Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 59


Fred Sauceman

The Capitol Café, a 24-hour diner
in front of the South Carolina state
capitol in Columbia, in 1911.
Corontzes worked there as a young
man. The restaurant stayed in the
family for 75 years.
The Corontzes family's respect
for tradition is evident throughout
the menu at Clemson's Pixie &
Bill's. Prime rib remains from the
early days. So does lobster bisque.
And so do dessert crepes. The one
we chose was filled with ice cream,
decorated with puffs of whipped
cream, surrounded by almonds,
and doused with amaretto.
Corontzes says it was important
to keep those dishes that had
attracted a loyal following over the
years. I ask him what it's like in the
restaurant on a weekend when the
Clemson Tigers are playing football at home.
"That's what we live for, high
energy," he says. "Football season
is huge here, and we're energized
by all the returning alumni."
Building on the original menu,
Corontzes has added some touches
of his own-one dish in particular
echoing the flavors of his grandfather's homeland. Here is the menu
description of the Grecian Filet
Mignon: "A sautéed mixture of
mushrooms, bacon, oregano,
spring onion, and feta crumbles in
a garlic wine butter with a splash
of rich beef stock." Corontzes calls
it "a family favorite."
Often for the nightly special,
the kitchen staff will top a cut of
prime rib with crab meat and serve
it with house-made béarnaise
sauce. Corontzes points out that
making the au jus for the restaurant's prime rib is a three-day process, using rib bones.
Diners from out of town frequently ask about Clemson Blue
Cheese. It's used at Pixie & Bill's in
salad dressing, in creamed spinach,
and in a compound butter with
chives and herbs, served over
steaks.
Pixie & Bill's, 1058 Tiger
Boulevard, Clemson, South Carolina
864-654-1210; TigerGourmet.com

Barbecue slaw and vinegary sauce dress the pork sandwich at Gaffney's Daddy Joe's.

Now About thAt
ClemsoN Cheese: "we
spell it blue"
The Tiger is a Clemson University
icon. And so is blue cheese. The
university has been making it since
1941. Watson Dorn, a dairy farmer
from Edgefield, South Carolina,
now manages the production and
distribution of Clemson Blue
Cheese with his wife Lisa.
Dorn tells me that in 1940, Dr.
Paul Miller, a professor in the university's Dairy Science Department,
discovered that the Stumphouse
Tunnel had the perfect humidity
and temperature for the aging of
blue cheese. It is an unfinished preCivil War railroad tunnel cut into
the face of Stumphouse Mountain.
The cheese was made on the
Clemson campus and then carried
to the tunnel, about 20 miles away,
and aged for six months.
"When Newman Hall was built
in 1956, everything transitioned
from Stumphouse Tunnel to the
university for the aging process,
and it's been here ever since,"
Dorn said.

Clemson managed the blue
cheese operation until 1997, when
it was turned over to the
ARAMARK corporation. When the
future of the cheese became uncertain, Clemson approached Dorn,
who milks Holstein cows at
Hickory Hill farm, and placed the
cheese back under university
control.
"It is an artisan product," Dorn
says. "Every lot is different."
Clemson cheese master
Anthony Pounders likes to mix his
product into hamburgers and
crumble it over hot dogs with chili.
Pounders started out at
Clemson milking cows. Now he is
the person primarily responsible
for the quality and integrity of
Clemson Blue Cheese. To learn the
art and science of cheese-making,
he sought out John Whitmire,
long retired from the Clemson
operation, who agreed to teach
him all he knew.
"And I'm still learning today,"
Pounders says. "It's a never-ending process when you're dealing
with cheese."
July/August 2015 59


http://www.TigerGourmet.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015

Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
SUP in the Mountains?
Northern Shenandoah Weekend
A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
From the Editor / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Festivals & Events
Country Roads
Mountian Garden
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - From the Editor / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Sweet Summer Weekends & Overnights in 7 States
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - The Great Divorce: Virginia-West Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Swimming Holes for Summer: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Grand Hotel Comebacks of Western Virginia
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - SUP in the Mountains?
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Northern Shenandoah Weekend
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - A Home in, on and from the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Far Beyond Sweet Tea: Great Restaurants of Upcountry South Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Mountian Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2015 - Cover4
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