Fiery Food Challenge

January 20-22, 2020  
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

Spicy Food Productions is pleased to welcome back “CaJohn” Hard as the “Senior Product Consultant” in the Fiery Food Challenge.

CaJohn’s product knowledge takes the FFC to a new level of excellence. CaJohn and the ZestFest team insures all products entered in the Challenge have been placed in the correct category and follow the guidelines of the competition’s rules. CaJohn has won over 400 awards in National, International and Regional competitions; 79 Golden Chiles and over 100 other Fiery Food Challenge. In 2012 he was awarded the Best Overall trophy. We are excited to have him on the Spicy Food Productions team, and look forward to our best FFC ever.


Have a question for CaJohn about your product? Email him at
The Fiery Food Challenge kicks off ZestFest 2020 and is the longest running, most prestigious competition of zesty products in the industry.

Produced by Spicy Food Productions and presided over by independent VIP judges, the Fiery Food Challenge runs Tuesday through Thursday, with an Awards Dinner on Friday night.

Winners of the Fiery Food Challenge receive the coveted 2019 Golden Chile Award, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons, 1,000 winner stickers plus additional benefits.

The Fiery Food Challenge is a competition that invites hot, “really hot”, spicy and zesty foods and fiery food-related products to be submitted by those folks vying for the prestigious Golden Chile Award – one of only two “fiery” food awards that stand out in the United States.

The tasting and the judging are “blind” – a number system is used so judges don’t know whose products they’re tasting. To maintain the integrity of the contest, the people who tally the ballots do not know which company whose scores they have. This competition is for professional food products and products must be professionally packaged for resale.

Three days of judging take place. There are two sessions daily so the judges’ mouths do not get burned out at the end of the day! There are some really, really spicy products introduced! The zesty and the fiery are mixed up so there is a variety for those hot-mouthed – or asbestos-mouthed judges!

Judges gather to challenge their senses and evaluate entries in the following categories:

  • Consumer Ready (Open and serve)
  • Cook Off (Used in mixed or cooked application)
  • Marketing (Submitted on art board)
  • Best New Product (New to market after Feb, 2019)

The Golden Chile awards are presented on Friday night – and those winners will display their prizes on Saturday and Sunday so ZestFest 2020 attendees can sample the spice and zest that won the Golden Chile!

ZestFest attendees on Saturday can take part in the People’s Preference Awards – by doing their own taste tests and judging the hot, spicy and zesty salsas, sauces, dips, etc., for themselves. Those awards are announced later that day.

For more info on the Fiery Food Challenge, contact Gregory Bagarozy 845 661 3616