Pie Social

Omei Eaglerider of Fry’s Cooking School on Family and Campfire Cooking

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the seventh annual Pie Social at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, at the Bioscience High School at 512 East Pierce Street. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.

Omei Eaglerider of Fry’s Cooking School

Since 2001, Chef Omei Eaglerider has been cooking around the Valley — starting as an off-site catering chef, then owning her own coffee house and bakery, and now in her current position as Executive Chef Instructor for Fry’s Signature Marketplace Culinary School. She loves teaching people to cook. Teaching adults, she says, allows you to see that moment when they grasp a concept and realize that they too can now do this magic. Kids help her to remember how joyful and fun cooking really is, and what a fantastic experience it is.

What is the first dish you remember fixing yourself at home?

I don’t know if you could call it a dish. But, the very first thing I remember making is peanut butter toast and hot chocolate. My Aunt Deb taught me this culinary feat at a very early age. It’s still one of my go-to comfort combos.

What is the one thing you always had in your kitchen growing up?

Always had fruit, berries, and vegetables from our trees and garden.

What are five essentials in your home kitchen today?

Eggs, cheese, good oil, a sharp knife, a large skillet, and spice blends.

What is a memorable dish from your childhood and the back story?

There are too many. What has always stayed with me, though, is cooking anything and everything over a campfire with the Girl Scouts. That increases your cooking confidence very quickly.

Who inspired you to become a chef and why?

My mom and grandma. We have a good-sized family, especially when you add in all the cousins and such. I was always amazed at how there would be this mob of people running all over the place at the family gatherings and in the middle of this slight craziness, these two women would assemble a great feast. The power of the food, no matter how plain or fancy, would settle everyone around the table. You could feel and see the joy of that coming together and sharing. That is magic, and I’ve always wanted to share that with people.

The 2016 Pie Social Celebrity Bakers so far:

Adam Allison of SuperFarm
Soraya Medina of Heavenly Bites
Nicholas Hyche of Hilton Phoenix Chandler
Adriana Gomez of Lola Coffee
Sarah Chisholm of Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Cheryl Standage of PIEfection
Holly Heizenrader of MacAlpine’s
Chelsea Gabayan of Fabulous Food
Virginia Senior of Urban Beans
Mandy Bublitz of Pane Bianco
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.