Legendary Local Chef Janos Wilder Launches New Website, Janos Cooks

By this point in the pandemic, it’s safe to say most of us are probably tired of tasting our home cooking and eating out of to-go containers. 

Tucson’s Godfather of the farm-to-table movement, Janos Wilder, said he developed his new online video series to help household chefs learn restaurant secrets to enhance their everyday meals and cocktails. 

“Everybody has been sitting at home for about a year now and have used up all the recipes they’re familiar with months and months ago,” Wilder said. “I thought, ‘Well, let’s just create a whole repertoire of not too difficult recipes for the home cook that will spice up their mealtime, teach a few new skills and have some fun doing it.’”

Each of the 11 recipes on Janos Cooks comes complete with knife skills instructions and the finer points of setting yourself up for success in the kitchen.  Wilder said his classes are much more than learning how to properly read and prepare a recipe, it’s about showing why certain ingredients work together. 

“The goal is that you’ll learn not only a series of recipes but why those recipes work,” Wilder said. “I want people to think like a chef.”

The Tucson City of Gastronomy president said he created the recipe for his chewy Thai spare ribs after studying the cuisine of another UNESCO designated sister city of gastronomy, Phuket, Thailand. 

“I just did a deep dive into it involving a lot of testing and tasting. We developed this recipe out of doing a lot of studying,” Wilder said. “We connected with representatives from our sister city of gastronomy to get their input on how we were doing it.”

This recipe is pretty straightforward but using pork spare ribs instead of beef yields better results and could require making a considerable amount of marinade to fully coat the ribs—unless you use his trick of the trade. 

“Ribs are kind of big and bulky, right? If you’re going to get them fully marinated, you’ve got to have a lot more marinade than you actually need,” Wilder said. “There’s a tip in here about putting them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag with the marinade and flipping the bag every so often.  The ribs will stay fully immersed without having to overmake the marinade.”

Wilder’s recipe for Thai Honey + Spice Spare Ribs is perfect for the oven as well as the grill, said the chef.

To find out more or sign up for classes, check out janoscooks.com 

Chewy Thai Honey and Spice Spare Ribs

Yield: 4 large portions


1 Cup Honey
1/4 Cup Thai thin soy sauce
1/4 Cup White wine
2 TBSP Ginger, finely grated
1 TBSP Sesame oil
2 tsp Pepper
1 TBSP Cinnamon
1 tsp Grated nutmeg
3 pounds Baby Back Ribs


  • Whisk the honey with all the soy, wine, ginger, sesame oil, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg to thoroughly combine.
  • Place the ribs in ziplock bags and cover with the marinade. Marinade 4 hours or up to overnight. Turn bag occasionally to distribute the marinade evenly.
  • Save the marinade after removing the ribs from the bag to baste the ribs every 15 minutes or so while they cool.

To cook ribs in the oven:

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees

  • Line a sheet pan with foil and spray the foil with spray release.
  • Space the rib racks on the foiled sheet pan and bake  1 ½ hours, turning the racks over and rotating the sheet pan once or twice so they cook evenly
  • After 2 hours, increase the temperature to 300 degrees. Brush ribs with the honey mixture, until the ribs have a lacquered, mahogany surface and the meat is tender with some chewiness, but not falling off the bone. This will take an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Remove ribs, cool and portion, ½ # per portion

To cook ribs  on the grill:

  • Heat ribs on the cooler side of grill, turning once.
  • When the ribs are hot, remove them from the grill, cut into individual riblets, pile on a plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.

If you do not have a grill, serve the ribs hot out of the oven.

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