Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s Go-To Barbecue Sauce, Tequila, and More

From pantry meals to clean-up kits, the chef everyone is talking about has particular taste.

4 min read

Welcome to The Save, where we ask interesting people what they order when they’re in a pinch.

Kwame Onwuachi is a busy dude. The chef, author, and restaurateur (to name just a few of his titles) is constantly on the move, schlepping between his new restaurant, Tatiana, in New York City and his soon-to-be newer restaurant, as yet unnamed, in Washington D.C. (along with countless other speaking and cooking engagements). Here are the products, meals, and media he turns to when time and space are limited.

What do you order when…

…you’re starving but have only five minutes to eat?

Probably a slice of pizza. A pepperoni slice.

…you’ve moved to a new place and need to stock your pantry from scratch?

Kosher salt, a neutral oil, ketchup, Creole seasoning. I mean, none of this is enough to make a meal, so let’s add White Castle Burgers, the frozen ones — with cheese.

…your kitchen’s a mess and you need to clean it up?

Definitely Clorox wipes, that Dawn soap thing that sprays and foams up [Dawn Platinum Erasing Dish Foam]. Lots and lots and lots of paper towels. That all-purpose Clorox spray, like in the green bottle [Clorox Greenworks]. I would say those are my top tops. I clean as I go.

…your friend is having a birthday and you need the perfect gift?

Presents are so person-specific so this is a hard one. It would be something that's near and dear to their heart. But if I had to grab something fast? Bottle of wine. Bottle of booze. That way you don't subtract from the party, you add.

…you only have space for one item in your travel toiletry kit?

My toothbrush, probably. With toothpaste — hopefully the combo if I can put those two together. Probably Colgate. Or whatever’s on sale.

…you’re hosting a cookout and want to impress?

Baby back ribs. I cook them low and slow, normally the day before, and cool them overnight. Then get the grill real hot and throw them on the grill. My go-to sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's. You can always find it.

…someone asks you to BYOB?

Probably tequila. Casamigos.

…you need something to read during a long flight?

Well right now, Sheila Johnson's book, Walk Through Fire, just came out, and she always asks me, have I read it yet? Have I read it yet? I need to read it. So that's the one.

…you can only add one song to the party playlist?

Appletree by Erykah Badu.

…you’re exhausted at the end of a long day and only delivery will do?

Chinese takeout. Chicken wings, pork fried rice, spare ribs, dumplings, egg roll, iced tea.

Learn more about chef Kwame Onwuachi here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Kwame