Date: June 4, through June 6, 2021
Location: Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas

Event Description: ZestFest at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas is the ultimate destination for all things spicy, zesty, and hot. Lovers of zesty food from all over Texas converge in Irving in January for a weekend of tasting the hottest foods on the planet.

Read additional event information below.



Calling All Spicy Food Fans

At ZestFest Irving, guests can sample creations from dozens of the spiciest food makers in Texas and beyond. Salsas, hot sauces, barbecue sauces, dips, and all imaginable variations of foods using ghost peppers, habaneros, jalapeños, and more, are on display, available for purchase, and ready to be eaten.

If you are a fan of hot, spicy, and zesty foods, ZestFest is a place you’ll want to be. Pulling together the most heat-loving chefs, brands, and retailers from around the state, ZestFest is the premier destination for zesty food aficionados. Enjoy a weekend sampling eye-watering Texas recipes, participating in uniquely Texan eating competitions like the Wingstop Atomic Wing Eating Contest and the PuckerButt Jalapeno Eating Contest, and stocking up on new spicy supplies.

The three-day ZestFest also includes live music and cooking demonstrations from popular chefs known for their true commitment to heat. Here, you can sample flavors from chefs like Jon Bonnell, Peter Mollett, Shaun O’Neale, Sarah Penrod, Aryen Moore-Alston, Loreal Gavin, Eddie Deen, Eduardo Alvarez, and many more.

Competitions and Prizes

Other six-alarm events taking place during ZestFest include the Fiery Food Challenge, where contestants—hot, spicy, and zesty food brands and creators—share their hottest recipes to be judged. The challenge invites hot, really hot, spicy, and zesty foods and fiery food-related products to compete for the prestigious Golden Chile Award, one of only two fiery food awards that stand out in the United States. Over three days of judging, products are evaluated in the following categories:

  • Consumer Ready - Open and serve
  • Cook Off - Used in mixes or cooking applications
  • Marketing - Submitted on an art board
  • Best New Product - New to market within the past year

The Golden Chile awards are presented on Friday night. On Saturday, ZestFest attendees can take part in the People’s Preference Awards, where you can do your own taste tests and judge the hot, spicy, and zesty salsas, sauces, and dips for yourself.

The Best in Zest

ZestFest is an excellent chance to watch the best Texas chefs create their spiciest recipes. Past chefs include Jon Bonnell, Peter Mollett, Shaun O’Neale, Sarah Penrod, Aryen Moore-Alston, Loreal Gavin, Eddie Deen, Eduardo Alvarez, and more. The event also features a pig roast hosted by Chef Eddie Deen. Here, you can dig into some delicious and spicy Texas BBQ from one of Texas’s finest.

ZestFest is an annual event held at the Irving Convention Center each January. Be sure to check the website for more details, tickets, special offers, and related events.