It’s been more than a year since Charles Mayes sold his Clarksville restaurant Cafe Josie to Brandon Fuller and Cody Taylor, but Mayes hasn’t been sitting on his laurels.
For more than a decade, he’s sold his popular aiolis under at Central Market and Whole Foods Market, and now that he has some extra time on his hands, he’s developed a line of Austin Josie salad dressings and grill sauces that will soon be available at local stores.
Mayes’ chipotle aioli is the sauce that started it all. It was a popular condiment at Cafe Josie, so Mayes started selling it by the jar, and earlier this year he started selling a roasted garlic aioli alongside the chipotle version at Central Market. But Mayes, who has a sold-out cooking class at Central Market this week, had too many good ideas rolling around in his head to stick to aioli.
Before he started Cafe Josie, Mayes worked successful stints at Austin restaurants including Gilligan’s and Treaty Oak Cafe, where he developed signature sauces, including Jamaican jerk (Gilligan’s) and ginger tamarind (Treaty Oak). Mayes says that the mango habanero sauce goes way back, even before he started serving the popular mango habanero butter at Josie, to a period of time he spent on the Pacific Coast of Mexico during the 1970s. "These sauces have been part of my working palate for all these years," he says.
The other half of the Austin Josie expansion is a line of refrigerated vinaigrettes in three flavors: passionfruit, bianco balsamic and red pepper, all of which Mayes produces by hand in a commercial kitchen he shares in Central Austin. (Little known fact: Mayes created the cashew tamari sauce, which is also available in stores, at Mother’s Cafe during his time there.) You can find out more about the new products at facebook.com/Austin.Josie.Inc.