Sauce Boss to dish out blues licks

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM.

For a cook, who has a degree in English education, he likes that the music allows him to speak in simple terms and yet show complicated ideas.

He calls blues music “real and authentic.”

Hot sauce was merely a side interest for Wharton in the early 80s. Unhappy with what was available on the market, he’d attempted to make his own, always on the hunt for the perfect blend of heat and taste.

It was after a friend gave him some Datil peppers from St. Augustine that he finally achieved hot sauce nirvana.

He began growing the peppers and selling his concoction, which he dubbed, “Liquid Summer Hot Sauce.” As someone who was on stage night after night, he had the perfect place to sell it.

It was on New Year’s Eve of 1990 that his two passions came together on stage. He wanted to prove to his concert audience how delicious his hot sauce was, so he cooked a pot of gumbo on stage and doused it with Liquid Summer.

After seeing the reactions of his well-fed crowd, he realized what his show would become moving forward.

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