One sandwich and a bunch of Raleigh food memories gave Fanny Slater her first cookbook Raleigh native and cookbook author Fanny Slater easily traces her love of food to growing up in the City of Oaks.
“I’ll never forget the first time I took a bite of a Boondini’s chicken salad sandwich,” Slater says. “I’ll never forget working in the kitchen at Margaux’s and, after eating there almost my entire life, learning the secret to their Caesar salad. I’ll never forget how my mom would always, always make me request extra caramelized onions on the lentils at Neomonde. My foodie inspiration in this area comes from the memories I have growing up that shaped my love for all kinds of food.”
Slater’s first cookbook, “Orange, Lavender & Figs: Deliciously Different Recipes from a Passionate Eater,” hit shelves March 1st. The title pays homage to a breakfast sandwich that Slater’s father prepared for her and her sister before school at Ravenscroft in north Raleigh—a sandwich that ultimately won her a book contract.
Slater took her father’s English muffin sandwich, added a homemade jam of orange, lavender and figs and used the revamped recipe as her entry into Rachael Ray’s Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014.
She beat 1,000 entrants from across the country and, after four rounds of competition on Ray’s daytime television show, Slater won the grand prize of a publishing contract under Rachael Ray Books.
Slater currently lives and works in Wilmington, but when she’s back in Raleigh visiting family, she hits as many of her favorite restaurants as possible.
“I’d walk from Wilmington to Raleigh for the chicken biscuit with honey mustard and fried green tomatoes,” says Slater, of her favorite dish at Beasley’s.
Her other faves?
“Raleigh Times will always be my go-to for PBRs and fried pickles and ranch. For pizzas—it’s Bella Monica all day long,” she says. “I’ll also always dip my Char Grill fries in my vanilla milkshake and not be sorry about it.”