Red Clay Hot Sauce goes green

Geoff Rhyne, sous chef at Leon's, makes the Red Clay sauce served in the restaurant and ferments it in whisky barrels for 4-6 weeks to give it a rich unique flavor. Photo taken Wednesday, Spet. 3, 2014 at Leon's. Paul Zoeller/Staff

The name’s still red, but the color is green.

Red Clay Hot Sauce recently rolled out its verde sauce at Leon’s, where sauce maker Geoff Rhyne formerly worked as a sous chef. In addition to the personal connection, Rhyne says the serrano pepper-based condiment “pairs so well with what they offer.” (Although he adds that what works with seafood is equally suitable for sandwiches, pork and breakfast dishes incorporating avocadoes and eggs.)

Rhyne says the sauce is adapted from a razor clam dish he developed at The Ordinary, with some help from fellow chef Ari Kolender, who’s now finishing out his tenure as Leon’s executive chef.

“He brought forth the idea of adding some diced apple,” Rhyne recalls. “We then made a cilantro puree to bring the dish its brightness visually, and cut in some fresh shaved fennel to add the crunch along with the apple.”

Because the flavor of the cilantro sauce had a knack for outlasting its hue, it was often coopted for staff meal after a few days. “I absolutely loved the flavor profile,” Rhyne says.

Currently, Red Clay’s verde sauce is available online in a three-pack, featuring the original hot sauce and a “Carolina Hot” version: The trio sells for $19.99. Leon’s also retails the sauce.

And The Ordinary still has the razor clam dish on its menu. It costs $18.