BBG’s Chile Pepper Fiesta Returns for the 20th Year!

Over 40 spicy local food purveyors, a chile pepper farm stand, and music and dance performances from chile-loving cultures

Saturday, September 29, 2012 | 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Release Date: August 13, 2012

Brooklyn, New York—The chile pepper thrives in the tropical forests of the South Pacific, the mountain ranges of Eastern Europe, the lush jungles of West Africa and in Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s own Herb Garden. For the 20th year, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) will celebrate this horticultural and culinary globetrotter with the daylong Chile Pepper Fiesta on September 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. featuring music and dance, workshops, and a lineup of the region’s best culinary artists, all inspired by the extraordinary chile and the cultures that cook with it. BBG’s Herb Garden will be bright with peppers both sweet and hot—including cayenne, pimento, shishito, bishop’s hat, Bolivian rainbow—and the world’s hottest, the bhut jolokia, an Indian variety of Capiscum annuum.

In the Osborne Garden, nearly 30 local makers of hot sauce, pickles, spices, salsas, and other specialties will be offering tastes and selling their products, several of which have been commissioned especially for the Chile Pepper Fiesta. And over 15 local chocolatiers and confectioners will present their take on the extraordinary combination of chile and chocolate, including Brooklyn’s own JoMart, Nunu, Mast Brothers, and Tumbador Chocolate. For the first time, local tea, honey, and even mayonnaise merchants will join the fiesta with a chile- or chocolate-related product.

Main-stage musical performances are from chile-loving cultures throughout the world: Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales (Bulgarian roots and rhythms); Kùlú Mèlé Dance & Drum Ensemble (West African beats); Hazmat Modine (world fusion rhythms); Sonagi Project (showstopping Korean drumming from Seoul); and Chicha Libre (Peruvian psychedelic surf tunes). Mariachi El Tapatio de Alvaro Paulino returns to play en plein air, and WFMU’s Rob Weisberg will score the culinary hot spot of the Osborne Garden with a special fiesta-inspired version of his popular show, Transpacific Sound Paradise.

Elsewhere in the Garden, BBG’s Tour-de-Chile will take visitors on a journey through the many kinds of peppers of varying colors, shapes, and spiciness growing on the grounds. The tour will whet an appetite for the peppers available for purchase at the Chile Pepper Farm Stand, offering an array of varieties grown close to home by Jamerican Farms, Viviano Family Farm, and East New York Farms!. Plus, kids can pot up a “chilly chile” plant of their own to take home. All visitors are invited to learn some hot West African dance moves with Kùlú Mèlé in the Lillian and Amy Goldman Atrium.

The heat stays on throughout the day as festival goers are dazzled by feats of flame from circus masters Robbins and Ringold. Plus, the Zagat-rated Terrace Café will offer a special Chile Pepper Fiesta menu to tingle the taste buds with spicy food and flavorful beer. For more information on all performances, purveyors, programs, and activities, please visit
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