises


Michael Hepworth

2015 California Hot Sauce Expo




By Kay Schroeder

Long Beach,CA(Perfect Meal Today)7/20/15/–More than a few surprises were in store while attending the first ever 2015 California Hot Sauce Expo in Long Beach, California. Although a resident of Orange County since the ‘60’s, Rainbow Lagoon had not been on my radar. Rainbow Lagoon, with its wide open, grass-covered grounds, proved to be the ideal setting for this smoking hot event. The weather was sunny with a welcoming cool breeze; however, things were about to heat up.

Long Beach Rainbow Lagoon 2015 California Hot Sauce Expo

The cost for general admission was a reasonable $10 for an advance ticket and $15 for the day of the event ticket. For the guests who wanted a little more in-depth experience, there was the Craft Brew Package for $50. This package included 6 drink tokens, a bottle of one of the High River Sauces, and a T-shirt. Checkout the graphics and colors on the T-shirts, they’re almost as hot as the killer heat sauces.

Hoboken Hot Sauce, with gloves
Hoboken Hot Sauce, served with gloves
Heavy Metal HOT Sauce Winner
Heavy Metal Shout At The HOT Sauce Winner

For those who were all-in for this expo, there was an Exclusive VIP Pass for a smooth $100. Evidently many felt it was well worth the extra cost to enjoy the reserved area which afforded the guests a cool place to sit and relax on funky, fun, plastic sofas, sip the complimentary cocktail tastings with food pairings, and sample some of the most exotic craft beers imaginable. Beers were flavored with untraditional flavorings/ingredients like Sriracha Sauce (a lot of Sriracha Sauce), Red Hots Cinnamon, and several more that I was not brave enough to try.

2015 California Hot Sauce Expo more Hot sauce, Please!

Great companion foods for the craft beers and cocktail tastings were served up by Lucille’s Barbecue Restaurant. Offerings included ribs, pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw, and out of this world southern biscuits. These biscuits were large, and true to southern style, came apart in light, fluffy horizontal layers.

Big Daddy's Bloody Mary Mix.
Big Daddy’s Bloody Mary Mix.

A quick survey of the grounds indicated that there were about 50 booths. This estimate turned out to be pretty close, there were 45 companies, representing states from across the nation, who were brought together for this event by High River Sauces.

Chip Hearn King Of Wings 1000 spices, Dry, Wet rubs:  http:// www.peppers.com
Chip Hearn King Of Wings: 1000 spices, Dry, Wet rubs: http:// www.peppers.com Super Bowl ring of HOT Sauces

Part of the fun was talking with the owners/representatives manning the booths. It was clear that they all had a love for their products and exhibited great excitement as they shared their knowledge and expertise of peppers with guests who visited their booths. They seemed to be having as much fun as the guests.

Jabberwocky Foods Inc.com, Service with a smile

With 45 companies represented, it would be difficult to list them all, however, here are just a few: Ghost Cream (San Clemente), Hella Hut, Big Red’s, Hot Licks (Long Beach, CA), Volcanic Peppers (Bellevue, WA), CaJohn’s Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, Lucky Dog, and Pucker Butt Pepper Company’s Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper (the hottest pepper in the world.

Carolina Reaper pepper
Carolina Reaper pepper 1,569,000 SHUs on the Scoville Heat Units
Stephen Bishop 9 Circles of HELL, Dry Rub, Fire from down below
Stephen Bishop, Ron Bishop 9 Circles of HELL, Dry Rub, Fire from down below

The Grand Satan of them all, the Carolina Reaper pepper measures an astounding average of 1,569,000 SHUs on the Scoville Heat Units scale while the Jalapeno pepper manages a mere .5% of that measure. By the way, Carolina Reaper peppers were offered for sale at $5.00 (per pepper). This is one hot, and expensive pepper!

2015 California Hot Sauce ExpoTop SCOVIE Hot Eating Award

Down on his knees Hot sauce, peppers, liquid heat knockout  sandwich
Steve asking for one more bite or the bucket, eat this
2015 California Hot Sauce Expo  Eating WINNER
2015 California Hot Sauce ExpoTop SCOVIE Hot Eating Award
SCOVIE Hot Award OverKill
SCOVIE Hot Sauce Award OverKill “Feed The Flame” www.overkillhotsauce.com


The Chicken Wing Eating and Guacamole Making contests generated robust interest and enthusiasm from the crowds who were already in the mood to party due to the vibrant, rousing sounds of the band.   People can get pretty excited about food – well, maybe the beer and Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire were contributing factors.


Although this was the first ever California Hot Sauce Expo, all bets are that it won’t be the last because it was just so down right much fun! Can’t wait to see what the 2016 CHSE brings, however you can be sure, it will be hot.

Steve California Hot Sauce Expo Producer, Hot Sauces. Cool People, Great Event
Sargent Pepper Steve Seabury, California Hot Sauce Expo Producer, Hot Sauces. Cool People, Great Event, CHSE 2016



Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211



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