Sara Foster

Sara Foster
Did you know?

Sara always has buttermilk, salsa, salad greens, cheese and tortillas in her refrigerator. For her, a perfect snack is any cheese from the farmer’s market served with seven-pepper jelly. Her perfect meal? A baked sweet potato!

Sara Foster
Sara's Featured Recipe
Pecan Sweet Potato Sticky Buns

Click here for recipe

Sara Foster is a respected expert on simple, honest food prepared with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Her relaxed approach to food and cooking resonates with readers and cooks across the country for its emphasis on authenticity and ease. She is a firm believer that any home cook can prepare fresh, flavorful home-cooked meals with comfort and convenience. Her fifth cookbook, Foster's Market Favorites, shares the dishes that have kept diners coming back to the beloved Durham, North Carolina eatery that Sara Foster opened in 1990.


Growing up in rural Tennessee, Sara developed a deep connection to food, family and community from the home-cooked meals by her mother, father, aunts, and grandparents. Her approach to cooking emphasizes the soulfulness and simplicity of home. To expand her skills and talents, Sara moved to New York to work as a part-time chef at SoHo Charcuterie, a New American cuisine restaurant specializing in inventive, fine, fresh food. During this time, she also worked as a caterer for Ronnie Davis of Washington Street.


After graduating from New York Restaurant School in 1981, Sara worked alongside Martha Stewart as a chef for her catering company. Her contributions to Stewart’s catering business won wide praise. She worked many long hours preparing for some of the most elaborate parties in the Northeast. Sara even assisted Stewart on several of her best-selling cookbooks.


In 1984, Sara married filmmaker and cinematographer Peter Sellers, and by 1985 she decided to focus on her own philosophy of food. She started a catering business in Greenwich, Connecticut, venturing back to her roots of simple, easy elegant food. Her recipes connected with the community, and Sara soon had a large following of loyal customers.


After several years of success with her catering business, Sara pursued a lifelong dream of opening a gourmet food market café. She and her husband moved to Durham, North Carolina, and opened Foster’s Market in 1990, introducing seasonal prepared foods to eat in or take out, specialty grocery items, locally roasted coffee and select wines. The market café was such a success that Sara opened a second Foster’s Market location in 1998 in Chapel Hill.


Following the popularity of the market cafés, Sara wrote her first cookbook, The Foster’s Market Cookbook: Favorite Recipes for Morning, Noon, and Night. Her second cookbook, Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster’s Market was released in May 2005 and reached the Top 10 on Amazon and was on the Los Angeles Times best seller lists. It was frequently named one of the Top 10 cookbooks of 2005. Sara’s third cookbook, Casual Cooking: Simple Fresh Recipes for the Way We Eat Today was released in March 2007. Her fourth cookbook, Sara Foster's Southern Kitchen, appeared in April 2011.


Sara has been featured in the New York Times, Woman’s Day, Bon Appetit, Reader’s Digest, Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, House Beautiful, Real Simple, Country Home, Redbook and many others. She also has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Martha, From Martha’s Kitchen, Turner South’s Home Plate, NPR, PBS and QVC.


Sara lives in North Carolina. Her website is, and all of her cookbooks are available there.


Latest Recipes

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Theres nothing more comforting than honest-to-goodness, homemade mashed potatoes, enriched with butter and whole milk. This recipe is a ...

(1 Votes)

Chicken Piccata

When you think of making an Italian chicken piccata recipe, you might envision having to use a number of saucepans and skillets. Not so with this recipe for Chicken Piccata! This easy Italian recipe uses one skillet to create the crispy, crunchy dish that will quickly become part of your weeknight meals. Elegant as can be, this chicken recipe is perfect for a Sunday dinner with the family but is easy enough to make for dinner after a long day at work. You'll love the light and tangy taste of the recipe's sauce, too! You can easily serve this Italian chicken piccata recipe with a green salad and pasta for a dinner that's both hearty and satisfying.

