Local Guide

Add a little heat this weekend at the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show 2020

Do you like spicy foods? Do you like your foods so hot, you’re sweating for days? The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show is here to showcase some of the tastiest, hottest foods you’ll find in New Mexico.

A brief history

In 1987, Dave DeWitt, author, and chile pepper expert saw a tabletop display of Old El Paso products at the New Mexico Chile Conference, and the rest is history.

In 1990, Dave and his wife, Mary Jane Wilan, incorporated Sunbelt Shows, Inc. to produce the show, and Mary Jane took on the responsibility for selling exhibitor booth space. Despite some initial skepticism from potential exhibitors, she was highly successful.

The first National Fiery Foods Show was held in 1988 with 47 exhibitors and 500 attendees. Dave and Mary Jane made the decision to go the “Show” route rather than the “Festival” route, and that approach continues today. At the Fiery Foods Show, you’ll find spicy and sweet-heat exhibitors, local and national attendees and commercial buyers and distributors from around the world looking for their next product. This is a SERIOUS FOOD SHOW. In 2002, Barbecue was added to increase the depth and breadth of the show.

As the show grew, Dave and Mary Jane moved it from hotel venues to the Albuquerque Convention Center, where it eventually filled the 60,000 square foot, Southeast Hall. In 2006, the show moved to a destination venue, Sandia Resort and Casino, and in 2008, Dave’s niece, Emily DeWitt-Cisneros, joined Sunbelt Shows as associate producer and sales director.

The appeal of the Show is so broad that it’s difficult to pinpoint demographics. Attendees come from all over the country, exhibitors from all over the world. It is estimated that at least a third of all exhibitors sell out of all the products they bring to the show.

Today, the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show features 170 exhibitors and attendance of more than 20,000 people over the three days of the show. National and worldwide media including the New York Times and National Geographic have covered the show, and there’s always a waiting list for exhibit space.

Each year the Show features:

  • More than 1,000 different products from the U.S. and around the world for tasting and purchase
  • Cooking and barbecue demonstrations
  • Food samples galore
  • Scovie Award-winning products, recognized as the top Fiery Food Products in the world.
  • 505 Food Fights, a bracket-style culinary competition for charity. Professional cooks and chefs from around the state perform head-to-head creating dishes based on mystery ingredients.

The Fiery Foods Show is located at the beautiful Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque, allowing exhibitors and attendees to stay onsite in one of New Mexico’s most fantastic properties. Located in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, Sandia features a casino, spa, beautiful rooms, golf, and world-class dining.

Join them at the 32nd National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show, February 28, 29, and March 1, 2020. There’s no better place to satisfy your craving for flavor and fire. You can sample everything from blazing BBQ to super-hot salsa to mild and savory marinades and rubs, even sweet heat desserts! Wander from booth to booth tasting, enjoying the fun energy, talking with exhibitors, and hobnobbing with fellow chileheads.

Ticket prices are $15.50 per adult from February 24, 2020, through each day of the show.

Children’s tickets for children ages 11-18 may not be purchased in advance and are only available at the door on Show days for $5.00. Children 10 and under are free.