A young hopeful rose out of nowhere to seize the day at Tamale House East's second annual East Austin Salsa Shootout as a battle-hardened team of hot sauce cooks (minus a no show) gathered on the East 6th Street proving grounds with fiery quarts of handmade salsa to see who could put out the best sauce in all of East Austin.

One entrant, not the winner, proved to be my favorite with an absolute ass-burner. Lassitude stripped away via capsicum I returned to the kitchen a new man.

Ryan and Julie of Foie Gras Hotdog, in a giant fuck you to convention, returned to defend their title with a new recipe. Eschewing last year's formula took some serious guts and we salute them.

All the hot sauces were splendid but one mole-like concoction was especially deep in flavor. We reckon this cook must have spent time in Oaxaca as their rendition tasted like it had a good 30 ingredients.

And the winner? Matt Taylor, a cook at Swift's Attic, competing for the first time, was deemed the crowd favorite. There is no judging panel at East Austin Salsa Shootout. The people decide who the champ is.

This event would have not been possible had it not been for Saint Arnold Brewing, Four Seasons Austin and Juiceland.

photo credit http://aneelee.wordpress.com/ via Nelly P. Ramirez one of the competitors