Back in March, Far Out Awards was contacted by a friendly customer who went by the name of “Buddah.” Buddah was looking for a customized Pizza Champion Trophy Cup featuring a simple slice of cheese pizza topped with two of our hottest red hot chili peppers. It was immediately clear Buddah had one hot event planned and I wanted to know more.
Al “Buddah” Goldenberg is a man on a quest to find to spicy Nirvana. A self-proclaimed “chilehead,” Buddah has spent the past few years writing spicy product reviews on his super hot blog, ILoveItSpicy.com. Thankfully, as his name implies, Buddah was more than happy to share his story of spicy enlightenment with me:
“The story behind the contest was to create a spicywith an iconic NY food, and for me it starts with the pizza. I had a contact put me together with the owner of Grimaldi’s and they graciously signed up to be our partner for not just this year, but from here on out. They enjoyed the event quite a lot. Tim Bader from the Nebraska hot spice company Volcanic Peppers is a friend of mine and I approached him about doing the event in NYC. I am also friends with the event organizer, author and hot sauce maker, Steve Seabury who lives on Long Island not too far where I grew up. I told Steve and Tim of my contest idea, and the ball was set in motion as they were all in as long as I could get a pizzeria to get in on the action. Another Long Island friend, and creator of The Murph’s Famous Bloody Mary Mix, Stephen Murphy pulled some strings and got me in touch with Grimaldi’s. I had you guys come up with the awesome trophy way before I even had Grimaldi’s sealed up, but I needed a special trophy for the event and you guys came through in spades. I was told we will be doing it again in March 29-30, so I will be in contact next year to do it again.”
The contest rules were simple, the first competitor to complete the Grimaldi’s pizza pie or eat the most within the 7 minute time limit will be declared the winner. When I watched Buddah’s video footage of the event I quickly realized that although the rules were fairly simple, the physical challenge was not.
The cameraman pans back and forth between teary-eyed, red-faced competitors as Buddah counts down the time with his Far Out Award in hand. As the crowd collectively counts down from 10, a seemingly unfazed gentleman dressed in flannel shoves whatever remaining crust he has left in his mouth, finishing his entire pie just in the nick of time. That man was John Krasnow of North Carolina, a last minute entry to the Fiery Pizza challenge.
As Krasnow waits for his volcanic pizza trophy the cameraman asks him “on a scale of one to Mount Vesuvius, how are you feeling?” To which John unequivocally replied “Vesuvius.” I think John’s answer serves as a testament to the success of Buddah’s first event in the New York City Hot Sauce Expo.
Congratulations John and Buddah, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for next year!
To see the full video from the Volcanic Peppers’ Fiery Pizza Challenge, check out the post on Buddah’s blog here