Chef Geoff Rhyne spent his early years in the red clay fields of Georgia, fishing rivers and exploring farms alongside his grandparents. A reverence for tradition, hard work, and fresh food took root and have been cornerstones of his culinary career that followed.
Geoff took a winding route through some of the most esteemed kitchens in America, always advocating for whole and slow foods and finding ways to meld tradition and innovation. Early in his career he had the opportunity to be mentored by celebrated chefs Mike Lata at FIG and Jimmy Sneed of SugarToad, who instilled in him an even greater respect for product and purveyor.
Geoff received the 2011 StarChefs Rising Star Sustainability Award while executive chef at SugarToad, a farm-focused restaurant just outside of Chicago.
He returned to Charleston in 2011 to work again with Lata, first at FIG and then to open The Ordinary as chef de cuisine. In an experimental spree while working on an oyster dish, Geoff hit on what would become his signature sauce – a Fresno bend cold-fermented in bourbon barrels to elevate the flavor of the oysters, not just overpower them with heat. The sauce became so beloved by patrons that they would steal it straight off the plate and tuck it in their bag.
Geoff left the restaurant world in 2014 to pursue Red Clay full time. Since then, he has perfected the art of bottling his signature sauces for the folks who want to put them in their bags and on about a hundred kinds of food.
Geoff’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the kitchen. He was a founding member of Slow Food in Greenville, SC, and a featured speaker at TEDx, where he spoke about sustainability in agriculture. He lives with his young family in Greenwood, SC.