The Bromberg brothers have journey far from their native New Jersey. First to Paris and Le Cordon Bleu. Then back to New York City where they opened a restaurant, then another, a bakery and more and … They now have nine locations and food products sold around the country.

This recipe for their own hot sauce has a wonderful story. Inventive and devoted to the best and local, they wanted to make everything themselves. They learned something. There are things out there you buy. In their case: A1 sauce, Heinz ketchup, and Ciao Bella ice cream. Those items are perfect. But for hot sauce, they prefer their own concoction and the recipe is here, ready and simmering.

You might want to make a half recipe and experiment at first with the number of habanero peppers you use. Habenaros are hot. Very, very, very hot. Wear rubber gloves, don’t touch your eyes, and just take your time.

The bothers say that this sauce has a secret ingredient: all those carrots. They add color, body, and sweetness to offset the peppers. Put in sterilized jars, this sauce will keep for years. But you can use it all up and just keep making more.

Blue Ribbon Hot Sauce

Yield: 4 cups


  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 3 to 4 re, orange, or yellow habanero chiles, to taste, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons slat
  • 1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled, and roughly chopped.


Combine the vinegar, chiles, and salt in a large nonreactive pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Let the mixture cool, then puree in a blender and strain.

While the peppers are cooking, in a separate pot combine the carrots with enough water to cover them. Simmer until very tender but not overcooked, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Puree the carrots in the blender until smooth (you do not need to strain them). Stir into the strained vinegar mixture. If it is too spicy-hot, thin it down with a little water.

Use immediately, or transfer the hot sauce to airtight sterile jars or bottles and refrigerate.

Source: Blue Ribbon Cookbook by Bruce and Eric Bromberg