The Taste of the Sizzlin’ South at Hot & Spicy Food Festival

This year, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival explores the cuisine of one of the great waterways of the world: the Lower Mississippi River, from the American South into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Here’s just a taste of what to expect this weekend:

On Saturday afternoon, join us for a Southern Barbecue Competition. Watch as renowned barbecue chefs compete to be crowned the best at mouth-watering barbecue – Southern-style! Uncle Smoke, Pork Ninjas, Hogtown Smoke and Chef Mauricio Espinosa from Mexico compete in this battle of the grills, and even share their techniques and a trade secret or two.

Don’t miss the Red Hot Market – your one-stop shop for rare hot sauces and free samples. This is your once-a-year opportunity to savour and stock up on unique concoctions of spicy packaged goods, including sauces, rubs, jellies, pickles and marinades from around the world.

But savoury soul food isn’t the only thing featured this weekend. Hot & Spicy also serves up some fiery sounds. We bring the quintessential sound of the South – big band style – to the waterfront. Survivors of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ Treme Brass Band used their music to uplift and rebuild their city, and on Saturday, August 20 the band brings that same energy to the Concert Stage for their headlining performance. They will also lead a second line procession during the day on our lawn.


Toronto’s rising temperature matches the tone of this year’s Hot & Spicy Food Festival. On Saturday evening, Toronto’s leading lady of burlesque, Pastel Supernova, turns the heat all the way up at Sizzle! Love Letters Cabaret. Commissioned especially for Harbourfront Centre, Love Letters Cabaret brings a sultry and highly interactive performance to the waterfront for a one-night affair (19+).

Kick up the heat with VIP Tickets: Exclusive front-row table seating – the hottest seats in the house! Includes an interactive experience where audience members get extra attention (if you’re not shy!) Limited availability.

Get your tickets now.

We’ve captured the essence of Southern culture at this year’s Hot & Spicy Food Festival. Join us and experience the South in your own backyard.