Potomac-Area Woman Joins Celebrity Chefs at Metro Cooking Show

She created sauces using late husband’s recipe to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s Disease research.


Connie Griffith, pictured with her late husband Ron, is selling sauces to raise money for the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins.

— When some of the celebrity chefs like Giada De Laurentiis, Jacques Pépin, and other high-profile foodies descend upon the Washington region for the 2012 Metro Cooking Show this weekend, a Potomac, Md., area woman will join them to honor her late husband.

Connie Griffith, president and chief executive officer of Gator Ron's Zesty Sauces & Mixes, will showcase the products created by her husband Ron.

“Ron Griffith was a great griller and cook,” said Debbie Kaufmann, vice president of Gator Ron's. “He made these great sauces over decades, and was constantly asked by friends and relatives to give them more.”

Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show

Walter E. Washington Convention Center – Washington, D.C.

Saturday, Nov. 3: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 4: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

When Ron was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, he began teaching Connie how to make the sauces so that she could continue providing them for family and friends. “He was very strict about how the recipes were made,” said Kauffman. “He would say ‘You can’t double this ingredient,’ or ‘You can’t stir it this way.’”

“On his death bed, Ron asked Connie to promise not to give away the recipe.”

— Debbie Kaufmann, vice president of Gator Ron's

Kauffman said that Connie, who became Ron’s full-time caretaker when he was ill, grew overwhelmed by the task of making sauces. “She wanted to give away the recipes so friends and relatives could make their own,” said Kauffman, “but on his death bed, Ron asked Connie to promise not to give away the recipes.”

When Ron died in November 2011, Connie made the decision to establish Gator Ron’s Zesty Sauces & Mixes and donate part of the proceeds to ALS research. The company was launched in August and 10 percent of sales go to the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins, where Ron was treated.

Griffith and Kauffman are planning to share the sauces at the Metro Cooking Show along with other locals from the Washington region.

“We really try to bring in exhibitors that represent small businesses and specialty foods,” said Jill Collins, a spokesperson for the Metro Cooking Show. “The exhibitors center around cooking and entertaining.”

“Ron would be very proud, and so excited about sharing his delicious recipes with food lovers everywhere,” said Griffith.