Chef Robin Rhea

Memorial Day—More than Grilling and Swimming

Perhaps you are planning to share time with family, neighbors and friends this long weekend that is our annual turn into summertime activities. But, are you planning to take time to remember and recognize those for whom this holiday was established to honor?

The history of Memorial Day

This holiday is set aside to remember those who died in service of our country’s armed forces. It was originally called Declaration Day and there are many stories of how it got started. Following the Civil War (or the War Between the States), faithful families decorated the graves of soldiers. Both Confederate and Union solders’ graves were decorated in each area of the country with the first national Decoration Day happening in Arlington Cemetery on May 30, 1868. Charleston has a significant and interesting connection with the early recognition of war dead.

Following World War I and in response to the now famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”, Moina Michael, wrote a poem of response referencing the wearing of poppies to remember war dead.

When I was growing up, there was always a campaign by the VFW to sell poppies and use the funds to help veterans. I remember how everyone wore those paper poppies. I wish they were still sold and worn.

Perhaps this Memorial Day, you can wear a red ribbon to signify that you remember.

How will you and your family remember those whose lives ended in sacrifice and support of our country?

Please share with me what you will do.

Photo Credit: Child in poppy field, flickr user mollypop, red poppy in hands, VFW Buddy Poppy

New sales locations added

We’ve been enjoying a great spring here at Slather Brand Foods. Our distribution has been growing and we’ve added new locations across the eastern part of the Unites States.

In the coming weeks our fans can find Slatherin’ Sauce on the shelves in these great stores:

The greatest city in the world demands a world-class marketplace – with the convenience of a neighborhood supermarket!

With 16 stores conveniently located throughout Manhattan, The Food Emporium name is synonymous with fine food, exceptional quality, service, taste and style. Come discover decadent delicacies from around the globe. Savor a warm, rich inviting environment designed to stimulate your senses – and your appetite!


Acme Markets, a SUPERVALU company, operates 126 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, employing over 16,000 associates.  With a marketleading position in the Delaware Valley, Acme offers consumers fresh and convenient supermarket solutions, in addition to services such as Sav-on Pharmacies at select locations.  Established in 1891, the company and its associates remain committed to the communities they serve, contributing more than $4 million each year to a variety of local charitable causes.  For more information about Acme, please visit

Who are we? Well, we seek out the finest natural and organic foods available, maintain the strictest quality standards in the industry, and have an unshakeable commitment to sustainable agriculture. Add to that the excitement and fun we bring to shopping for groceries, and you start to get a sense of what we’re all about. Oh yeah, we’re a mission-driven company too. If you are interested in learning about our business practices and what makes us tick, check out our Core Values, Quality Standards, Declaration of Interdependence, and more.

We’ll be updating our Where to Buy page with these locations. In the meantime, if you want Slatherin’ Sauce on the shelves of your favorite upscale grocery, please contact us.

Gentlemen (and ladies) start your…grills!

We’re entering the marathon y’all! The summer grill challenge. You know what I’m talking about? You, your neighbors, your brother all trying to one-up one another with your mad grill skillz.

The grill has for many, always been the province of the men, but ladies, I’m here to tell you that we were the food gatherers and the food preparers in prehistoric times. The man may have slayed the mastodon, be we cooked them!

Yet, now many women fear the grill. There is really nothing to fear. Making sure your grill is ready for the season, you have right fuel (propane or charcoal) depending on your choice of grill, and making sure your grill is clean and ready to use. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be grilling all summer!

Tips to grilling happily outdoors all summer!

