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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Charleston High alumni need your classic city recipes

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

School's all-class reunion this year will feature popular dishes once served at Charleston's favorite restaurants of old

As many as 1,200 graduates are expected to attend Charleston High School’s All-Class Reunion at the Charleston Convention Center Aug. 8, and the reunion committee has a culinary surprise in store when they do.

The food served that evening will be recreated from beloved recipes once served at some of the longtime local restaurants Charleston High students and alumni may have frequented back in the day. Recipes collected will also be included in “A Taste of CHS” cookbook that will presented at the event.

But organizers need our help gathering some of these nostalgic tastes of Charleston.

“We are hoping to work with you to request these old recipes from your readers who may have access to them and are willing to share,” said Dale Clowser, who is chairing the reunion’s food committee along with Tricia Clark.

So far, the group has acquired recipes for Dutchess Bakery’s brownies, The Sterling’s salad dressing, Steak and Ale’s steak marinade, Hess’ Drive-In’s banana cream pie and Shoney’s strawberry pie.

“Many of these restaurants are long gone, but we’d still love to find recipes for dishes like Cagney’s Cajun Chicken Pasta, The Anchor’s Tomato Pie, The Diamond’s dinner rolls and more,” Clowser said.

I can hook the group up with a few of these, but I’m calling on all of you classic recipe fans out there for more of them.

Please let me know if you have (or have a lead on) any of these treasured recipes, or if there are other longtime Charleston favorites you think the group might like.

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Speaking of long-lost Charleston recipes, another reader is looking for two more that I bet Charleston High alumni would like.

This request comes from a reader who’d love to track down how to make the original Slim Joey ham sandwich and “those cheese balls” from Joey’s Bar & Grill.

I was just talking to someone the other day about how friends and I spent almost every Saturday afternoon at that iconic Charleston hangout across from the old Civic Center on Quarrier Street when I first moved to town — and how much I missed the place.

Especially “those cheese balls,” which were deliciously rich little fried orbs of (I believe) sharp cheddar cheese that were heavenly when dipped in a side or ranch.

If anyone has their hands on either recipe — or even and old menu that might describe each dish — I have a reader who would be forever grateful.

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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