34 ideal-LIVING.com ideal-LIVING • SPRING 2015
life: chef profile
Fanny in the
From cooking demos to
catering, rising cooking star,
Fanny Slater, shares her love
of creative cooking.
Of your cooking classes, demonstrations or
catering, what is your favorite?
Well, it’s hard to say. I love them all. I
just love to create. I enjoy the catering,
as I can just spend my time cooking and
dropping off the food, but then I don’t get
the personal interaction. Cooking classes
can be a lot of fun—it’s interactive and
I can interweave my stories in with the
food preparation. It’s great to get a group
of people together who enjoy good food
and entertainment. Often the groups will
bring their own wine to pair with the food
selections. But, I must say the cooking
demos are my favorite–both the food and
the stories get equal billing. To me it’s like
bringing the Food Network into people’s
homes. It’s interactive, entertaining and
fun! It’s not just about the food—I love
to share the stories of the food. I like for
food to create a memory and that’s what
I’m able to do with both the classes and
What’s your favorite local ingredient?
I like to shop at local farmer’s markets.
It may seem silly, but North Carolina has
a lot of great heirloom tomatoes. With
spring in the air, my favorite ingredient is
spring onions. They look like scallions, but
with huge bulbs. I just cut off the bulbs,
slice them in half, cut them into thin
strips and roast them in the oven at 400°
for about 25 to 30 minutes. The roasting
caramelizes them, resulting in a very sweet
taste to serve as a side dish. It’s so easy.
What is the most underrated ingredient?
It would have to be FRESH HERBS. I find
that the average person does not cook
with fresh herbs—people seem to think
it’s easier to use dried herbs. My refrigera-
tor is stocked with fresh herbs from sage
to tarragon to ginger. You can use them
in anything. Sprinkle some fresh oregano
or parsley over your pasta—it can be that
easy. One tip—basil hates the cold. If you
purchase living basil in the store with the
roots, just put the roots in a glass with a
little water and let it sit at room tempera-
ture. It can last for weeks that way.
Do you have any tips for cooking for two
One of my staples at home is pan-seared
chicken thighs. One package of six serves
two to three people. You can sear the
chicken in an oven-ready pan, then using
the same pan, add some potatoes, shallots
and wine, then roast in the oven. You can’t
overcook the chicken. The best part is you
only have a cutting board and one pan to
clean. Turn page for frittata recipe.
Wilmington, NC’s Fanny Slater made it to the big time when she won Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook competition last May with her “Tastes Like Childhood” theme. Out of 1,000 entries from
around the nation, months later, Fanny’s demonstration video and recipes landed her in the top five. Then
her “Tin Foil Surprise” of egg, orange-lavender fig jam, Havarti cheese and fresh green arugula took home
the coveted grand prize (her sparkling personality did not hurt). Fanny’s cookbook will be available in 2016.
While Fanny now travels between Wilmington and New York, she writes a food blog, fanfarefoodie.word-
press.com, conducts cooking demos and classes, and caters events. She has also begun work on a television
pilot. After her last trip to New York City, Fanny sat down with Ideal-LIVING to give a few cooking tips and
share one of her recipes.