Like so many, Ron Pereira came to South Carolina to attend college and quickly discovered the ever-evolving food scene. After graduating from the College of Charleston, he worked with several Charleston restaurant groups before moving into the food supply chain arena with Sysco Food Services. There, he was awarded internationally for developing creative marketing and procurement initiatives. In early 2020, he set about bringing his vision for food, employment, and philanthropy to The Midlands.
The vision manifested as Happy Fork Hospitality Group, and quickly grew to include Orange Blossom Bakery & Café, Chapin Sports Bar, Modern Fresco, Deca Dessert Bar, Bakon Southern Eatery, and Chophouse of Chapin.
“My goal was to cultivate a small group of passionate foodies,” Pereira says of his earliest days.
Despite rapid growth, he continues to look for people with passion, experience, dedication, and a love of amazing food. His most recent find is Christopher Holme, who now serves as the Executive Chef at Chophouse of Chapin.
For Christopher, becoming the Executive Chef at Chophouse is a homecoming of sorts. He grew up in Chapin. He attended the University of South Carolina, and even played tuba in the marching band! Somewhere along the way, he realized that cooking could serve as a profession and he began cultivating his craft at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. From there, he spent ten years under the tutelage of Frank Lee and Russ Moore at Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) in Charleston. His move home to Chapin coincided nicely with Happy Fork’s growth, and gave him the opportunity to share his talents on a new stage.
The menu at Chophouse of Chapin centers around top-quality Angus beef, specifically a signature Tallow steak. According to Chef Christopher, tallow is the process of coating the beef with hand-churned beef butter, then hand-cutting the steaks after 60 days of aging. This process increases the overall flavor and tenderness, delivering perfection. Steaks are further elevated by any of the housemade sauces: chimichurri, horseradish-rosemary cream, brandy-thyme jus, Chophouse steak sauce, or maître d’butter. For the other menu items, Chef Christopher aims to feature offerings that customers readily recognize and find easily approachable.
Yet, these dishes are also elevated to the level you would expect from any upscale chophouse. Favorites include Brisket Candy, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp and Grits, Grilled Watermelon Salad, and Charred Okra. This fall, look forward to pears, butternut squash, and collard greens.
Chef Christopher is also pleased to continue the special events that have become crowd favorites at Chophouse.
The first is Happy Hour, which is offered 7 days a week. From 4pm until 6pm, enjoy ½ priced bottles of wines and ½ off craft drafts. Coming on October 11th, patrons will have the opportunity to attend Women in Whiskey. In partnership with Breakthru Beverage, Chophouse will host a dinner featuring Kentucky whiskeys from distilleries owned by women or distilleries featuring women as master distillers. Featured whiskeys include: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey, The Glendronach 12-Year-Old Original, Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve, Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. The whiskeys will be paired with a delicious four-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Christopher Holme and the Chophouse Culinary Team.
Article originally written by Shannon Bargohls in the October 2022 issue of Lake Murray Lifestyle magazine