Uncle Jammy is Jamal Etienne-Harrigan, with a mother from Baton Rouge and father hailing from the Virgin Islands, family life revolved around good food, big flavors and shared meals with parents and grandparents. Working their kitchen magic while Uncle Jammy watched and learned and experimented. Experiments that led to a unique palette and a few kitchen fires, inspiration comes with its hazards.
So how did he get from that to making crazy wing sauces and dry rubs? Baking alcohol infused cakes inspired by cocktails of course.
Originally from Connecticut, Uncle Jammy’s path led him to a Red Lobster in State College, turning Bahama Mamas and all manner of other cocktails into confections.
Then one foggy Monday night football wing night, Uncle Jammy got the nod, give us some cool sauces for these wings they said.
Challenge accepted, said Uncle Jammy. But the bar was set high with crazy good boozy cakes that took the town by storm, so something special was needed.
That night, Area 51 was born, Uncle Jammy’s flagship sauce. Featuring Avocado, Jalapeños, and Tequila. A sauce that defined a man’s ambitions. Uncle Jammy sought a very real and very visceral reaction, and in a night that will go down in Red Lobster infamy, he got it. Uncle Jammy did not miss and was the cake man no longer. He was henceforth known as Uncle Jammy the sauce guy.
From the moment Uncle Jammy spent most off nights camped in front of a stove, mixing away over a boiling pot. Or in the library trying to learn about that next new mixture that might intrigue people and get them excited about the flavors. Consuming books about Herbs and Spices and studying how they interact, drawing inspiration from how great chefs used them. Putting it all together with what he had learned in his grandmother’s kitchen. An obsession with wing sauce was growing beyond it’s bounds.
The obsession led our hero to Quaker Steak & Lube. Where a new challenge awaited, and a new market to pursue. This was where Uncle Jammy made his first Barbeque sauce. In a pre Sharknado world, Uncle Jammy switched his game up, accepted the new challenge, and set out to learn all things BBQ.
Replicating BBQ sauce & flavors was a structured endeavor, standing in the shadow of the great sauces that came before. There were some stumbling blocks, lots to learn about how BBQ sauce varied from region to region.
Standards were already in place, defined parameters of what BBQ sauce was. Small variations to the recipe could produce dramatic results. Uncle Jammy took to the challenge, being precise when the process demanded it, creative when the flavor was improved by it, analytical when the recipe needed it. Finding the right formula was a labor of love and history and obsession, and all of that finally brought Uncle Jammy to Pittsburgh.
And since 2010 Uncle Jammy’s sauces and rubs have won the admiration of the barbecue and wing culture, flavor speaks for itself. The history and obsession behind it is in every bite.
Our Customers are brisket lovers, those who end their day craving slow smoked pork-tenderloin, shredded pork butt enthusiasts, anyone who’s turn it is to make dinner, wing afficianados, those with special dietary needs, burger makers, that one friend that has a seasoning for every occasion, rib masters, and generally human beings with feelings and emotions like our own.