Jonny Hetherington is the lead singer of Canadian hard rock band Art Of Dying, currently found touring the world with Shinedown. He’s also the band’s go-to grill master, a job he takes very seriously. In fact, the British Columbia-native is so devoted to the grill that he has created his own trademark sauce: Sex, Drugs and Habanero. We can assume that he agrees that, like cowbell, you can never have enough sauce in life.
More FR Grilling Gods: Michael Chiarello, Bobby Flay, Sammy Hagar, Marc Vetri
What are your grilling specialties?
I’m a grill-a-holic! Whether I’m on the road or at home, I love getting out the tongs and firing up the ‘cue. As far as specialties go, I do a pretty mean rare filet. I like to grill veggies doused in balsamic and EVOO, usually a portobello mushroom and a few colorful peppers. For the filet, I like to keep the seasoning really simple: just sea salt and cracked black pepper.
What’s the most epic barbecue you have ever thrown or attended?
Sometimes the most epic is the least planned. We had a spontaneous BBQ poolside just the other night on a day off from tour. It literally took me two hours to convince the guys in the band to go get the grill from the tour bus, but once they caved it was game on! I seared and slow-cooked some chicken breasts and peppers while the sun set.
Grilling off the bus must be pretty limiting…
On the road you have to use what you have rather than what you want, so I made a makeshift marinade with honey and Cholula. Normally, I’m a “from scratch” guy, but it turned out surprisingly well. We invited everyone else that happened to be at the pool at the time, cranked the Zeppelin and sipped red wine in cups from the hotel. I think I enjoy cooking for good friends more than anyone, so having these moments with the boys in my band are unforgettable.
How did you get into the sauce business?
Sex, Drugs and Habanero is my hot sauce. I have a passion for the habanero pepper. The flavor is just simply irresistible to me, and I don’t mind the heat either. So I started making my own by experimenting with combining habaneros and locally grown fruit from British Columbia. The sweetness of the fruit balances the heat of the pepper. There are 20 in every bottle, so it’s a little bit of an art to get it right. Once I perfected my recipe I started bottling it up and giving to friends and family. It was a hit with people, so I took things up a notch by working on my own BBQ sauce as well, which has become a staple in my grilling arsenal.
What is your favorite cut of meat to work over with Sex, Drugs and Habanero?
It works with so many different things, but it’s best on ribs and chicken. Nothing beats a half rack, wings, homemade potato salad and a cold beer on a warm summer night. I’m blogging about a lot of the food I prepare.
You can check out Jonny’s food blog at jonnyhetherington.com