Hot Sauce Chefs Host First NJ Taco Festival

Chef Johnny and Nicole McLaughlin, owners of Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauce, will bring together 40 of the state's artisanal taco proprietors.

On Saturday, September 12, bring your New Jersey pride to the NJ Taco Festival that will be held at the Sussex County Fair Grounds, 37 Plains Road, Augusta. Hosted by chef Johnny and Nicole McLaughlin, owners of New Jersey-based Heartbreaking Dawns Hot Sauce and New York’s High River Sauces this festival will bring together 40 New Jersey artisanal taco proprietors, who will offer various varieties of tacos, including Mexican, Korean, Italian, Irish, BBQ and more. Other activities include a Chihuahua Beauty Contest (sponsored by Petco), Taco Eating Challenge (sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grill), New Jersey Margarita Mix-Down Championship, 2015 New Jersey Taco Fest Awards, and live Lucha Wrestling.

10 AM to 8 PM; general admission $10; Taco & Hot Especial Ticket, $40, which includes 2 bottles of hot sauce, 5 taco tickets, 2 drink tickets, access to the eating competitions and the Lucha wrestling event; or “El Gato Gordo” a VIP all access ticket $110, which includes 1 general admission ticket, unlimited food, soft drinks, beer, specialty cocktails and access to the liquor sampling arena. The ticket also includes access to all events, a VIP gift bag, all access VIP laminate, limited edition lithograph NJ Taco festival poster, & coat check plus various items from our sponsors.

Visit their website to purchase tickets.


Josh Ervine is the new Head Brewer at Iron Hill Maple Shade, 124 East Kings Highway (Route 41), Maple Shade (856-273-0300).


Brian McGackin has left his position as chef de cuisine at Terre á Terre, Carlstadt for a sous chef position at Battello in Jersey City.

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

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