mango.jpgSunday was a difficult day for this little Appealist, as I hopped from the Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival (swoon) to stuffing my face with chips and homemade salsa at the SF Food Wars Salsa Competition.

Hosted at the Ferry Building, professional and home chefs presented a variety of sweet, savory, smoky, and spicy salsas to try. In the company of over 350 other hot sauce aficionados, we sampled juicy bowls with ingredients like local heirloom tomatoes, beets, ghost chillies, and organic peaches. In total, attendants sampled 20 entries, and voted along with a panel of official judges to choose the next salsa king.

Between bites of chips (provided by Casa Sanchez) and dipping into an overflowing plate of salsa, I got to speak to Food Wars founder Jeannie Choe about her experience running the popular culinary battleground and what was coming-up next for her team of renegade gourmands.

When not pitting San Francisco’s most “ambitious and talented cooking fiends” against each other, Jeannie also assists new food businesses at the small incubator Mission Creek Kitchen. While Jeannie doesn’t have a professional chef’s background, her love of food has catapulted her to local culinary glory: “It started as an experiment with a close group of friends, and now I’ve just been riding the wave.”

It’s exciting to see what this bright young entrepreneur and her band of creative foodies will think-up next. Jeannie commented that there has been quite a few requests for an ice-cream battle royale, and as soon as they can figure out the logistics behind making sure the competitors’ products don’t turn to slush, it will definitely be added to the roster.

In the meantime, the food-wars founder filled us in on the next competition: Return of the Mac. OH GOD YES. This crowd favorite is coming up in the fall, and all proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. As if you needed an excuse to gorge on gourmet mac n cheese.

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