Be There or Be Mild!

Be There or Be Mild!
April 9, 2013 Visit Madison

Things are growing at the 17th Annual Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Marketplace,  April 12, 13 & 14, at the Thomas Family Winery in Madison, Indiana. There will be big food events at the start and finish of the festival, plus an expanded area for cooking and other hot pepper demonstrations.

”We are quite pleased with last year’s response to the demonstrations, enough so that everyone involved wanted to expand, “said co-owner, Steve Thomas.

Many of the vendors, such as Hoboken Eddie and Tiki Jenni will give exciting food demonstrations and Thomas will join the demonstrations this year with a presentation on “Meat, Spice and Fire.”

Is he a magician?  Some think so.  Thomas is a true showman, and often hard to miss at winery events. One of the hallmarks of the winery success is Steve’s finesse at showing how certain wines match certain foods. Crowds will gather at his huge wood fired smoker as he handles large quantities of delicious main course meats. Some of the crowd is there to learn about Steve’s techniques, others just watch in amazement.

New food and pepper demonstrations being added this year include presentations by hot sauce and barbeque sauce makers Gary Duckworth and Cap’n Jim.

The Fiery Foods Marketplace will open and close with great “chilehead” meals. The weekend event kicks- off with the popular Fiery Foods pitch-in picnic on Friday when spicy food delights from around the world are brought to the winery. There are dishes from Africa, South America and India as well as Texas and the American Southwest represented.

On Saturday, guests can sample and purchase salsas, sauces, dried and fresh spices, hot breads, chili powder, vinegars and pepper plants as well as meet and chat with the vendors. Cooking demonstrations will take place throughout the day. Another gastronomic highlight for Saturday is the opportunity to taste the entries at the annual Grand Sombrero Salsa Competition.

Early afternoon judges will gather to jury the amateur and professional salsa competition. Two new categories have been added to the competition, Fruit Salsa and Traditional Salsa. The event has both amateur and professional categories, with awards for most traditional, most innovative, and best overall. The professional category is wide open, limited only to the imagination of the competitors.

Winner of The Best Overall category receives the coveted Grand Sombrero. The day will conclude with a house-raising performance by the ever popular folk musicians Greg Zeisemer and Kris Luckett.

Sunday will wrap up the weekend with the newest event, the Fiery Foods Jazz Brunch. Last year, fiery food fans began their day with a hot pepper jelly breakfast. This year, that gathering will expand to a Sunday morning brunch hosted by the flamboyant Hoboken Eddie.

“Hot Luck is so popular that on its own, it has expanded into a three day event,” said Thomas Family Winery Co-Owner Elizabeth Thomas. “Our Sunday brunch will feature spicy food prepared by Hoboken Eddie and jazz by the Rob Houze Trio. This will be an extraordinary end to a great weekend.”

The 17th Annual Hot Luck and Fiery Foods Expo will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 12, 13 & 14, at the Thomas Family Winery, located at 208 East Second Street in Historic Downtown Madison, Indiana.

For more information, call 812-273-3755, or 800-948-8466. For more information about the winery, follow us on Facebook, or visit the website at

Vendors include:
• Capshew Cellars Small Batch Vinegars- they will feature products made from a small batch of peppers recently imported from Brazil.

• Cap’n Jim’s Hot Sauces- unique island styles

• The Chile Woman- premiere mail order chile specialista

• Galena Garlic Company- Everything tastes better with chiles and garlic!

• Gary D’s Authentic Hot Sauce-  Rich & distinctive hot sauces and Bbq sauces

• Hoboken Eddie’s Hot Sauces-  ‘nuff said!

• Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheeses-  artisan farmhouse cheeses with a chilehead accent

• Madison Fudge Factory  Artful fudges and confections with a spicy edge

•  Marion’s Greenhouse-  offering chile plants, bedding plants ready to go

• TFW Outdoor Food Company- everything tastes better when it’s cooked outside!

• In addition, there will be special breads and cheeses served at the Winery.


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