A rebranded Columbus Fiery Foods Festival will make its debut Saturday, Aug. 10, featuring eight food trucks, more than 25 hot-sauce vendors and plenty of local flavor.
“I’ve got people who are really into this thing,” said Mike Gallicchio of MGN, which is presenting the festival. “This is a really passionate group of people.”
The festival will run from 2 to 10 p.m. at John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St. Tickets, which may be purchased through Eventbrite, are $25 per person and include two beers, a bottle of hot sauce, four large food samples and smaller bites, plus an engraved fork. Admission the day of the event is $30.
The event will benefit children’s charity CD102.5 for the Kids.
The Fiery Foods Festival formerly was held in the North Market but was canceled about five years ago. Gallicchio said he revived it because of the large number of spice enthusiasts in central Ohio.
“I’ve always wanted to do this kind of event,” Gallicchio said. “I like hot and spicy foods. I think it’s needed in Columbus.”
He said the spice levels will run from mild to sweat-inducing. Amateur hot-sauce and salsa competitions, plus eating contests for hot pizza, hot wings and hot peppers, will be part of the day, he said.
Food-truck vendors will offer their regular menus in addition to two dishes on the spicier side, Gallicchio said.
Damian Ettish, owner of Fetty’s Street Food truck, said he joined the festival because of Gallicchio’s track record of advocating for food trucks and putting on great events.
Plus, he can show off his brand of Thai, Indian and South African cuisines, he said.
“I personally enjoy spicy food,” Ettish said. “All my food is packed with flavor. It is a way to show people who don’t know my food what I can do.”