About Susan Ely


Me standing in front of my favorite  Italian food poster                        

 Gelato in Italy………Heaven!    

The grandchild of Italian immigrants and North Carolina tobacco sharecroppers, Susan describes herself as being half polenta and red wine and half grits and sweet tea; cooking and sharing life around the dining table is the only time she feels truly connected.

Susan has been stirring the pot and scraping the batter out of the bowl ever since she could reach the stove. Largely self-taught (there was no Food TV in the sixties) and with three children to cook for, she learned early on how to take advantage of a sale on whole chickens: cut them up yourself, make chicken stock out of the backs and necks, bone the breasts for a company meal, grill the legs and thighs and save the wings until you have enough for a party.

Her professional culinary experience includes operating “The Dainty Morsel,” a home-based bakery specializing in European-style desserts, managing a New York-style deli, recipe development, and setting up and running a Gourmet to Go retail establishment for Very Vera, a nationally recognized caterer and mail-order supplier of authentic Southern confections. In 2005, Susan kicked off her chef clogs for good and decided to pursue her love of writing rather than spend all day over a hot stove. Two years later she was a finalist for the Apicius Scholarship, an award given by The Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier.

Today she writes about food and hospitality for lifestyle and business magazines in the Raleigh and Pinehurst area and volunteers for Operation Frontline, teaching healthy cooking classes for disadvantaged teens. As a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries, she travels throughout North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, encouraging women to “Leave the Safety and Security of their Shells.”  Last year Susan transformed her unused formal living room into an oversized “dining hall,” where she hosts communal dining events at her ten-foot long farm table.

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4 Responses to “About Susan Ely”

  1. Marian says:

    Very inspiring.  Also, I commend your work with Operation Frontline.  Without home ec in schools and increasing heath problems among young people, you could save a lot of lives.  Dining-networking events could be fun fundraisers, too.  Much success!!

  2. Bonnie Northington says:

    Love your web site.  See you soon.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Bonnie
    Wish you were able to come for Easter – but we’ll get together soon!

  4. W je'an says:

    Susan, The book is just about to be Released. I will send you an E-mail Shortly with the Rlease Date."  I am about to birth my baby", Aunt Marylue"s Creole/ Cajun Cooking *& More.
    Chef W. Je'an,
    Creole Cajun Queen

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