  1. Repeat after me, “A clean grate is great!” Did you leave your grill out all winter and now the insides of it resemble a black hole of despair? Despair not! Remove the grates and either clean with oven cleaner of your choice (following all directions) or put your grates in the self-cleaning oven, and let it do the work. Once your grate is clean, each time before you cook, lightly oil your grate before cooking, you’ll thank yourself.
  2. If you’re using a gas grill girl, make sure your propane bottle is filled. Not sure? Follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions and disconnect the tank (be sure the valve is closed!) and carefully transport to your local hardware store where they can refill it for you at a much lower cost than the cylinder exchange that many do. Although there is much to be said for cylinder exchange!
  3. Do you use a charcoal grill? Then lay in a supply of natural charcoal, made from hardwoods, without any additives. Your grilled veggies and steaks will thank you for it. Flavors are purer and cleaner without all the excess scents petroleum products contribute.
  4. Use a chimney starter for your charcoal fire. With just a bit of newspaper or twigs and dry grasses, you can get your charcoal lit, and to the right temperature quickly, which means you don’t have to use charcoal starters.
  5. Check your pantry. What are your favorite rubs and grilling sauces (you’d better say Slatherin’ Sauce!) Go ahead and stock up now so you can be grilling on demand all summer.
  6. Pick up a new grilling cookbook. It’s easy to fall into a rut of grilling the same things all the time. There are so many ways to use your grill. Did you know you can cook your homemade pizza on the grill? And it’s delish.
  7. Get a new butane stick lighter. Don’t try to light your grill with matches or a cigarette lighter. A stick lighter is so much easier. I like to get mine in the bundled packs so I have one to leave with the grill and one to leave on the deck with the candles.
  8. Get some grill cookware to make your job easier. I love my porcelain enamel coated grill holders for veggies and fish. You might even get a fish basket. It makes grilling a whole fish so much easier. (And when you bring home that whole fish you spent all day catching, you can stuff the cavity with onions, garlic and lemons, and grill whole—the flavors are so wonderful).
  9. Have some silicone oven and grill mitts to allow you to safely move items without burning your arms.
  10. Make sure to have working digital grill thermometer. Prevent undercooked chicken and pork! Most if not all your recipes will call for cooking your proteins to a specific temperature.

Now that you’re ready, start grilling! Oh, and call me, I’ll be right over!


Photo credit: flickr user woodleywonderworks

USDA Features Slather Brand in Blog Article

We’ve blogged about Slather Brand Food’s trip to London for the International Food Exhibition (IFE), which took place in March, and now we are very pleased to announce that the USDA features us in their blog article about the trip.

“The United Kingdom (UK) has long played an important role in U.S. agricultural exports. This history dates back to the completion of the Erie Canal in the early 1800s, which linked the Great Lakes to the Atlantic seaboard, significantly increasing the export of food, particularly Midwestern wheat, to England.

To this day, the United Kingdom offers tremendous opportunities for U.S. agriculture and the United States exports more than $1.6 billion annually in agricultural, fish and forestry products to the UK. Many of these products are showcased each year during USDA-endorsed trade shows, such as the International Food Exhibition (IFE), which took place in London in March.

Nineteen U.S. companies participated in the U.S. Pavilion, including 11 new-to-market and new-to-export companies. Several U.S. companies were lucky enough to meet with the Olympic Organizing Committee that had a team looking for products to be used at the Summer Olympics in London in 2012. The exhibition produced $469,000 in on-site sales and $1.9 million in projected 12-month sales.”  Click to read the entire USDA blog post.

James Beard Awards Winner’s Statement

Like many in the food world, we were looking forward to hearing who won recognition as the USA’s most outstanding chef as determined by the James Beard Foundation. That designation has been given this year to Jose Andres. When he accepted his award, he said:

“Food is the most powerful thing we have in our hands. Not only chefs, but everyone in the food community. The right use of food can end hunger,” Andres said Monday after accepting his award. “We have the responsibility to make sure that not only our great nation, but the world will always be better using food in the right way.”

Andres is singing from the same hymn book with me! We can all work together and end hunger in our community. I’ve pledged to do what I can with Slather Brand Foods. That’s why we advocate so for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and remaking our school’s lunchrooms and for family dinner.

Bravo James Beard Foundation and to Jose Andres for his heartfelt stance!


