Tabasco Offering $10,000 Reward for Recipe

April 7, 2009, Avery Island, LA — Professional chefs who can meet today’s tough economic challenges will have a fighting chance to win the top prize in the 2009 TABASCO Brand Hottest Chef Contest — and all it will take is one hot menu item that won’t break the budget.

McIlhenny Company, maker of world-famous TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce, is inviting professional chefs in the United States and Canada to create an original menu item using easily sourced, fresh ingredients.  According to contest rules, qualifying entries must feature dishes that would be profitable for a restaurant to sell.  Each entry must incorporate the cost of ingredients and the remainder of the price it commands would be profit — in another word, cake.

“Like everyone else, the foodservice industry must adjust to today’s economic climate and still be able to make a profit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our cake and eat it too,” said Jason Gronlund, Director of Culinary Services and Ingredient Sales for McIlhenny Company.  “From breakfast to dinner, any entrée goes in this competition; the winning recipe will be bold and flavorful, profitable for the operator and affordable for the consumer.  And the $10,000 prize?  Well that’s pure icing.”

To qualify, all entries must be submitted online at, or postmarked if submitting by mail, by July 17, 2009 and must include one or more of the following three flavors from the TABASCO Family of Flavors:  Original TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce, TABASCO brand Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce, and TABASCO brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce.  Professional chefs, sous chefs and lead line cooks at restaurants and non-commercial foodservice establishments, as well as culinary students, are invited to enter the contest online.  More information and contest rules are available at or by calling 1-888-HOT-DASH.

In addition to the professional prize, a special $2,500 prize will be given to the best, budget-friendly recipe submitted by a culinary student in the United States or Canada.  The professional and student category winners will win cash and merchandise prizes and will be featured along with their winning recipes on  Paul C.P. McIlhenny, President and CEO of McIlhenny Company and top New Orleans chefs will comprise the judging panel and select the professional and student winners on September 23, 2009.

TABASCO brand Pepper Sauce has been made on Avery Island, Louisiana for 141 years and is now labeled in 22 different languages and dialects and sold in over 160 countries and territories around the world.


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