IRVING, Texas (Jan. 26, 2012) - ZestFest 2012 returns to Irving on Jan. 27 - 29 for the 15th annual, three-day spicy food festival located at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. Dallas/Fort Worth has been home to ZestFest for 10 years, and this year marks the second consecutive year hosted at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. 

"We are fired-up to welcome ZestFest back to Irving," said Maura Allen Gast, executive director of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau.  "Guests from all over North Texas - and the country - visited Irving last year for the grand opening and first-ever, open-to-the-public event held at the convention center. We couldn't be more excited about welcoming them back for many years to come."

ZestFest rounds up the spiciest exhibitors and products from around the country for a hot weekend packed with thousands of bold food samples, live music, interactive contests, and a variety of more than 15 cooking demonstrations by top chefs including Jon Bonnell of Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, Eddie Deen and John Franke from Irving's The Ranch at Las Colinas.

Those with a competitive appetite won't want to miss Wingstop®'s Atomic Wing Challenge, Conscious Choice Foods Beer Pickle eating contest, the jalapeño eating contest and other challenges for a chance to win prizes.

This year, ZestFest combines the love of spicy food with the compassion to feed others. ZestFest attendees will receive $2 off the admission ticket price at the convention center box office in exchange for canned good donations, to show community support of the Irving Cares food pantry.

"The food pantry at Irving Cares provides nutritionally balanced groceries for families in need, serving an average of 700 families per month. Each order holds 85 pounds of food, so we need nearly 60,000 pounds of food every month. Donations at ZestFest can help us fight hunger in Irving, while giving you the opportunity to see a great show," said Teddie Story, chief executive officer of Irving Cares.

ZestFest admission is $15 per day; children 10 and under are free when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult. Tickets are available for purchase at the convention center box office during event hours. ZestFest opens Friday, Jan. 27 from 1 - 7 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. For exhibitor, travel or other information, visit or

About the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas
Located where Highway 114 and Northwest Highway meet in Irving's Las Colinas area, the $133 million, 275,000 square-foot center takes a bold new direction in a landscape of traditionally "institutional" facilities. Its distinctive design and mission for top-quality service mirrors the sense of quality that exists in Irving's 12,000-acre Las Colinas development.

About Irving, Texas
Located immediately adjacent to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and between Dallas and Fort Worth, Irving, Texas, boasts more than 75 hotels and nearly 12,000 rooms.  Las Colinas, a 12,000-acre master-planned community within the city of Irving, is known worldwide for its quality and uniqueness. The city is home to 10,000+ companies, 50 Fortune 500 companies, and the world headquarters of six Fortune 500 companies.  For more information, visit the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau site.