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Winner “Best Verde Sauce” — Sauce King NYC™ 2020


Sauce King NYC Awards

October 2020

Sauce King NYC surveyed over 100 sauces submitted from all five boroughs of New York City, to Houston TX, Salem NC, Bowling Green KY, Seattle WA and even London, UK and Toronto, CA. The competition was not about finding the hottest sauce that will blow your head off. Instead it’s all about showcasing the wide range of top quality, all natural barbecue sauces, hot sauces, and beyond that are perfect for backyard barbecue, grilling, and home cooking. 

Ultimately one Sauce King champion was chosen along with 12 category winners and many more honorable mentions. 

Judging the sauces was a subjective process. Our 9 judges gathered for mini in-person and virtual tastings to have open conversations about the sauces that stood out. In many cases they embraced broad categories like “best flavor enhancer” or “best wing sauce,” but the judges also sought to recognize sauces for their niche appeal, creating sub-categories and honorable mentions for chili oils, condiments or sauces that pair with seafood. Each sauce was scored on these criteria: taste, appearance (including packaging), color, aroma, texture, and aftertaste. 

Read about the first annual Sauce King awards in The Smoke Sheet, NYC BBQ, and Total Food Service (p 56)

The Winners Are:

The Sauce King NYC Champion:

 Grand Prize: Memphis Mop BBQ Sauce, BBQ Buddha, NJ

Barbecue Sauces: 


Best Flavor Enhancer: Belizean Season-All, Marie Sharp’s, NC 

Most Inventive BBQ Sauce: Somethin’ Somethin’ Sauce, B.T. Leigh’s Sauces and Rubs, KY

The Holy Trinity (Sweet, Spicy and Savory): Touch O Heat, Rufus Teague, KS


Honorable Mentions:

Fruit Based Barbecue Sauce: Mi Gente, Mi Tierra Spicy Guayaba Barbecue Sauce, Father & Son’s Kitchen, Bronx NY

Promising Amatuer Sauce: Honey Whole Grain Mustard BBQ Sauce, LondonOak, UK

International Barbecue Sauce: Sweet and Savory Korean BBQ Sauce, Firefly BBQ, UK

Barbecue Sauces for a Cause: 

KUREious Monkey Spicy Chipotle Sauce, Children’s Cord Blood Bank, Staten Island NY 

Fubar Elite BBQ Sauce, WarPig BBQ, TX. The Cause: giving back to our veterans by teaming up with 3 different veterans charities: The Folds of Honor, The Lone Survivor Foundation and the PTSD Foundation of America. 



Honey Sweet, Rufus Teague, KS

Can-O-Que Boulevard Wheat, Rufus Teague, KS

Steak Sauce, Rufus Teague, KS

Orange Chili, Five Monkeys BBQ Sauce, CA

The Clevelander, B.T. Leigh’s Sauces and Rubs, KY

Hot Sauce


Best Hot Sauce: Serrano & Chipotle Pepper Smoky Hot, Silly Chilly Hotsauce, NJ

Best Wing Sauce: Mild Wing Sauce, Rippin Red Sauce Company, MD

Best Verde Sauce:  Bayou Gotham — Juju Guru Tropic Jalapeño, Scotty Peppers Hot Sauce Co., Manhattan, NY

When You Want Hot: Dead Red, Rocket Fuel Foods, Manhattan, NY


Honorable Mentions: 

Habanero Hot Sauce: Forbidden Angel Habanero Sauce, Rippin Red Sauce Company, MD

Seafood Hot Sauce: Bayou Gotham — Bayou Bourré Louisiana Boil, Scotty Peppers Hot Sauce Co., Manhattan NY

Calamari Style Sauce: Signature Pepper Sauce, 5 Island Blend, Bronx NY

Runner Up, Verde Sauce: Vermont Maple Sriracha, Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind, VT


Noteworthy “Everyday Hot Sauces:”

Trailer Park Boys Deeecent Hot Sauce, Coney Island Saucery, Brooklyn NY

Original Hot Sauce, 5 Island Blend, Bronx NY

Louisiana Classic Red Hot Sauce, Rocket Fuel Foods, Manhattan NY

Other: Marinades and Condiments


Most Versatile Sauce: The Original Smoked Maple Syrup, Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind, VT

Best Barbecue Marinade: Japanese Miso BBQ, Just Add Beer Sauce & Marinade Mix, Queens NY 

Best Hot Ketchup: Granny Smith Apple Ketchup, Rocket Fuel Foods, Manhattan NY


Honorable Mention: 

Chili Oil: Sichuan Chili Oil, Blank Slate Kitchen, VT

Runner Up, Hot Ketchup: Hot Ketchup Rocket Fuel Foods, Manhattan, NY



Sweet Habanero Sauce, Marie Sharp’s, NC 

Mexican Tres Chiles, Just Add Beer Sauce & Marinade Mix, Queens NY 

Chipotle Marinade, Mustard and Co., WA

Metro NYC StartUp Category

This category includes sauces submitted by NYC restaurants that are not yet available for distribution.


Gold: Pique Rojo, Que Chevere, Manhattan NY

Silver: Pique Verde, Que Chevere, Manhattan NY


Honorable Mentions:

Promising Amateur: Weekend Warrior, Sauce Man Ash, Queens NY

Condiment in Metro NYC StartUp: Cassato’s Giardiniera, Salvatore Cassato, Brooklyn NY



Silva Bullet Hot Sauce, Christian Silva, NY

About Metro NYC StartUp

In addition to accepting submissions from sauce companies around the world, Sauce King NYC welcomed New York City restaurants to submit their homemade sauces to the tasting as part of the Metro StartUp Category. While these sauces are not yet available for distribution, Sauce King is helping these chefs and restaurants take the next step towards launching a sauce product. 

Winners received a consultation with Christine Rico, Co-Chair of Slow Money NYC and the founder of CFO on Speed Dial as well as one-on-one sessions about getting their sauce ready for market with Rebecca Scott, founder of Sustainable Snacks. Winners have also been offered shelf space at The Bronx Beer Hall and the opportunity to sell their product online via Taste of the Bronx

Food Karma is proud to create valuable connections within the hospitality industry and offer support restaurants when they need it most.

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