Photo Credit: Flickr User DC Central Kitchen

The things my Momma taught me

Roses and tomatoes

Miriam Francis Britt Rhea was a truly amazing woman. She was a beautiful brown-eyed brunette who carried herself with grace and elegance. As a child I was always in awe of her beauty and regal stature. Whenever she came to my school functions I thought she was the most beautiful woman there.

Not only was she an extraordinary cook she had an incredible green thumb. She could grow anything, but most of all, she loved her roses. She took tremendous pride in her rose garden. She always sent us to school with beautiful roses for our teachers.

Looking back, I often wonder how she was able to feed her family of eight in times that were hard and money was scarce. She always managed to create delicious nutritious food. A lot of the food we ate we grew in our garden and the meats we ate, we raised in our backyard. We all developed a love of vegetables because they were the cornerstone of our diet…along with rice of course. We ate rice almost everyday of the year except when Momma made a special dinner with grits as our starch. My Momma could cook a lot of rice that was light, fluffy, and perfect every time…and amazingly enough she never measured anything.

My favorite lunch meal that momma made for me almost daily was rice with stewed tomatoes.  I never got tired of eating it. Those tomatoes were always in abundance because momma would take the time and the laborious effort to put them up during the height of the season.

Homegrown canned tomatoes like Momma's

Of all the wonderful things my mother taught me and what I value the most are the drive and confidence she instilled in me.  I can still hear her strong voice saying “Robin Elaine, you can be anything you want to be you just have to be willing to work for it.” I carry that thought with me in every endeavor I undertake. Momma was my best friend and mentor and I am so grateful to have been her daughter. While I miss her physical presence I carry her memory in my heart and I am always comforted by the lessons she taught me.

As this Mothers Day approaches and I await the arrival of my first grandchild I want to pay homage to that wonderful woman who helped me become the woman I am today.  My only hope is that I will be loved and remembered someday with the same gratitude and affection that I feel for my momma…here’s to you Miriam Francis..thank you.


Photo credits:
Roses and Tomatoes, Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker
Canned Tomatoes, Flickr user

Fans Slatherin’ It On at Folly

My Charleston area fans and supporters gathered last night to have a Slatherin’ Sauce potluck. They invited me, but I’m at a trade show and had to miss it. And I have to say the list of what they served makes my mouth water! It’s amazing what creative cooks can do with Slatherin’ Sauce!

Slatherin’ Sauce Potluck Menu

Holly Herrick’s Slathered Chicken Wings Thighs, made by Cheryl Smithem

Andra Watkin’s Slathered Pretzels

Anne Howe’s Black Bean, Pearl CousCous and Corn Salad with Spicy Slatherin’ Sauce

Anne Brumbaugh’s Cheddar Melt Pork Tenderloin Biscuits with Saltherin’ Sauce

Spring Green Salad with Strawberries, Walnuts and Feta Cheese with Raspberry Walnut Viniagrette (un-Slathered)

Potato Salad (un-Slathered)

And the finale! The finishing touch:

Nathan Albertson’s Spicy Slatherin’ Sauce Bacon Ice Cream, served atop McVitie’s English Biscuits with Fresh Blueberries and Thyme!

I wish I’d been there to taste the Ice Cream. Reports of it are that it is a wonderful combination of sweet, savory and spicy.

Hopefully, I can wrangle these recipes from my friends and post here.


Chef Robin Rhea

It’s no secret that people are loving Slatherin’ Sauce all across the country in all kinds of recipes. Some people say we’re a barbecue sauce, and we’ve agreed to disagree on that point, because we’re an “everything” sauce made all that much better because of Chef Robin’s passion! It would be hard to measure how much of that is in every bottle.

In January when she appeared in Atlanta demonstrating her recipe for Slathered Shrimp atop Pimento Cheese Grits, Chef Robin wowed the audience. Many there were calling her the next Paula Deen or Rachael Ray. We agree. In this new video, it’s easy to tell that Chef Robin is a woman of conviction who is true to her farm-to-table local roots.

Wouldn’t you agree?