Barbecue sauces and rubs made by local chef and restaurateur Chris Cavender have done well in national competitions in recent years, and this week, Cavender scored yet more accolades, this time from the 2019 Fiery Food Challenge ZestFest, an annual awards program for hot sauces and rubs of all kinds.
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Cavender is the co-founder of 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q, a seasonal restaurant on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival near Waynesville. He also founded UrbanQ Smokehouse, a specialty retailer that sells barbecue rubs and sauces via web orders and at several local retail stores, including Foremost Seafood in Kettering.
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The UrbanQ Smokehouse Bayou Classic Creole Q Sauce was named the No. 1 "Cooking Sauce" in the 2019 Fiery Food Challenge ZestFest, in results posted Monday, Feb. 4. And its Smokehouse Blues sauce earned third place in Fruit-Based Barbecue Sauce category.
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The Bayou Classic Creole Sauce “is used mostly for seafood, shrimp in particular, but it also is great on oysters, steak, fish, and whitefish,” Cavender said.
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The Smokehouse Blues “is our flagship sauce,” the UrbanQ founder said. It captured a first place award for pork from the National Barbecue News 2017 “Sauces of Honor” competition. in 2017, and it won a People’s Choice award at the National Barbecue & Grilling Association 2018 Awards of Excellence.
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Cavender has operated the food-service operations at the Ohio Renaissance Festival for two decades, and also has served as executive chef at Sycamore Creek Country Club and at Jay’s Restaurant prior to his involvement with 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q.