Local chef puts Landrum on the food map

Published 6:52 pm Wednesday, December 20, 2017

LANDRUM – Chef Sarah McClure, co-owner of Southside Smokehouse BBQ and Grill, has put Landrum on the map – the culinary map that is. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster named McClure one of four 2018 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors.  

McClure said she was not aware she was in the running for the prestigious recognition. Apparently various tourism officials, food writers and others in the culinary business nominate the candidates. McClure said once nominated a board chooses the winners. 

According to McClure, a chef near Columbia created the ambassador program four years ago to help promote the South Carolina food scene and the local food industry. It is a joint program sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and the South Carolina Board of Tourism.  

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The ambassadors will be participating in well-known food tasting events throughout the year, such as the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival and events in Greenville and New York City. 

“We’ll be preparing sample foods using as much South Carolina grown or produced products as possible,” McClure said. “I’m considering something like my quail with apple butter barbeque sauce or possibly shrimp and grits.”  

McClure said one of the purposes is to help promote local, farm to table food as much as possible. “They also wan’t to keep it Southern,” she said. 

Though she majored in art history, McClure soon returned to her Landrum roots where she grew up in a food service family. “I waited tables in high school,” she said.  

She and her father, Robbie McClure, co-own Southside Smokehouse, which they opened in 2004 when she left college and returned to Landrum. “He handles the business side of things,” she said. 

McClure’s husband, Robert Hall, also helps out with the web site and graphic design for the business and helps run the catering. He also steps in with the day-to-day operations of the restaurant whenever they need an extra pair of hands. 

Though it sounds like a barbeque hangout, the Southside Smokehouse is actually known for McClure’s culinary talent. While they do serve the expected pork barbeque and southern fried foods, McClure also includes steak, seafood, signature pasta dishes and even vegetarian selections. The restaurant also has a fully stocked bar with special bourbons, local brews and seasonal cocktails.