DON'T STEAL HIS SAUCE
They knew they were onto something when the Red Clay hot sauce that Chef Geoff Rhyne had created for The Ordinary, a restaurant in Charleston, began to disappear at the rate of a couple of bottles per night. Although it was developed originally for oysters, our family can assure you that it is excellent on everything from pizza to roasted vegetables. In fact, I have begun to buy it in bulk, and I'm considering Christmas presents for foodies I love.
About the man: Chef Geoff Rhyne spent his childhood in the Lowcountry, appreciating the local food and learning the value of sustainability. He took a break from his college baseball career and took a job in a Charleston restaurant. He met some folks and found his way to FIG, where he learned much from Chef Mike Lata. He left the Holy City to become Chef de Cuisine at La Bastide in the upcountry of South Carolina, eventually leaving the Carolinas to become executive chef at SugarToad in Naperville, Illinois
A founding member of Slow Food in Greenville, SC, he returned south to work under his mentor, Mike Lata, at FIG, and launched Lata’s restaurant, The Ordinary, where the sauce was created. Before it became available commercially, Chef Rhyne spent more than a year refining and perfecting his product. Aging it in sorghum whiskey barrels adds a richness and complexity that’s hard to beat. Today, he’s spending time at Leon’s, in Charleston, and enjoying time with his young son, while the Red Clay sauce business grows.
About the sauce: Made entirely with Fresno chiles, white wine vinegar, and a couple of other items, the sauce is never cooked and aged in used bourbon barrels. Available in a number of locations in the south, it also can be purchased online.
Buy it. Try it. It pours – no tiny drops for this robust flavor.