Hot Weekend Promised At Ag Center’s Datil Pepper Festival


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Chefs representing a variety of area restaurants will compete Oct. 4 in the seventh annual Datil Pepper Cook-Off. Participants will be creating both an appetizer and entree using the hot and spicy datil pepper. There will be four awards, cash and plaque, in the two categories – professional award and people’s choice.

The people’s choice will be judged by public votes. Tickets for this division will be sold Oct. 4. The festival continues from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center, 3125 Agricultural Center Drive. Ticket sales begin at 11 a.m.

Restaurants participating include Black Molly Grill, Sunset Grill, Jaybird’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Kyle’s Sea Food Market, The Reef, Hot Shots Bakery n’ Cafe, South Beach Grille, Manatee Cafe, Blue Bamboo, A1A Aleworks, Fratelli’s Restaurant, Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ, 95 Cordova Restaurant and Michael’s Tasting Room/The Spice and Tea Exchange.


Also planned Oct. 4 is the amateur datil pepper hot sauce contest. That will be in the Wind Mitigation Building at the Ag Center. A monetary $50 award will be presented.

There is no limit to the number of entries a person may submit. Bring in the form and an 8 ounce sample to the Ag Center by 3 p.m. Oct. 3. The winner will be announced Oct. 4 at the Home and Garden Show.


The Datil Pepper Festival is a one-day event, but the St. Johns County Home and Garden Show continues both Oct. 4 and 5. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Agricultural Center. Admission is FREE.

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