Locals taking blueberry BBQ sauce to the Flavor of Georgia contest

March 14, 2019
(News 12 NBC 26 This Morning)

WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Some things just go together like chicken and waffles. What about blueberry barbecue sauce? A local restaurant is competing to win a statewide award for theirs.

You could call it a hole in the wall, but whatever Wingin' Out in Waynesboro is doing might just win them a major award.

"People want something different instead of the standard vinegar and tomato sauces sometimes," said Mark Cates, the owner of Wingin' Out.

So Dick Byne and Mark Cates delivered.

"I like it. I like it a lot," said Dick Byne, Burke County farmer at Byne's Blueberry Farm. "I think it's got a lot of potential."

In the Peach State, you might expect a peach barbecue sauce, but their secret is in the blueberries.

"You hear blueberry BBQ sauce and you expect to taste blueberries. People expect blueberry syrup. They expect something along those lines," said Cates.

Using blueberries from Byne's Blueberry Farm combined with a classic barbecue sauce, it became an instant hit.

"My wife makes a BBQ sauce. I took his blueberries. I found a recipe, modified it, and put them together, and we ended up with a winner," said Cates.

The sauce first won the Burke County State Fair. They hope to bring that winning streak to the Flavor of Georgia.

"Because I've tasted so many blueberry BBQ sauces, I knew it had a fighting chance," said Byne.

It's a sauce you just have to taste to see.

"Its a versatile sauce, and I think it's going to be a winner," said Cates.

The Flavor of Georgia is happening next week in Atlanta. Judges for the final round of the contest include food brokers, grocery buyers and other food-industry experts. Contestants will provide samples to judges and pitch their products in a "shark tank"-style presentation.

Dick Byne and Mark Cates are taking their blueberry sauce to Atlanta on March 19.