The Secret Sauce

The Secret Sauce

Text by Jessica Strelitz


You can throw burgers, chicken legs, or corn on the grill this summer with some salt and pepper and it’ll probably taste fine. It’s grilled deliciousness, after all.


But sauces, marinades, rubs, and glazes are an easy way to go from fine to amazing! This delicious amazing can bring you a little escape from the flavors, a mini-vacation of your own –all in just a few minutes. Bring some of these local offerings home to try, or mix up some of your own.

Chumley;s BBQ Sauce

All of the rubs and sauces are made in house at Chumley’s BBQ in Florida, owned by Culinary Institute of America graduate, Dan Lemire. Seven barbeque sauces are bottled and sold around Hudson Valley, including newcomers ­­– apple-garlic and Beanhead coffee. The coffee-tinged sauce was inspired by the Beanhead Coffee Porter at Rushing Duck Brewing Company in nearby Chester, NY.


“We tasted [the beer], and thought it would go well with barbeque,” said Chumley’s General Manager Keith Newman. Experimentation with the beer led to a unique barbeque and steak sauce, which is served with the restaurant’s grilled flank steak sandwich and bacon-bleu cheese burger.


The restaurant and catering business is best known for its slowly cooked pulled pork – they sold 9,000 pounds of it last year. But if you’re looking for saucy barbeque pork, this isn’t it. Chumley’s treats its meat with a dry rub and serves it “naked,” so guests can choose what they like, from mustard to root-beer based sauces.


“Certain spices lend themselves to particular flavor of a meat. The rubs we use for ribs have a lot of brown sugar, which adds sweetness to the rib flavor,” Newman explains. “Pulled pork doesn’t have sweetness, but more of a savory flavor. It wouldn’t taste like pulled pork if it had brown sugar on it.”

Gigi's Trattoria

At Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck, NY, owner Laura Pensiero and her team, focus on local fruits, including plums, peaches, and cherries, for the base in their line of barbeque sauces. Many of the sauces are available for purchase in local markets, alongside GiGi’s herbaceous marinades, salad dressings, and rubs.


“Anything green can be made into pesto, including arugula and kale” said Pensiero, who, as a chef and registered dietician, is bullish on healthy cooking. “Pestos cross over nicely as marinades, especially if you add some extra acidity, like lemon juice.”

Seasonal barbeque sauces and pesto (instead of white or tomato sauce) also make good toppings for thin crust pizzas and flatbreads, Pensiero added.


The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls in Beacon, NY is bringing their summer grill inside this year, but will continue to make everything in-house – from ketchup to veal jus-based steak sauce – as part of its Patio menu, which offers al fresco dining overlooking the waterfall on Fishkill Creek.


Executive Chef Brandon Collins of Roundhouse isn’t afraid of spice. His grilled chicken breast sandwich gets a kick from fresh harissa paste, made with guajillo peppers, and is soothed with a fresh yogurt mayo. Try it with a kicky Moscow Mule – made with vodka, ginger beer, mint, lime, and sugar – on your own patio.


Now you have so many options. Fortunately, you have all year to try these flavors out (or create a combination of your own)! Isn’t that the best part – trying out different grilling recipes in your outdoor living space? Bon appetit!


Read the recipes from these 3 restaurants in this post: Rubs and Sauces That'll Make You Drool.


This article is from the Late Summer issue of Outdoor Home Magazine.