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Hot Sauce Hall of Fame at the NYC Hot Sauce ExpoYou can now vote for who is going to enter the very first year of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame!

The upcoming 3rd Annual New York City Hot Sauce Expo is hosting and presenting the official Hot Sauce Hall of Fame. The Hot Sauce Hall of Fame will induct 5 people that all have been instrumental in the fiery foods industry through the years. The induction ceremony will be presented live on the main stage at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.

To be eligible for the nominating or voting process, a person must operate within the fiery foods industry for a minimum of 3 years. To be elected, the finalist must receive the top 5 votes from the eligible voters also known as the Selection Committee. These voters consist of fiery foods companies, retailers, distributors, exporters, promoters, chile pepper growers, media and restaurateurs who specialize in spicy foods and hot sauce.

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So, if you meet the above requirements, you can vote for five out of the ten nominees below:

The Ten Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Nominees

Blair Lazar – The owner of Blair’s Sauces and Snacks also came out with one of the first extract hot sauces. Took the collector sauce/limited edition sauce to new heights in the 2000s. Also took extreme heat to the limit with some of the hottest sauces ever, and holds the Guinness World Record in Heat.

Chip Hearn – Co-Owner of one of the original hot sauce websites, as well as one of the first, and one of the largest national zesty distributors, Peppers.com. Inventor of the Bloody Mary Smorgasbord in 1978. Originated the “risqué” hot sauce genre at the 1989 National Fiery Foods Show.

David Ashley – Owner of 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.

Dave DeWitt – “The Pope of Peppers” – Author and maybe the original “chilehead”. Started the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show 26 years ago and set the standard for The Big Hot Sauce Show.

Dave Hirschkop – Owner of Dave’s Gourmet and creator of Dave’s Insanity, which was one of the, if not the first, extract hot sauce. Was one of the first to create “limited edition sauces” and was instrumental in the collector hot sauce craze.

Dave Lutes – Founder of Hot Shots Distribution. One of the original hot sauce distributors and one of the biggest. Still operating for almost 20 years.

Edmund McIlhenny – Created Tabasco in the 1860s and is the best-selling hot sauce ever.

Jim Campbell – Hosts the annual “Open Fields” Pepper Festival and was one of the first pepper growers who supplied various hot sauce companies their peppers from their early starts like Blairs, CaJohn’s and Dave’s Insanity. Very instrumental for the early success of these leading hot sauce makers.

John “CaJohn” Hard – Owner of CaJohn’s Fiery Foods. The Godfather of the hot sauce industry. Started in 1996 and has garnered over 650 regional, national and international awards.

Marie Sharp – Owner of 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 awesome flavor and great heat!

How You Can Vote

If you meet the above requirement of having operated in some capacity on the fiery foods industry for at least three years, then you can download and fill out the ballot below, available in either PDF or Word .doc format:

PDF Ballot PDF    Word Doc Ballot Word .Docx


There are two ways to vote:


1. Right click on either link above and save to your computer.
2. Fill out all fields electronically and select the five nominees you feel most deserve to be in the first year class of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame
3. Email ballot to Steve Seabury:  steve@highriversauces.com

Postal Mail

1. Right click on either link above and save to your computer.
2. Print out form and fill out all fields and select the five nominees you feel most deserve to be in the first year class of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame
3. Mail printed out ballot to the address below:

High River Entertainment
54 Old Broadway
Garden City Park, NY 11040

All Ballots Must Arrive By March 15st 2015!

For more info on the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame please visit the NYC Hot Sauce Expo Website:


Vote For the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame Inaugural Class!

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