The Dish: Red Clay Hot Sauce creator Geoff Rhyne shares recipes with Southern heat

The Dish: Chef Geoff Rhyne

When the hot sauce that chef Geoff Rhyne created starting disappearing from restaurant tables, he decided to leave the kitchen to manufacture the sauce. The line, Red Clay Hot Sauce, is named after the part of Georgia where Rhyne grew up.

Rhyne has worked at top venues in South Carolina and in the Midwest. His hot sauce is available nationwide.

Here are some of his recipes:

Baked crabcake with blistered okra, grilled lemon and Red Clay aioli


  • 2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise

Pick crab for shells, put in a pan, and place in cooler to dry for an hour. Mix wet ingredients. Gently fold in crab being careful to retain the meat's integrity. Mold and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

For the okra

Warm a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add oil and whole okra with the stems gently trimmed. Blister okra while turning every 30 to 45 seconds until tender.

For the lemons

Heat the grill, and place cut lemons on the grates to gently char.

For the Red Clay aioli


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • ½ cup neutral oil (canola or preferably grapeseed)
  • 1 ounce Red Clay Original or Carolina Hot Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Place the yolk in a bowl with the Dijon mustard, and microplane the garlic clove. Add salt. While vigorously whisking, gradually add in the oil being careful to keep the emulsification. Continue to whisk while incorporating hot sauce.

Winter citrus salad with fennel, radishes and honey-habanero dressing

For the honey-habanero dressing


  • 1 ounce Red Clay Habanero
  • 1 ounce cider vinegar
  • 2 ounces Red Clay Hot Honey
  • 2 ounces neutral oil (grapeseed preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine Red Clay Habanero Hot Sauce, Red Clay Hot Honey and cider vinegar. While whisking, slowly pour in oil. Add salt and serve.

For the salad


  • Choose a selection of blood orange, satsuma and white or red grapefruits (4-6 total)
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 4 Cherry Belle or French Breakfast radishes
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley

Peel the citrus and cut cross sections of the fruit. Arrange on the base of serving dish. Thinly slice radishes and fennel on mandolin. Pick some Italian parsley leaves and fennel fronds. Arrange fennel and radishes on citrus, drizzle with dressing and top with picked herbs

G-Mama's poundcake with bourbon-pecan butter, whipped cream and Red Clay Southern Honey


  • 3 cups sugar
  • ¾ pound butter
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon oil

For the poundcake

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Combine evaporated milk and vanilla extract. In order, blending after each addition, add 1 cup flour mix, then 1/3 cup evaporated milk, then 1 cup flour mix, then 1/3 cup of evaporated milk, then 1 cup of flour mix. Mix well. Oil and lightly flour the inside of a Bundt pan, add in batter and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let cool and serve.

For the bourbon-pecan butter


  • 8 ounces pecans
  • 1 ounce bourbon (preferable High Wire Jimmy Red Bourbon Whiskey)
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Toast the pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. In a food processor, blend the pecans with salt until pureed. While blending, add in bourbon. Chill and reserve.

For the whipped cream


  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 ounces confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip the cream until soft peaks. Add sugar and extract and continue to blend until stiff peaks form. Chill and reserve.

To serve

Slice the pound cake and arrange on platter. Drizzle slices with bourbon-pecan butter and Red Clay Honey. Pipe whipped cream around the edges and serve.

Hot honey candied bacon

Ingredients for the cure:

  • ¼ cup brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Lay slices of bacon out on parchment lined pan. Spread Red Clay Hot Honey over sliced bacon and add rub to bacon. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip bacon, drizzle, and rub. Bake for another 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Red Clay Bloody Mary


  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 6 ounces High Wire Hometown Vodka
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce (or more!) Red Clay Carolina Hot Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in a pitcher and mix well. Pour over ice cubes and serve with celery, hot honey candied bacon, lime wedges and any other garnishes you choose.

Geechie boy grits a la Waffle House


  • 1 cup Jimmy Red Grits
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup small diced Vidalia onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 ounce Edwards country ham, cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 ounce grated cheddar cheese (sub in your favorite!)
  • ¼ pound quality butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Red Clay Original or Carolina Hot Sauce to taste

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. While whisking, add grits. Bring back to a boil while stirring, reduce to a simmer, then cook gently for roughly 20 minutes, checking every so often to whisk and determine if the grits are cooked. Mound in butter and season with salt and Red Clay Hot Sauce.

In a separate pan, caramelize diced onions in oil. Add in cherry tomatoes to warm through. Remove from heat and toss in ham.

To serve

Place serving of grits into a bowl. Top with onion, tomato and ham mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese and chives over the top. Add Red Clay Hot Sauce.