I was at the first day of the Guaranty Trust Bank Fair, greeted by sophisticated architecture and ambience, a jivey farmer’s market, innovative food products from cool Nigerian entrepreneurs and A star masterclassestaught by top notch chefs. Airforce Veteran, The Food Channel Cook and Bestselling Author, Sunny Anderson’s Masterclass was tagged ‘Home Cooking Made Easy with Sunny’.
Sunny’s cooking session was moderated was Ify Ugo, legendary chef was assisted by cooks from the Culinary Institute of Nigeria. Her recipe for the day was Grilled Pork Chops, Apple and Pear Slaw and Mashed Grilled Yams. Known for having popular shows such as ‘The Kitchen’, ‘ Cooking For Real’ and ‘How’d That Get on My Plate?’, Sunny is what one would call a Recipe Machine, churning out hundreds of recipes in her career.
The 123 Sauce
In her 123 style, the sauce for the Pork Chops had 1 cup of Apricot Preserves, 2 cups of Chicken Stock and3 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, which were whisked into a pan, with the sauce to serve as a quick glaze. In her flexible style of cooking, she put a little more apricot. She then put lots of pinches of salt and black pepper, and some red chili flakes.
For the Pork Chops,She also advised that we could substitute the Pork with Chicken, Lamb or White Fish. She then put salt and black pepper in the pork, oiled the pan until it smoked and then laid the pork to grill.
While the pork was cooking, Sunny entertained us with her lively personality, telling us about how she started cooking professionally. She was in the AirForce as broadcaster and got to New Orleans making stories about military boxers. From a young age, she did not enjoy sea food, but then she went out on a date and tried sea food in New Orleans and loved it. That opened up her mind to be able to cook anything. She then started a radio job andwas cooking for people on the side.
Her hobby slowly started taking over. She didn’t love to do it as a fulltime job, but people kept asking her, and she would merely charge for the ingredients. But this sped up her demand. So she started a catering business in 2003, catering at fashion weeks and studio events.
She got some media appeal when Emeril Lagasse’s employee invited her to come in and cook on his show. Elated at the prospect, she quit her job on radio, working on creating her own show. It took 2 years for her to get her show on the Food Network.
‘I have lived a life of impossibilities,’ Sunny remarked, putting the readymade pork in another pan and finally pouring the 123 sauce atop the pork slices, with the pork simmering joyfully in it. She then added cognac and brown sugar into the pan. In little time, the sauce was done.
Dressing for the Slaw
Sunny grated the zest of an American orange and squeezed the juice out. She then diced parsley, cilantro and mint leaves for the dressing, adding pear to the mix. She then toasted walnuts in a pan to bring out the flavour in its natural texture. She also mixed in olive oil, green conference pears and red apples, all the aforementioned ingredients forming the slaw.
The Food Coming Together
This was the easiest. The Yam, grilled with Onions, Salt and Pepper and then mashed, was placed on the centre of the plate, with the PorkChops surrounding it as a shield. The dressing was then placed as a side and it was divine to look at.