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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

A Chef’s Father’s Day Tribute

I hug my Father just a little bit harder and a little bit longer every time I see him.  I really didn’t start to appreciate him until about 10 years ago, when he started on a 5 year span of what seemed one surgery after another…knee surgery, back surgery and the worst of all brain surgery!

My Father is the one who taught me how to drive, how to ride a horse and always encouraged me to cook. I have loved being in the kitchen creating my own recipes since I was hardly tall enough to reach the kitchen counter; stools always came in handy.  Quite a few years ago, he said to me, “You know that the sauce I use on my BBQ ribs is the recipe you created when you weren’t any taller than a grasshopper.”  WOW…no, I didn’t know…you can imagine how that made me feel!

I am always looking to create new recipes, tossing the old ones aside as I go.  But, it is the old, tried and true recipes that everyone loves.  It’s what keeps us all together and brings us back for more.  And if my Father is manning the BBQ, I know the ribs are going to taste just a little more special!

Finger Lickin’ Rib Sauce


  1. ½ cup chopped onion
  2. ½ cup butter
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  5. 1 cup ketchup
  6. ½ cup chili sauce
  7. 2/3 cup brown sugar
  8. 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  9. 1 cup pineapple juice
  10. 2 tsp soy sauce
  11. 1 tsp dry mustard

What to do:

  • Sauté onion in butter until translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Baste with sauce after the ribs have browned and cooked; over a low fire so the sauce won’t burn.  Turn and baste until saucy and delicious!!

Laurie Figone has won a number of national recipe contests and hosts a cooking show linked to her website . She won the ‘So You Think You Can Cook With Garlic’ cook-off at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and judged the event in 2012, as well as the sandwich competition at the 2012 Battle of the Brews in Santa Rosa.