Get Sauced

A chef's line of sizzling new habanero sauces

Give a man a habanero, and he's got spice enough for a meal. But let him plant a field of habaneros, and you've got hot sauce for a lifetime.

Healdsburg chef Mateo Granados has turned his green thumb into a mini-industry, harvesting homegrown chile peppers for his new collection of El Yuca habanero sauces. He had been doing it as a backyard operation and serving the fine, fiery condiments at his Sonoma farmers' market breakfasts, his catered events, and his Tendejón de la Calle pop-ups.

But now El Yuca ($10 per bottle) is available to all of us, at markets throughout the Bay Area. And when Granados opens his new restaurant in downtown Healdsburg in July, the sauce will also be available there.

We love that the sauces are made strictly by hand in small batches, from premium Sonoma ingredients like garden-fresh carrots, onions, Preston Vineyards olive oil and white vinegar. Each of the four sauces–Mayan Habanero, Ahumado, Verde and Amarillo Rostizado–has a unique taste profile and heat level, from mild kick to scorching.

And like Sonoma's other beloved agricultural product, wine, each is layered with flavor amid all that fire.

El Yuca sauces are available at select Whole Foods (690 Stanyan St., 415-876-6740; 450 Rhode Island St., 415-552-1155; 3950 24th St., 415-282-4700; and 414 Miller Ave., Mill Valley, 415-381-1200; wholefoods.com; Bi-Rite Market, 3639 18th St., 415-241-9760 or biritemarket.com; or tendejon.com