About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, February 18, 2008
Redback Chile Festival

On a still and baking hot day, we ventured to the rolling hills of Jindivick, out Gippsland way for the 9th annual Hot Sauce & Fiery Foods Festival, according to Haggis the organizer, the largest festival of its type in Australia.

There were plenty of stalls catering to those who have a passion for hot sauce and all other related products, from the meek and mild to incendiary hot.

There were plenty of buyers cramming to stock up on products that can otherwise be hard to get.

Last time I was at the festival, a mate asked me to get him the hottest sauce I could find; it was here at this stall that I found it. My tongue went intially cold, my mouth numb, sweat started to trickle down, then everything just exploded with chile heat. He asked me again this year, but I said there was NO WAY I was tasting sauces for him with names like death or mega.

This stall had my favourite hot sauces from the Byron Bay Chilli Company. They had red and green sauces as well as an interesting coconut hot sauce. Their bean dip and corn chips are the best you will ever find.

Looks like someone got lost! But I can report, the asparagus was lovely and a bit of a reprieve after all the other tasting.

The crowd gathers for the chile eating contest.

Contestants at the ready with habenero chillies in hand, note the guy on the left with the green cap.

"Oh my God, what the hell was that?!!!" Needless to say, his first chile was his last.

The eventual winner, a laid back, laconic Aussie. He was actually trailing all day behind another, who was fairly racing through his chillies, but slow and steady wins the race.

So who you gunna call to put out all that heat?

A couple of happy faces in the chilli cook off competition.

Don't say you weren't warned!
  posted at 11:18 am

At 10:28 pm, Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Now that looks like fun!!!

At 12:28 am, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ludia stole my comment!
Neil I love chili festivals and they do have them big time in Texas! I hear they have great ones in New Mexico as well.
I don't relish when it's hot here soon again. And all the trees are taking on the red hue indicating the buds are starting out.

At 1:27 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi lydia, it was great, though due to the heat (not the chillies) we left a little early. Fantastic to stock up on hot sauce too, I'm sure we don't have the same range available as you guys, nor are bottles easy to find.

Hi tanna, I'd love to go to one of yours, I'm sure it would be the best party, chile heads seem to be a lot of fun! It's funny about the hot weather, we were talking this morning about how in three or four months we will wish it were hot again.

At 10:54 am, Blogger gigi said...

Chili Heads better be fun ~ Death Rain? I'm afraid I'd be hanging with the guy in the green hat.

(PS ~ talk about being busy out having fun! Chili cook offs, dinners with famous critics ~ no wonder you only had three minutes to spare... oh, wait. That wasn't you? ;D

At 7:05 am, Blogger grocer said...

ahhhhhhhh Byron Bay Chilli Company....
I remember way back when they were a tiny outfit only doing the channon-bangalow-byron markets on the weekend.
it's great that they have been successful!


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