A cookout based on BS… Sauce

by Brian Clarey


One good way to get your name in YES! Weekly is to just show up and cook us lunch.

That’s what Bill Staley and his pal Walt York did last week, backing their trailer and traveling kitchen emblazoned with the BS Sauce logo into our parking lot, firing up the grill and setting to work.

BS Sauce is the brainchild of Staley, who contributed his initials to the name. It’s a mixture of ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice and liquid smoke, with some spices added for dimension that Staley came up with after years of competitive cooking with York.

As the story goes, the two always used York’s cooking sauce, but on an occasion when Staley found himself without his partner, he had to make something up on the fly.

“I messed and messed and messed,” he says, “and people thought it tasted pretty good.”

The sauce went through several iterations before Staley settled on the current formula — no high-fructose corn syrup, no MSG and just the right amount of heat.

“When you taste it, it is so unique,” York says. “All the hot spots on your tastebuds are just going crazy.”

Staley and York cooked up some hamburgers slathered in BS Sauce. They made rice with BS Sauce. They made a cheese dip with Neese’s Sausage and BS Sauce. They marinated vegetables in it before grilling and incorporated it into cornbread. They served macaroni salad from Gnam Gnam in Greensboro, made with BS Sauce, and likewise the cole slaw from the Burger Spot.

Staley’s incorporated the sauce into a bottled marinade, a vinaigrette and a ranch dressing. He says BS mustard is in the pipeline and he has ideas for a bloody mary mix.

The initial run for BS Sauce about a year ago, Staley says, was 75 gallons. The last batch was 600 gallons.

“This thing is smarter than me,” he says. Consensus among the YES! Weekly staffers and friends who dined on the BS buffet was positive — free food is perhaps the only thing upon which a newspaper staff can consistently agree — and all marveled about the versatility of the sauce.

And that was before dessert had come out. For the final course, Staley and York had baked a batch of brownies graced with BS Sauce, and served them with vanilla ice cream that featured a topping made with — yeah — BS Sauce mixed 8 to 1 with honey and caramel.

While the initial reaction to the prospect of a ketchupbased sauce on dessert was guarded, the ice cream and brownies disappeared pretty quickly.

A BS recipe book includes all of these dishes, plus a ham-and-cheese spread with cream cheese and chives, chicken salad and a corn and black-bean salsa.

For now, the sauce is available only at the website, though Staley says that it will be in retail spaces soon. And he’s already made inroads at local restaurants like Gnam Gnam and the Burger Spot, which incorporate it into some of their signature dishes.

As Staley and York worked their culinary magic out in the YES! Weekly parking lot, a patron from the salon next door approached with a quizzical look.

“What’s going on over here?” she asked. “Oh,” Staley replied without missing as beat, “it’s just a bunch of BS.”