(1 Votes)

Pecan Sweet Potato Sticky Buns

I'M A SUCKER FOR SWEET POTATOES and welcome them at all times of the day (perhaps this is what landed me a seat as an advising chef to th...

(1 Votes)

Foster's Omelets

An omelet can be as delicious plain as filled with an almost endless array of cooked vegetables, cheeses, herbs, smoked meats, fish, and ...

(1 Votes)

Portuguese Mussels

I first had these in a small fish shack on the coast of Maine they were so good I immediately had to make my version of this spicy dish.

(1 Votes)

Turkey Moussaka

I LOVE CLASSIC GREEK MOUSSAKA baked layers of eggplant, tomatoes, minced meat and bchamel sauce. But I find the traditional use of lamb...

(1 Votes)

Chunky Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

There is only one thing better than a cookie: two cookies, sandwiched together with cream in the center.

(1 Votes)

Coffee Brownies

You can make chocolate chunks by chopping a  bittersweet chocolate bar with a knife. As with any baked item, always use a good quality ch...

(1 Votes)

Grilled Asparagus with Honey Mustard Dressing

This easy dish makes a great side for a quick lunch or dinner and is elegant enough to serve for a special occasion.

(1 Votes)

Herb Deviled Eggs

You will most likely have everything you need to make this dish right in your refrigerator. You can spice it up with different herbs and ...

(1 Votes)

Fried Green Tomato BLT

This is an all-time favorite of mine and a great use of your tomatoes when you can’t wait for them to ripen.

(1 Votes)

Ginger Chicken Stew

AS IT SIMMERS, THIS STEW FILLS THE KITCHEN WITH GINGER'S WARM AROMA. Complement it with something fresh. I prefer a bowl of steamed bok c...

(1 Votes)

Thai-Style Pot Roast with Fat Noodles

FOR CARAMELIZED POTATOES, ONIONS AND CARROTS WITH FORK-TENDER BEEF--a traditional pot roast--you don't need me. You need your grandmother...

(1 Votes)

Blueberriest Muffins

These blueberry muffins are the only ones that we’ve made every day since Foster’s opened over a decade ago. That’s over four thousand ...

(1 Votes)

Garden Vegetable Frittata

Great for make-ahead brunch, tailgate lunches, and picnics of any kind, frittatas can be made in advance and served at room temperature.

(1 Votes)

Chicken Chili with Navy Beans

This chili is lighter than classic chili but flavorful. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken; try it with corn muffins or on a sof...

(1 Votes)

Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Arugula Salad

Using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes makes this an intriguing dish, indeed. It’s delicious anytime, but especially in fall and ...

(1 Votes)

Herb-Grilled Salmon with Fresh Tomato-Orange Chutney

Delicious served warm or at room temperature, this is an elegant party dish that cooks quickly. The tart tomato-orange chutney can be mad...

(1 Votes)

Slow-Roasted Pork Roast with Sweet and Spicy Horseradish Sauce

We use fresh ham for this flavorful roast. The word “ham” usually brings to mind cured pork, but the word actually refers to the hog’s hi...

(1 Votes)

Turtle Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a staple at the Market, but it’s different nearly every day because we vary the toppings, crusts, and flavorings. Cookie cr...

(1 Votes)

Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Prunes and Pumpkin

This is a great dish to make ahead of time if you are having dinner guests. It is equally as good the next day. Serve with steamed jasmin...

(1 Votes)

Balsamic Glazed Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Spinach

You can make this dish with a whole chicken cut up or chicken breast if you prefer. It’s one of my weeknight quick dinners.

(1 Votes)

Chicken Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Every year at Foster’s Market we have a Chili Cook-off and all our customers bring their favorite chili recipe. This is one of my favorit...

(1 Votes)

Chicken Pot Pie

This could also be made as one large casserole but I think the individual potpies are great for entertaining. Use 10-ounce glass ovenproo...

(1 Votes)

Chicken Mac and Cheese

We call this the grown-up version of Mac and Cheese at Foster’s Market; all you need is a crisp green salad to make your meal complete.

(1 Votes)
Cookbooks, etc

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