BBG’s Chile Pepper Festival Returns for 22nd Year!

Fiery Live Music from Around the World, Chile Pepper Farmers’ Market, and More than 30 Purveyors of Unique Artisanal Chile Pepper and Spicy Chocolate Delights

Saturday, September 27, 2014 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

BBG’s Chile Pepper Festival Returns for 22nd Year!
Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce (photo: Jason Gardner)

Release Date: June 26, 2014

Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s (BBG) hotly anticipated Chile Pepper Festival returns for its 22nd year on Saturday, September 27, 2014. One of the longest-running festivals of its kind on the East Coast, BBG’s Chile Pepper Festival features a full day of fiery live music and dance performances from international musicians; unique culinary creations showcasing chile peppers, spicy chocolates, and more; botanic tours of BBG’s own chile pepper plantings; a farmers’ market offering unusual peppers from around the world; and other activities inspired by the wide range of cultures that grow and use the chile. Visitors can sample or purchase spicy artisanal food products, explore the Garden, and kick back for live music on Cherry Esplanade, enjoying a special BBG café menu of chile-inspired dishes, craft beers, and other offerings.

Throughout the day, BBG’s Cherry Esplanade Stage will host a dynamic lineup of international musicians hailing from regions where chile peppers spice up the local food and culture:

  • From across the globe, BBG welcomes Alidu, an electric Afro-soul and talking drums ensemble from Ghana (where shito sauce spices up the cuisine), Tee Chaoui Social Club from Louisiana (birthplace of Tabasco sauce), heating up the afternoon with traditional Cajun dancehall, and Tipsy Oxcart from New York City and presenting bumping Balkan (home of peppery paprikash) music.
  • Brooklyn’s own Cumbiagra features cumbia dance rhythms from Colombia (where ají hot sauce reigns supreme), and Shiro and the Raw Dogs offers up red-hot rockabilly and vintage rock and roll from the USA. (home of BBQ, Tex-Mex, and other chile-centric dishes).
  • Circus masters Robbins and Ringold return as flame-throwing masters of ceremonies for the diverse musical acts on BBG’s Cherry Esplanade.

    Feel the Burn!, a marketplace to try and buy artisanal foodstuffs, returns with over 30 vendors of spicy and savory treats, including salsas, kimchi, spice rubs, pickles, pretzels, and dozens of hot sauces. A focus on independent purveyors—including many Brooklyn-based vendors—means visitors can sample and purchase one-of-a-kind products and meet small business owners with a passion for peppers. Many will offer products created especially for the Chile Pepper Festival. Among the vendors:

  • Torchbearer Sauces, maker of the Rapture, one of the hottest natural sauces in the world, with 16 scorpion peppers in every bottle;
  • Beyond the Spice, featuring its Bhartha Simmer Sauce, a chile-infused north Indian specialty;
  • Guyank Sweet-Hot Pepper Sauce, maker of fruit-infused Caribbean sauces, salsas, and more;
  • Nafi’s Hot Pepper Condiments, NYC-based purveyors of French-Senegalese–influenced hot sauces and condiments;
  • Mama O’s Premium Kimchi, makers of all-natural kimchi;
  • Pelzer’s Pretzels, showcasing Jalapeño & Cheddar Pretzel Bites as well as Spicy Beer Mustard and Champagne Honey Mustard.

    Over a dozen confectioners and chocolatiers present their spicy take on sweets at Chocolate Debauchery. Among the chile-chocolatiers at the festival:

  • JoMart Chocolates, Brooklyn’s celebrated 68-year-old family confectionery, featuring spicy chocolate delights;
  • Raaka Chocolate, a new Brooklyn chocolatier focused on single-origin cocoa beans, offering extra spicy treats;
  • Tumbador Chocolate, offering its sweet-salty-spicy Dulce de Chile bar;
  • Nunu Chocolates, creator of the smoky-spicy Mezcal Chili–flavored ganache truffle;
  • Little Bird Chocolates, maker of Dark Chocolate Covered Candied Jalapeno Bites;
  • The Chocolate Room, offering snackable goodies such as chili-spiced chocolate and caramel-covered popcorn.

    A full list of savory and sweet vendors will be available soon at

    Throughout the day, the Chile Pepper Farm Stand will offer dozens of peppers for purchase from local growers. Visitors can partake in a Tour-de-Chile, exploring the chile collection in the Herb Garden.

    This year’s Chile Pepper Festival is $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors (with ID), and free for kids under 12 and members. For more information on all performances, purveyors, programs, and activities, please visit

    High-resolution images of Chile Pepper Festival at BBG are available at To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact [email protected] or 718-623-7241.
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