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Chuck Muer's Dynamite Sauce

-----Original Message----- 
From: Carol
Sent: Friday, April 10, 2015 2:43 PM
Subject: Dynamite Sauce

I am looking for the recipe for Dynamite Sauce. It was served at the Gandy Dancer restaurant 
in Ann Arbor, MI as a sauce for fish.  It is a white sauce with some heat. It may also have 
been available at other Chuck Muer restaurants.  It was listed on the menu as an addition to 
a fish order.

Hi Carol,

I had no success locating Chuck Muer's dynamite sauce recipe. There are a few of Muer's recipes online, but that one does not appear to be available. I found two descriptions of the sauce, but neither seems to quite match your description of "a white sauce with some heat." One calls for"creamy crab and basil", and the other is "lump crab meat topped with sriracha-based sauced." Creamy crab and basil would not seem to have much heat. Sriracha has quite a lot of heat, but it is also quite red, so the latter probably wouldn't be a white sauce.
See: "Miss Party Pants":
My dad had the Alaskan Halibut with dynamite sauce, which is the same topping on the appetizer menu (lump crab meat topped with a sriracha-based sauce… it’s to die for)

Lost at Sea:
dynamite sauce -- a mixture of creamy crab and basil drizzle

The recipe might be in one of the Chuck Muer cookbooks. I could not find a listing of the recipes in them, so I could not verify that. The cookbooks are: "The Simply Great Cookbook: Recipes and the Experience of Fine Dining from the Kitchens of Chuck Muer" and "The Simply Great Cookbook II: More Fine Recipes from the Kitchens of Chuck Muer". They are both available on Amazon and through other used book dealers. The first one can be had for as little as one cent plus shipping, but the second one must be quite rare, as it is rather expensive.
See: The Simply Great Cookbook

There are quite a few "dynamite sauce" recipes on the web, but none claim any connection to Chuck Muer or to "The Gandy Dancer". Most of them are for the Japanese sauce called "dynamite sauce," and neither that sauce nor any of the others called for crabmeat and were white.

Not much else I can do except post this request on my site in the hopes that a reader has the recipe and will send it.


I think that you did find the recipe. The one with "lump crab meat topped with 
sriracha-based sauce" is it!  My memory forgot about the crab being in the sauce!  

Hi Carol,

I hope you were able to concoct something satisfactory. I obtained a copy of Chuck Muer's "Simply Great Cookbook:..." Volume 1. This recipe is not in that one. It might be in the second volume, but that one starts at $95.00 used at Amazon. I won't be getting one of those at that price.


Dirty Ernie's BBQ Conch Chowder

-----Original Message----- 
From: Doug 
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2015 6:54 AM
Subject: Ernie's bar b que of Fort Lauderdale fl conch chowder

I have eaten at dirty Ernie's in Fort Lauderdale fl for years and at one time I had the recipe 
for their conch chowder . But over the years I have lost it sure would be great full if you or 
some one would happen to have it 

Hello Doug,

I had no success finding Ernie's recipe. I'll post this in case a reader has it, but I'd be surprised if anyone did have it. Ernie's has fiercely guarded it for years, even refusing to give it up to local newspapers.

I found lots of discussion about Ernie's. A lot of people say it's the best chowder in the area. Ernie's appears to have changed hands several times during it's existence, but the chowder recipe appears to have stayed the same, probably being sold along with the restaurant. The Bimini bread may not have fared as well. Some people say it's not the same as it used to be. Ernie's has gotten a lot of mixed reviews. I guess it's one of those places you either hate or love. As for any clues about the chowder recipe, I found it stated several times that it's a Bahamian chowder, and I found at least one statement that it contains brandy. That might be significant, because the use of sherry is more common in conch chowder. Below are some articles that mention Ernie's, and three recipes for other popular Bahamian conch chowders. Some folks say Shirttail Charlies chowder is better than Ernie's. If anyone sends me Ernie's recipe, I'll post it for you.

UPDATE: See here before you go any further:Conch Chowder Recipe Like Dirty Ernie's

Once upon a time, a local newspaper omitted Ernie’s from its annual list of best chowder venues because the owner refused to divulge his ancient recipe.

Orlando Sentinel:
Island Woman 100 E. Ohio Ave., Orlando, at the former Mano's Restaurant location.
This lady says she was a former owner of Ernie's. Her chowder might be similar.

Jane's Bits:
A cook has served up the same conch chowder and fritters for the past 35 years with the original recipe...

Shirttail Charlie's conch chowder recipe

Olivia's Café conch chowder recipe

Pebbles' conch chowder recipe


Freebird Cafe's Sister Van Zant's Chili

Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2015 9:40 PM
Subject: "Sister" Van Zant's Chili


I have been searching for a recipe for “Sister” Van Zant’s chili, the house special chili offered by 
the Freebird Café (now known as Freebird Live), located at 200 1st St N, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250.  
“Sister” Marion Van Zant was the mother of Ronnie Van Zant, the late leader of the southern rock band 
Lynyrd Skynyrd.  The restaurant/concert venue is operated by Judy Van Zant Jenness (Ronnie’s widow) and 
daughter Melody Van Zant.  The Van Zant’s hailed from Jacksonville, Florida.  

Anything that you can possibly find will be much appreciated.

Many thanks,


Hello Joe,

I found a couple of mentions of “Sister Van Zant’s Chili”, but had no success with the recipe. You might try posting a recipe request here:

Lynryd Skynryd Facebook Page

I’ll post this on my site. Perhaps a reader can help.


This is another case where a former employee of these places might have a copy of the establishment's recipe manual. With luck, they might see this and offer to scan it for me, or at least volunteer to send requested recipes from it.

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