Cooking professionally for 30+ years has given me the opportunity to perfect my palate and create Still There Bbq sauces.The process started in 2007, with an old stock pot and an idea. How could I engage the history of the region and deliver a product that would be different yet easily applicable. Through all my years in cooking I developed certain likes and combinations that have always delivered a great product. Armed with this lifetime of knowledge I began to mix, taste and remix.
Relying on the regional cuisines and flavors I cooked through my many years in the private country club industry really helped lay the ground work for Still There. Many a night was spent around the stove to get the right consistency, flavor profile, and arguing with myself over fresh versus dried versus powdered. Using fresh ingredients always won out and plays a vital roll in all my sauces. Then there was the development of the characters, “billybob and uncle cooter”. I am billybob in the stories and these two fellas are on a great culinary journey with each sauce.
The first sauce in the line is the “Original Shine Sauce”. Creating this sauce had to be a benchmark. One that appealed to everyone and was just different enough. Using dark brown sugar and caramelizing the vegetables increased their flavors. Using good shine didn’t hurt either.
Shine mustard sauce is a bbq sauce with mustard and not mustard with bbq sauce. Creating a flavor profile that is robust, deep and savory was more difficult than imagined. Starting with yellow and brown mustard seed seemed to do the trick. Using a bit more shine and chipotle really created a one of a kind flavor.
NC Mop is the third sauce. It is the sauce that everyone had the most opinion about in the million tasting sessions I had. It seemed as if no one could actually agree on the flavor profile. After four months of mixing and taking a little from everyone’s opinion it finally arrived. Lots of vinegar, crushed red and a pinch of tomato have rendered an incredibly versatile product.
After several years of being asked “you got anything hot” we developed Lip Smakin’. A hot bbq sauce that actually allows you to taste your food and the nuances of the sauce. The onions and garlic are smoked over hardwood and then combined with rich cocoa for a burn that is in the finish. All the heat comes from macerated crushed red peppers that have been soaked in vinegar for 30 days. There is no doubt this sauce is incredibly unique and has a wide range of uses from funnel cake to rib eye.
Fruit and bbq sauce seem to be flavors that just go together. In order to set ourselves apart we smoke the cherries, onion and garlic over hardwood for hours to bring out the natural sugars. The flavor of this sauce is driven by cherries without the help of jams, jellies, preserves, extracts or powders. Its profile is more savory then sweet. One of our benchmarks is we do not strain our sauces; you can actually see the cherry texture in the sauce. Using this sauce out of your comfort zone is what really makes it a go to product. Try it on warm brie cheese, ice cream, short ribs, turkey sandwiches or chicken wings.
At the end of the day I can honestly say “I have enjoyed every part of the process”. The ability to create for others and leave a lasting impression is what cooking is all about.